The Right Tool for the Right Job

I’m not an exceptional do-it-yourself handyman.  Any project I attempt usually requires several trips to the hardware store for supplies and tools.

There is usually a specific tool for a job.

This afternoon, I had to use a specific iPad tool–a specific app.  I have been an advocate–for a long time–that musicians using the iPad should have two apps for PDF music, in the event that one of the apps break.  UnrealBook was my daily app until there were some issues with the app upon the release of iOS 5, so I migrated to using forScore on a daily basis, even though both apps remain on my iPad.  I usually recommend this $10 solution to most iPad musicians.

Well, our piano player attended our musical rehearsal this evening, and she was using the printed piano book.  We’ve scanned that book, and it is undoubtedly smaller than the paper version (on 8.5 x11 paper), but it is very legible.  As she was playing, she was trying to turn pages herself, and was missing notes as a result of it.  I had a moment of clarity: I have an app that will allow me to turn my pages and turn her pages at the same time.  It’s called unrealBook.

I quickly purchased unrealBook ($4.99) on one of the choir iPads (the other iPad was being used for Finale Songbook on the big dance numbers that still need a steady beat as the pianist is becoming used the score).  I then went to Dropbox and downloaded the file, and opened unrealBook on both my device and the iPad with the program newly installed.

In Network settings, I set my iPad to be the “server,” and set the school iPad to be a slave–and then searched for my iPad…and it popped up.   The iPads linked via Bluetooth and I had complete control over two iPads…so I was able to eliminate our pianist’s need to turn pages (at the same time, I had to watch the music more carefully than I normally would at this point so I didn’t miss a page turn).  A student then purchased unrealBook and set their iPad to be a slave…and my iPad was controlling two other devices.  I’m not sure how many iPad you can connect this way…but it was a perfect use for the app…and well worth the additional $4.99 out of my pocket (I am NOT complaining.  It really was).

As I’ve said for a long time, forScore does some things really well, and so does unrealBook.  Each has a few tools that the other doesn’t have…and with PDF files and Dropbox, it isn’t very hard to pull a file from one app to another–and you can even export an annotated PDF if necessary.

It’s all about using the right tool for the right job, and in this case, that tool was unrealBook.



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