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Author Topic: Music scanning and reading apps  (Read 944 times)
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Geordie
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« on: Dec 04, 2017, 02:32AM »

Hello

I know we have had similar discussions but given the speed of technological changes I'm looking for some updated info please.

Am considering using an app for reading charts off an iPad.  Looking for recommendations for the best app that can allow me to scan in and read on an iPad screen on stage, mainly indoors.  Ability to use a Bluetooth foot pedal and write on the charts on screen would be helpful.  A bonus would be the ability to scan charts and export as .xml to my Windows system so I can manipulate them in Musescore. A play back feature would be nice too, but is of least priority.

What is your experience and advice?  Is it worth the time and trouble to convert?  Comments and suggestions all gratefully received.
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 04, 2017, 03:12AM »

As for reading from an iPad, I use UnReal Book. It has the added feature of syncing with Luther iPads so that the group leader can bring up a piece, and itís done be all the iPads synced.  However, it uses PDFs, so you need to use a regular scanning program to scan the music. Of course, you canít change the PDFs in Musescore.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 04, 2017, 06:16AM »

ForeScore without a doubt.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 04, 2017, 07:01AM »

I have been looking for a replacement for photoscore for ages. Haven't found one....
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 04, 2017, 07:19AM »

ForeScore without a doubt.

I've been using this software with my iPad 12.9 ever since they released the iPad 12.9. I've downloaded around a thousand songs for all my bands and it works perfectly.
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Todd Jonz
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:22AM »


I've stored the sheet music for all the groups with which I play (and then some) on a 12.9" iPad ever since the device first shipped.  My desktop scanner has been in mothballs ever since I discovered that it's faster and easier to use ScannerPro on my iPhone (or iPad) to scan the originals (the Notes app also supports document scanning in iOS 11, but ScannerPro does a better job in several ways.)  When a new chart is passed out in rehearsal or on the bandstand I can scan it into the iPad on the spot.

I also use forScore for some applications (specifically for linking lead sheets to backing tracks in my iTunes Library), but I use a general purpose document viewer called GoodReader to store my main library.  I chose GoodReader for two reasons:  it supports hierarchical folders, and it syncs with the "official" copy of my library on my Mac with a single tap.


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Geordie
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 07, 2017, 01:01AM »

Thanks for the comments - things to think about before I commit time and money.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:28AM »


As I wrote earlier, I retired my desktop scanner some time ago in favor of the ScannerPro app on my iPhone.  When I searched online recently for a stand to hold the phone while I served as a human sheet feeder for longer documents, it occurred to me that I already have a small tripod and a tripod mount for a phone.  I tried it out and it works like a charm, as shown in a short video I made for a discussion in another forum.  ScannerPro automagically identifies the rectangle of the document, takes the shot, corrects for keystoning, and optionally uploads the final product in JPG or PDF format to Dropbox. The scan created eliminates the shadows, imperfections, etc. that are clearly visible in an ordinary photograph.


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« Reply #8 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:33AM »

I use ScannerPro as well and it is fantastic! Very quick and easy with great results. The resulting PDF's work great in forScore.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 09, 2018, 11:17AM »

Has the speed of technology leapt past the problems of copyright protection?

On the one hand a lot of what people talk about seems clearly in violation.

On the other hand we're in a bit of a new world here with what is available. 

I'm not accusing anyone of anything, just asking. 
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 09, 2018, 11:39AM »

Has the speed of technology leapt past the problems of copyright protection?

1000%.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 09, 2018, 12:43PM »

Nobody's going to come and cuff you for making scans for personal use.  Making scans and posting them on IMSLP (or some other sharing site) is quite another matter.

Yes, copyright laws are about a generation behind the technology and need to be updated.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 09, 2018, 12:48PM »

Nobody's going to come and cuff you for making scans for personal use.  Making scans and posting them on IMSLP (or some other sharing site) is quite another matter.

Yes, copyright laws are about a generation behind the technology and need to be updated.

That's actually good to know b/c I photocopy ALL of my outside music for my own personal use - marking it up with crayons and such. You should see the look of horror on band-mates' faces sometimes until I explain to them that it is a photocopy (or Zerox - as we used to say).

