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Thread: Multitasking using Player

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Multitasking using Player

    Multitasking with Player
    With most iOS devices able to run multitasking, you can start the Player then switch to another app to read your lyrics etc. Your lyrics can be stored in Notes app or modify charts and view them in Photos.

    Ideal for
    -music notation (iPad size is good for this)
    -guitar tab
    -guitar chord diagrams
    -practice material
    -fingering charts
    -add anything to iReal book screenshots
    Great for Live gigs!

    Here are the steps:
    -open your (lyrics) page
    -open iReal book
    -find song chart
    -set up Player settings (audio count in set to off if playing live, volumes of instruments etc.)
    -set the count for 2 bars (which gives you time to switch to the other app.)
    -press Play
    -quickly switch back to your lyrics

    I will post information on PDF viewing in another post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Multitasking with iBooks - PDF

    These instructions using iBooks focus on the iPad which can be used to view PDF files. Its larger size works particularly well with music notation from Sibelius or Finale scores or scanned sheet music. Or in landscape orientation, you could have a chord chart on one side of the screen and lyrics on the other. I use Adobe Acrobat for preparing composite PDFs but there are other PDF applications available for your computer (including free ones.) Choose one that can create bookmarks (if you need a Table of Contents.)

    Besides iBooks, there are a number of PDF viewing iOS apps designed specifically for musicians (another post to follow soon) but iBooks is free and easily used.

    Possible requirements:
    iBooks (or PDF viewing app) on your iOS4 (or greater) device capable of multitasking
    Adobe Acrobat or other PDF software for creating/compositing/merging
    Sibelius or Finale (or similar) for notation
    a word processor for lyrics and title page (MS Word, Notepad, TextEdit, Apple Pages etc.)
    a scanner for sheet music

    Here are the steps:
    1 Create your PDF page
    The iPad's screen proportions are 4:3, so if your page is roughly those dimensions, you can fill/scan to near every edge (small margins) so you will not need to resize/zoom in/move at viewing time.

    In Sibelius and Finale, there is a specific 9 x 12 inches (22.86 x 30.48 cm) page size called "Concert" (presumably for music!) coincidentally corresponding to the 4:3 proportion of the iPad. I use very small margins on all four sides, then maximize the title and notation size to every margin.

    Run some test pages with different margins and page dimensions, depending on what information you are putting on the page (font point size for lyrics etc.) and what orientation you are going to use (for music notation presumably portrait.)

    2 Prepare content
    Note: I describe saving as PDFs here, but Adobe Acrobat can convert from .jpg and .png files to PDF pages if necessary at import/merge.

    2a Sibelius or Finale (or similar)
    Increase the size of your notation to fill the page (staff size or resize options.) The title can be small if you use bookmarks (Table of Contents) or a little larger for thumbnail view where you can see the title. Save to PDF directly within the application to create a small file, naming each PDF the title of the tune. If you have more than one page, the PDF created has all the pages.
    Mac users can use the Print>PDF button.
    PC users can download a number of PDF applications to do this.
    Make a custom-sized page in File>Print Setup of 9 x 12 inches (although the Concert size was available within both Sibelius and Finale it was not in my computer's Page setup settings.) You need to do this if 'printing' in order to render the PDF at the correct size.

    2b Prepare lyric sheets
    Create these in your word processor and save directly to PDF. Again, a page size in the proportions of 4:3 will translate to the iPad.
    (Or for lyrics, just put them in your Notes app, however preparing them as a PDF means you can use it with different material in a single document in iBooks.)

    2c Prepare the content via scanning
    This is useful for your printed sheet music. Here are a few basic tips:
    -scan between 100-200dpi (spi) (depends on the size of the paper. Do some tests.)
    -scan in black and white (or grayscale) - unless there is a reason not to (makes the file size smaller)
    -crop out the white margins but …
    -scan in a 4:3 proportion if possible (meaning you might have a larger white margin either top/bottom or on each side) or ...
    -crop after scanning (a small print area surrounded by large areas of white margins on every side will require unnecessary zooming at view time)
    -increase the contrast to get a dark black if needed
    -straighten if necessary (use an image/photo manipulation app etc. to rotate)

    Save directly to PDF. Name each PDF page (file) the title name of the tune.
    The file size from scanning will be larger compared with the other methods, but if you have printed music, it is the easiest way. (I have many scanned PDF pages in iBooks and it works perfectly well.)

    3 Cover page (optional)
    Construct a cover page (4:3 proportions preferable.) This is what iBooks will show you in icon view on its bookshelf. I usually use text size about 80pt (or larger.) This looks big on the page but the 'book covers' on the bookshelf are quite small.

