The first part of my latest scanning project is complete, including using PDF Shrink to optimize scans for the iPad.  The grand total of scores that I’ve scanned so far in this project is 351.

Under my old system of scanning page by page, it would have taken months (four or five) to scan this many pieces.  I scanned all of these in three days–not working consistently (my family went to the Mall of America for several hours yesterday, and we were at a Fourth of July party today).

I did want to point out the savings of space (think iPad or any other PDF reader) by using PDF Shrink.  Again, I’m scanning at 300 dpi in black and white.

Here’s the Mac OS X info page for the original, full size folder:

242.6 MB for 351 items, which is already a pretty decent ratio of documents (some over 20 pages) to storage.  Remember that 1000 MB = 1GB, so all 351 of these files would easily fit on any current USB drive, and if you have a freeDropbox beginning account, you would still have lots of space to spare (Public service announcement…if you don’t, and you want one, I would be grateful if you used my referral code, which rewards me with an extra 500MB of storage for referrals…use this link: http://db.tt/78eQMUG) Even if you have a 16GB iPad, you can see how many scores you can easily fit on a device with a iPad PDF reader such as forScore, unrealBook, DeepDishDesigns Gigbook, or The Gig Easy.

After I use PDF Shrink, here are the results:

80.9MB versus 242.6MB.  That’s 33% of the original size, or a savings of 66%.  The amount each song compresses depends on the amount of print on each page.

Remember that I choose to delete all extraneous pages (covers, blank pages), and I move biographical data or program notes to the end of a file (in a concert, you want to start with music, not turning pages).  I do all of this in Mac Preview, and I also quickly page through each song to make sure all the pages were scanned.

I can’t praise this Canon P-150 enough; I can’t praise PDF Shrink enough.

Two things would increase my work flow.  I’m dealing with an existing music library, so it takes time to pull each song.  I need to look for a song in good condition with as little writing as possible.  I try to erase some marks, but I do leave some in.  It would be much easier to have a stack of songs that have been prepped for scanning.

The other thing that would increase my work flow would be a better paper cutter.  Something like this:


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