Perhaps the way I play it is a crime, though!  Evil

...Geezer
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 09, 2018, 01:03PM »

That's actually good to know b/c I photocopy ALL of my outside music for my own personal use - marking it up with crayons and such. You should see the look of horror on band-mates' faces sometimes until I explain to them that it is a photocopy (or Zerox - as we used to say).

Perhaps the way I play it is a crime, though!  Evil

...Geezer

If you copy your band music for practice material at home, I don't see an issue. 

Photocopies for performance are a different story.  Clearly illegal. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 09, 2018, 01:08PM »

If you copy your band music for practice material at home, I don't see an issue. 

Photocopies for performance are a different story.  Clearly illegal. 

I'm doomed anyway. But you young kids out there - take heed!!!!

Hmmmmmmmm. So I guess the same goes for material scanned onto (or into) tablets and then used at performances, eh? After all, that is a form of copying as well!  Clever

...Geezer
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BGuttman
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 09, 2018, 01:09PM »

If you copy your band music for practice material at home, I don't see an issue. 

Photocopies for performance are a different story.  Clearly illegal. 

Here's where we get into some deep weeds.

I scan all my music and use a tablet to play from.  Is this illegal?  Letter of the law says yes; but will the Copyright Police come after me?  Probably not.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 09, 2018, 01:10PM »

Has the speed of technology leapt past the problems of copyright protection?

On the one hand a lot of what people talk about seems clearly in violation.

On the other hand we're in a bit of a new world here with what is available. 

I'm not accusing anyone of anything, just asking. 

I only digitize music that is in my possession. I use only one of the copies at a time (i.e. I don't lend out my paper sheet music) nor do I share my digital PDFs. That lets me sleep at night with a clear conscience.
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 09, 2018, 06:28PM »

I'm intrigued by the phone scanning idea.

In many community bands the music is not of high difficulty, but there is the occasional passage I'd like to work on at home, usually a few bars rather than a whole folder of music. 

If I could whip out the smart phone and quick scan a few lines to woodshed at home, that would be very useful.  Less than 10% of a piece for home study is usually fair use. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 09, 2018, 06:31PM »

  I tried it out and it works like a charm, as shown in a short video I made for a discussion in another forum. 




I was interested in that video, but Dropbox forced me to authenticate with Google, and then demanded to manage my contacts. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #19 on: Jan 09, 2018, 07:52PM »

...If I could whip out the smart phone and quick scan a few lines to woodshed at home, that would be very useful.  Less than 10% of a piece for home study is usually fair use. 

I don't read music from my phone, but I use GeniusScan for this purpose. It's useful for groups where I don't keep the books. I scan/save as a PDF and print it later.

...or at least, I used to use GeniusScan, before one of its updates didn't agree with my archaic phone. Still--any "convert to PDF" app should work for this. (It's not a music app, tho.)


If you copy your band music for practice material at home, I don't see an issue. 

Photocopies for performance are a different story.  Clearly illegal. 

We've started "digitizing" music in several of my community bands. It saves the librarians a lot of headaches. We are expressly instructed not to share the digital files, and to destroy physical (and digital) copies after performance.
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 09, 2018, 08:19PM »

Simply taking a picture on your phone is usually sufficient for me. No reason to convert to PDF.  The big benefit of PDF is that you can have multiple pages which isn't a big deal if you take a picture of a few measures to shed at home. I've done that for chord changes before.
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 09, 2018, 09:02PM »

Simply taking a picture on your phone is usually sufficient for me. No reason to convert to PDF.  The big benefit of PDF is that you can have multiple pages which isn't a big deal if you take a picture of a few measures to shed at home. I've done that for chord changes before.

The nice things the scanner pro app does are remove any distortion (squares it up) and convert it to b/w - all automatically.  You end up with a very crisp image. Plus it handle multiple pages really well.  It's as easy as using the camera. Maybe easier.
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 10, 2018, 04:50AM »




We've started "digitizing" music in several of my community bands. It saves the librarians a lot of headaches. We are expressly instructed not to share the digital files, and to destroy physical (and digital) copies after performance.

