Category Archives: iPad Apps

iPad Apps

VitalTuner

I was recently sent a promo code for a new app, VitalTuner. There are a huge number of tuning apps on the market, including popular choices such as ClearTune, TonalEnergy, iStrobosoft, and Teüna. It seems daring to enter a market that is already saturated, but Otreus has boldly entered the market with their new app, VitalTuner. The app is currenty $4.99, which is 20% off. The app promises no in-app purchases.

Included in the tuner:

  • Tuning modes (four of them) for different tuning situation (e.g. advanced, easy, stage, bright stage)
  • 100 tuning temperaments (including historical tunings)
  • 130 tunings for 40 instruments
  • Concert A Calibration
  • Concert Pitch Notation (see the actual pitch in musical notation)
  • Decibel and Peak meter
  • A universal app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch (iOS 7 or greater)

In all honesty, I don't have many uses for a tuner these days, as I have been so busy with teaching, family life, and arranging music. I haven't had much time to blog, or a chance to pull out my tuba and to see how this tuner works. I did, however, want to bring VitalTuner to your attention in the event that you are looking for a tuner or additional tuners. See the Otreus webpage for more informaton. As a reminder, a “traditional” Peterson strobe tuner is a $600 purchase (buy the Stretch tuner, and you are in the $800 range). For that kind of money, you could buy a $499 iPad and ALL of the tuning apps listed on this page, and still save money.

(Note: I have been told by a number of band directors that the iPad is as efficient and accurate of a tuning device as a Peterson strobe tuner; furthermore, if you want a Peterson strobe tuner on your iPad, purchase iStrobosoft HD, which is made by Peterson.)

Thank you to the folks at Otreus for the promotional code.

 

Another iPad. App…”Feed”

I will be writing more about Feed in the near future, but Feed is an interactive looping app with a unique user interface. I was contacted by the developer about the app, and just downloaded the app. In looking at the app's description in iTunes, I noticed that the app is on sale this week for $1.99, which is 70% off. I may not get a chance to write about the app for the next few days, so I thought I would mention it while it was still on sale. This is a new version of the app (v 2.0), and they are celebrating the latest release with the discount price.

If you are a teacher or musician that uses loops, it may very well be worth your time to get this app. The developer/company has been using the app to teach courses in music education (as well as some programming courses) in the UK…so it is an app that is being field-tested in education as it is being developed.

I will wrote more about this app later! But if Feed interests you, you should buy it while it is on sale.

PDF Expert (and all Readdle Apps) is 50% off! ($4.99)

I have long suggested the purchase of PDF Expert by Readdle–it is the best PDF manager that I know of (for the iPad). This isn't an app for your music PDF files, but it is an app for all the other PDF documents that come into your life. I have used the app for everything from signing contracts and personal bank documents to applying to present at conferences.

I had been using the old version of PDF Expert (4th version), but a new version was released in late 2013–but Readdle required you to purchase the new version (this is understandable, as companies cannot continue to update an app for free forever). I was going to wait until the app went on sale before I bought it.

Over the last months, Readdle has offered sales on many apps–including offering some for free–but PDF Expert 5 has never been on sale before. It is on sale right now for 50% off, and yes, I bought it this morning. This is a 48 hour–so the 50% sale will not last long. This is one of those “front page apps” on my iPad, and it will likely be the same on yours. Don't miss the sale!

 

Some new apps–to me–and perhaps for you!

I am always looking for new/improved/better music education apps. Over the last week, a few have come to my attention.

First, Amy Willis recently taught a week long course on iPads in music education, and she has been posting about that course at mustech.net. Here are the sequence of posts:

  1. iPads in the Elementary General Music Classroom
  2. iPads in the Elementary Music Classroom – Teacher Tools
  3. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Creating Music, Reading Notes and Rhythms, and Virtual Acoustic Ensembles
  4. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Creation Apps
  5. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Notation, Ear Training, Recorder and Keyboard Apps
  6. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Apps Used by Elementary Music Teachers
  7. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – 16 Great Resources
  8. iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Some of My Favorite Virtual Music Apps
  9. iPads in the Elementary Music Classroom – Guided Access

One of the apps that Amy mentions in the articles is a free app called MetaXylo Plus. This is an Orff app that allows you to remove bars on Orff instruments. I have been looking for such an app for a long time…and it turns out it has been available since September 2013 (there is also a French version). A gigantic thank you to Amy Willis for mentioning this app!

Another app that I was introduced to at my day of sessions for the St. Cloud State University Summer Music Education Institute is a rhythm app (also free) called Woodchuck Rhythm.

Be sure to check Amy's posts for other apps that could be of use to you!

 

An update to forScore

This evening, forScore pushed out a small but significant update to their app. Instead of the “old” Dropbox option, forScore now allows for linking with a number of services, under a “Services” tab, where the “Dropbox” option used to be in the menu.

Additional services include Google Drive (only one account at a time, as far as I can tell; multiple accounts would be useful), Box, One Drive, WebDAV, and FTP. I would not be surprised to see iCloud Drive added to fall when iOS 8 is introduced.

Just last week, a participant at one of my workshops asked why I always talked about Dropbox in terms of the iPad and various apps; essentially Dropbox was really the first consumer cloud drive that became popular, and as such, is naturally included with most apps that use cloud storage. Google Drive and Box have also managed to be successful in the cloud storage arena, so it is likely that many apps that offer Dropbox-only access will change to be more inclusive.

Don’t get me wrong…I love Dropbox and it remains my #1 choice, but I don’t have a paid subscription (if you pay, you get more space for storage). In an era where web storage continues to decrease in price (even iCloud Drive will offer 20GB for $0.99 a month), Dropbox’s prices have remained shockingly high. If you buy a Chromebook, most of them include 100 GB of storage for (at least) two years , free. Granted, I need a couple of terabytes to store all my media…but 100 GB certainly covers a lot of items. I also have a Google Drive account as part of our school GAFE program.

So…if you have forScore and have been longing to use Google Drive or Box directly from the app (not using “Open In,” go download the update. After updating, if you were a Dropbox user, you will have to add Dropbox back again in the Services area.

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