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[Q] Android Tablet as Sheet Music Viewer?

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By Zilch, Member on 8th February 2011, 12:20 PM
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I have ordered a Zenithink ZT-180-102A and plan to use it to view sheet music for the band I play in, and turn the pages with a USB foot switch that sends a PgDn key to Acrobat Reader.

Has anyone tried this before? Any gotchas?
  • I would think that the tablet will be (just) big enough to view A4 PDF sheet music at 10.1" (would have preferred slightly bigger)
  • I'm hoping Adobe Acrobat Reader for Android can go full screen and respond to PgDn messages
  • Battery life seems a bit light, but figure I can run it from the power adapter if required
  • Hopefully no outside gigs, as I don't know how well the screen would work in sunlight
  • If I'm reading the foot switch description right, I can configure the key press via the software on a Windows machine, then plug it directly into the Zenithink as a standard HID device. Anyone tried anything like this?
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27th February 2011, 12:23 PM |#2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zilch

I have ordered a Zenithink ZT-180-102A and plan to use it to view sheet music for the band I play in, and turn the pages with a USB foot switch that sends a PgDn key to Acrobat Reader.

Has anyone tried this before? Any gotchas?

  • I would think that the tablet will be (just) big enough to view A4 PDF sheet music at 10.1" (would have preferred slightly bigger)
  • I'm hoping Adobe Acrobat Reader for Android can go full screen and respond to PgDn messages
  • Battery life seems a bit light, but figure I can run it from the power adapter if required
  • Hopefully no outside gigs, as I don't know how well the screen would work in sunlight
  • If I'm reading the foot switch description right, I can configure the key press via the software on a Windows machine, then plug it directly into the Zenithink as a standard HID device. Anyone tried anything like this?

Hi, did you get this set up yet? I was looking at something similar for my band. Does the ZT180 have usb slot in it for the foot switch?
27th February 2011, 05:11 PM |#3  
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Yeah - that particular tablet is pretty iffy in build quality and design. I posted some details on it here.

The main limitation is the screen size for displaying A4/Letter. Since it's a 16:9 (or 16:10?) ratio, you get black bars at the top and bottom if you display the full page, so it's more like A5 size. For most of my music that is readable, but not ideal.

In landscape the size is about right, but you can only see half the page at a time.

The Adobe Reader software lets you do Cntl-N to move to the next page (dunno why PgDn doesn't work). The cheap footswitch I got of eBay works fine (you set it up once with some Windows software and then plug it into the USB port of the tablet)

I've ordered a 3 pedal one to try though, (cheaper than the 2 pedal ones strangely) so I can do Forward/Backwards, a maybe some sort of Scroll with the middle switch if I have it in landscape mode.

A proper A4 one would be nice though. I think I would actually take an eInk based one in preference - if I could find a reasonably priced A4 one - as the battery life would be so much better. Or maybe a Windows tablet so I could also run GuitarRig or similar for FX/MIDI stuff at the same time. Still thinking about it though. Let us know how you go.
26th April 2011, 05:44 AM |#4  
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Any update?
I would love to hear how this is going.

I am planning on getting a tablet for guitar music and would love foot pedal options.

Any suggestions? Tablets, apps, pedals etc...
26th April 2011, 05:50 AM |#5  
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I haven't used it much to be honest. The screen is a bit small, esp at 16:9 ratio for A4/Letter sheet music. The pedal idea works pretty well though, I'm using on my Thinkpad (sitting on it's side on a a music stand) for now.

I'll revisit when some genius invents a tablet which is greater than 10.2", and when a decent build quality model with Gingerbread is out.

I have to admit I'm slightly tempted with the 14" (?) EEE Windows slate that has come out recently. I think it's an i5 or so, and this would allow me to run guitar rig etc while viewing sheet music.
7th August 2011, 11:30 PM |#6  
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I purchased a Viewsonic G tablet for this very same purpose. I can read my music using Adobe in the Portrait mode ok but I would like to put it in landscape mode and use my cicada by page flip foot pedal to do a page up and page down. Have you come across anyone who can remap the keyboard to recognize page up and page down or as you have found out control N for page down.
8th August 2011, 12:33 PM |#7  
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I got my Gtablet a few weeks ago and have been playing with a few apps.

Chord Reader (pretty much just a phone), eSongBook and GuitarTapp

The each have nice features but I really need a combination of the three. I don't own a foot pedal but would like to have that feature and hear how that is working for other people.

Features I would like:
1. Change keys
2. Make setlists
3. Nice, big display

How are people mounting this for a stand? Or do you just set it on a music stand?
8th August 2011, 02:18 PM |#8  
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Best rig would be with a 13 inch macbook I believe. Check out Modbook http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook
23rd November 2011, 07:02 AM |#9  
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New Sheet Music Reader: MobileSheets
For anyone that happens to come to this thread looking for information, I recently released an android sheet music reader app called MobileSheets. It's currently only available for 10'' tablets. The app is designed to let you take images or PDFs you have (either from scanning, taking a picture with the tablet camera, or from files obtained on the internet) and create songs from them. You can organize your library based on album, artist, and genre, and create setlists. It also comes with a built-in metronome, and companion app for your PC. Please check out zubersoft.com/mobilesheets for more information.
23rd November 2011, 12:27 PM |#10  
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One of the best reasons to get a tablet ever! How does the footswitch work?
1st December 2011, 12:52 AM |#11  
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An update is coming out this Sunday, Dec 4th that's going to add support for any bluetooth pedal for hands-free playback. Examples of supported bluetooth pedals include the Cicada PageFlip and the Airturn BT-105. I'm going to start offering a deal soon where if you buy the Airturn BT-105 through a link on zubersoft.com/mobilesheets, you will be given a free copy of the paid version of MobileSheets.

As for how the pedal works, the previously mentioned devices have two pedals. My app supports multiple modes - the default mode is the left pedal goes back one page, the right pedal advances a page. Another mode is the left pedal scrolls the page while the right advances to the next page (great for landscape mode). Once you try hands-free page turning, you will never want to go back

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