    4 Prepare the composite PDF document
    Use Adobe Acrobat (or similar) to composite all the PDF pages into one document. Use the Create PDF from multiple files (or similar) option. The title page goes first (acting as its cover) then the other pages can be an any order (but alphabetical probably makes sense.)

    iBooks will show you thumbnails of each page, so you will see the title at the top of each chart. This OK for a small number of tunes, but for a large number, create bookmarks for each tune. iBooks will then give you an alternative view for finding your song… Table of Contents, a list of your bookmarks. You will probably only need a bookmark for the first page in a multi-paged piece since you can swipe to the following page… test this before you play live!

    In Adobe Acrobat in the Combine Files window, click on the Options button and check "Always add bookmarks to Adobe PDF." This will automatically make bookmarks from the filename of each PDF (which is the title of your songs, if that is what you did when you saved each tune.)
    Arrange the order of the files if you need to, then merge, create and save when it has composited all the pages.
    Adobe Acrobat creates the bookmarks from filename for you automatically but if you are using another application, you may need to create them individually for each page.
    (Macintosh users - Apple Preview creates bookmarks but they do not embed into the PDF when saving.)

    As always, run a few tests with a few pages to make sure everything works before tackling hundreds of pages.

    Edit bookmarks
    Delete any unneeded bookmarks like the title page or any superfluous pages from multi-paged pieces. Bookmarks can be in any order and can be re-ordered. Organize your bookmarks in whatever way you like.
    Also a page can have more than one bookmark associated with it. This is useful for songs such as "On Green Dolphin Street" which could have a bookmark "Green Dolphin Street" - create two bookmarks under "O" and "G" pointing to the same page (useful for titles in different languages also.)

    The attached screenshot is of a sample test I constructed with alphabetical letter headings and their titles underneath. (The alphabetical headings point to the first page title of that letter.)
    (Note the actual pages of this document are not in any particular order, but with alphabetical bookmarks it does not matter.)

    5 Name PDF file
    Name the filename of your composite something meaningful. The filename is what you will see if you are in PDF list view in iBooks (in icon view you see your cover page on the bookshelf.)

    6 Import into iBooks
    You can either email the PDF to your iPad (tap and select Open in iBooks - it will then stay in there) or in iTunes, connect your iPad and drag the PDF into your iPad listed on the left. It automatically appears in iBooks.

    7 View
    In iBooks you can view PDF documents in either its bookshelf or as a list. And similarly, within your composite PDF, you can view thumbnails of each page (across and down) or its Table of Contents - meaning your bookmarks.
    If you play transposing instruments and have several PDFs for each instrument, you could put each into a different collection (new in iBooks v1.2.)

    8 iReal book player and iBooks
    Using multitasking,
    -in iBooks select your PDF composite document
    -locate the song so it is ready to view
    -in iReal book select song
    -set Player at 2 bars count
    -press play
    -switch back to iBooks.

    If playing live you would want to check Player settings (audio count in off, volumes of the instruments, reverb.)

    ref: based on
    iBooks v1.2
    iOS 4.2 (multitasking available on recent iOS devices including iPad)
    Adobe Acrobat Professional v8
    Last edited by dflat; 12-15-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Updated to iBooks v1.2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Other PDF viewing music apps

    The iTunes iOS app store has a number of PDF viewing apps for musicians. Most are for the iPad only and designed to work specifically for music notation. They are all in their infancy and many (what might be) essential features seem to be lacking. Hopefully by next year, they would all have gained maturity.

    Here is a list of some:
    forScore (see next post)
    unreal book
    Deep Dish Gigbook
    PDF sheet music reader
    Medley: Music score reader
    Next Page
    Scorecerer (a companion Windows and Mac version available)

    Some of their features: (not all)
    -'hot points' where you tap a specific location and another page location quickly appears (D.C., D.S., or page turns, repeats etc.)
    -notes layer (for fingering, bow markings, making notes, highlight markers, 'erasing' parts of the original score, annotations etc.)
    -various ways of organizing any combination of the scores (title index, set lists (for a gig list or practice charts,) collections, keywords, difficulty rating, composer etc.)
    -automatic sort by composer, genre, keyword, title
    -zoom settings to eliminate large margins of white space (often necessary with scanned music)
    -coupling a score with an audio file
    -adding in complete PDF documents
    -adding in separate PDF files for each tune

    Unlike iBooks (see a previous post) you do not have to composite the PDF pages into a single document (although some allow multi-paged documents, keeping them intact for searching.)

    In most of these apps, adding additional tunes is easy, just drag more PDFs to that app in iTunes or email and "Open in…" to import. (No need to merge with the original composite document, create their bookmarks and reorder everything.)

    The table of contents (index) is constructed using each PDF filename, so no bookmarking (as in iBooks) is necessary although some apps allow for further bookmarking (used for example in a multipage document with a number of pages and different tunes that need indexing.)