It really saves the frustration when for example somebody takes the folder home then doesn't show up, or loses it. 

If you didn't have a copy, you'd end up paying for a replacement.

Oh wait..................................
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 10, 2018, 05:13AM »

It really saves the frustration when for example somebody takes the folder home then doesn't show up, or loses it. 

If you didn't have a copy, you'd end up paying for a replacement. *

Oh wait..................................

* If the piece is even still in print/ replaceable.


Simply taking a picture on your phone is usually sufficient for me. No reason to convert to PDF.  The big benefit of PDF is that you can have multiple pages which isn't a big deal if you take a picture of a few measures to shed at home. I've done that for chord changes before.

You clearly need to practice less than I do.  Pant
And tbathras is spot-on. The automated clean-up processes in PDF apps are gold.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 10, 2018, 05:57AM »

Here's where we get into some deep weeds.

I scan all my music and use a tablet to play from.  Is this illegal?  Letter of the law says yes; but will the Copyright Police come after me?  Probably not.

What if the battery goes dead? Seems to me that could be a problem for guys like the ones who even forget to take a mouthpiece with them!

And what if the tablet decided NOW is the time to get sticky by doing an update, or otherwise decided to do the boogaloo, as electronic devices sometimes mysteriously seem to want to do (at least when I'm using them)?

...all techno-noob questions. Like a good lawyer (but I'm not one), I know the answers to the above questions, or at least I think I do.

...Geezer
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Matt K

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« Reply #25 on: Jan 10, 2018, 06:03AM »

Yeah if you need the full page or want to read from it that makes sense to convert to PDF.  I've been fortunate that I've always been in bands as full-time members so I got the full book most of the time.  Did a lot of bass trombone the last couple of years though and there are nnever any changes in those parts. So I'll snap a picture of them and then remake the part in Sibelius if I have the time.  But I definitely didn't want to recommend that approach since its overkill of the highest order!

As far as tablet performance goes, I always carry the charger with me and an power strip extension cord + stand light. I always perform with the tablet being charged even though its battery life is well over several hours despite being from ca. 2011.  When I get my book in order, I restart the iPad and put it in flight mode so it won't accidentally download anything.  And then I don't get notifications too.  Though technically the device is discontinued so I shouldn't receive any future updates. Then just to make sure, I always have the book with me too, just sorted.  That works the best for me anyway because I always keep my books in order very well. Resorting them is the hard part, but if I never have to re-sort it then it doesn't take any time!  Note that I've never had to do this in 5 years of using the tablet for performances.
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 10, 2018, 06:06AM »

What if the battery goes dead? Seems to me that could be a problem for guys like the ones who even forget to take a mouthpiece with them!

And what if the tablet decided NOW is the time to get sticky by doing an update, or otherwise decided to do the boogaloo, as electronic devices sometimes mysteriously seem to want to do (at least when I'm using them)?

...all techno-noob questions. Like a good lawyer (but I'm not one), I know the answers to the above questions, or at least I think I do.

...Geezer

I bring my hard copies to the gig.  In rehearsal, I could read on with someone in most of the groups I play in.  If I'm the only bass then I take my hard copies anyway.  For me it's less about carrying less and more about the ease of managing page turns, etc, on the tablet.

Also, airplane mode and "Do not disturb" are your friends.
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« Reply #27 on: Jan 10, 2018, 06:27AM »

Yes. Thanks guys. Pretty much as I thought, but I didn't consider "airplane mode". See! That's experience!

I would also take hard copies. I also hadn't thought of taking a charger along as well, but why not. At home, when I'm on Fantasy Football League, I always operate my laptop from the charger.

I guess I would also take a stand light, but playing from a tablet should make it unnecessary, if all it going as planned.

Oh, and it's probably a good idea to have it set so that the screen-saver doesn't come on in THE MIDDLE OF A SOLO! Lol!

Looks like I and probably a lot of guys who haven't posted to this thread have some catching up to do on the latest & greatest technology for music!

 Good!

...Geezer
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