    I hope to post a report on one or two of these apps in the future.
    Last edited by dflat; 01-27-2011 at 03:49 PM. Reason: updated list of PDF apps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default forScore - PDF music viewer app

    I have been checking out forScore and thought I would share some of its features with you, relating it to iReal book users needing music notation, melody, lyrics etc. while our Player is running in the background.
    (Just to make it clear, I am only an end-user of forScore, not part of their development team. And as in previous posts, this is only one of a number of PDF music viewers available.)

    forScore is one of a number of PDF readers for iPad, designed specifically for musicians. It is ideal for scanned music such as pages from your Real books (or classical music.) It imports single and multi-paged PDF files. The file name is used in the title index. Certain PDF information embedded in the file can optionally be imported (corresponding to title, composer, genre) or you can manually tag for perhaps, bossa, latin, Eb transpose or waltz for instance. Score menu indexes for title, composer and genre are dynamically generated. Search within them or a search for keyword - Eb could bring up your charts for alto sax for example.

    As with iReal book's playlists, 'Setlists' are used to group pieces together for your gigs or different bands.

    Swipes or taps are used to turn pages (or half-page turns, where it 'tears off' half of the two pages so you can visually scan where you are coming from and going to) and tapping Links are used to jump to/from repeats, DC or DS. In multi-paged PDFs, Skip-to-page using Page Peek shows thumbnails of each page as you navigate (drag along) through the document to find a particular page or for ideas for the next tune to play.

    Bookmarks are useful where several pieces are in one PDF, then listing each piece in the title index (and bookmark menu.)

    Each page (or bookmarked section) can store its own margin adjustment zoom to eliminate any large white margins surrounding your chart. Pages can be viewed in landscape or portrait.

    Music binding links an audio track from your iPod app to a piece in forScore. It could be used to provide a backing while you view/play.
    (And no, it does not work with iReal book player in this way. To do this, you could record the audio from the Player and add to your music in iPod app.)

    Annotations are made on a layer on top of the music (so they can be deleted or edited if necessary in the future.) This includes hand drawing, highlighting, stamps - musical notation symbols for fingering, accidentals, mordents, bowing marks, 8va etc. (or make your own.) For music on white paper, an eraser is also supplied (non-destructive of course.)

    Other options include a metronome (optionally providing automatic page turns after calculating beats), sending pages to other forScore users, back-up options.

    Recent iOS models with multitasking can run iReal Book's player in the background while viewing PDFs in forScore (and similar apps.)
    See a previous post in this thread about using iBooks for PDF viewing as an alternative.

    Ref: forScore v2.3.3

    -----Sept 2011------
    forscore: Darkroom
    an app used in conjunction with forscore, used for taking photos of sheet music (etc.), optimizing it, then turning it into a PDF, add metadata, then import to forscore.

    forscore v3 (released July 2011)

    to import a chart from iReal b, from Song view>Send (icon with arrow)>PDF ... Open in .... forscore. It will import into forscore directly! Quick and easy.
    (The title of the song (iReal b>Song edit) is used as the title in forscore.)

    ---UPDATE 2014---
    forscore now allows audio file import into itself (instead of into the iOS music app), you can link any PDF to an audio track, and automate page turns at specific places along the track.
    Last edited by dflat; 06-08-2014 at 06:02 AM. Reason: 2014 update infomation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default The Digital Real book - Sher music

    Just released from Sher Music (publisher of some of our 'must-have' real books) is their Digital Real book series.
    Their system works with Freehand systems' app for iPad (so no other music PDF viewing app is necessary.)

    Note that our iReal book charts are not direct copies of Sher's real books, so you may need to create your own iReal book charts to match theirs if you are using our Player function with their charts.

    (I have nothing to do with Sher music other than as an owner of many of their real books.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default PDF piracy

    An article by Chuck Sher (Sher music co.) regarding PDF piracy and comments from readers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010



    How can I multitask plaiyng through IK Multimedia's amplitube and listening to chart through irealb simultaneously?


  8. #8


    This multitasking thread is about listening to the irb player and viewing a different app.

    I wish I could do the opposite on my iPad (1) v5.0.1
    Is there a way I could easily listen to a YouTube AND view and follow the irb chart while the YouTube app plays or a YouTube page runs in the Safari browser?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by pdxdjazz View Post
    This multitasking thread is about listening to the irb player and viewing a different app.

    I wish I could do the opposite on my iPad (1) v5.0.1
    Is there a way I could easily listen to a YouTube AND view and follow the irb chart while the YouTube app plays or a YouTube page runs in the Safari browser?
    iOS - as far as I know, Safari does not provide background audio. There might be a YouTube app that does this, although it would not be something they would ordinarily consider since they are assuming you would want to both listen and watch the YouTube clip.
    If you have two devices, it is easy

    (On a Mac running iReal b you could do it of course.)

  10. #10


    Sure there are workarounds (2 devices etc.) I've been doing that. I'm just lazy... and somewhat spontaneous.
    Thanks for your reply.

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