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Picture of Mike in Texas
posted
Lyrics On A Tablet PC:

Friends, etc -

Several have asked for details about the tablet PC I have been using for song lyrics. IF you decide that using lyrics while performing IS for you, then this may be helpful - it certainly works for me, and represents what I've learned from several false starts using other equipment.

Hope this is of value...

FUJITSU T-1010 Lifebook
13.3 inch touch screen (finger, as well as stylus)
2.1 gig dual processor, 2 gig memory
160 gig hard drive, DVD Writer
Wireless network card, bluetooth capable
Vista Home Premium

I went ahead and loaded my "business copy" of Office 2007, mainly to be consistent with what I use every day.

I also downloaded and use (while performing) the Word Reader (similar to Adobe PDF Reader). It has a great display mode with absolutely NO toolbars etc and maximizes the usable screen space, no Windows Title Bar even - it's very good. The Reader also auto-magically sizes your document to fit the screen.

My "song list" screen is actually just a Windows directory list, using the Large Icon View with details because the resulting display is easiest for me to work with and select with my finger. I also have it set to "one click" to open, which I always do anyway, so I don't have to double-click - seems more logical to me.

So, at my gigs - the rig sits to my right, with the song list screen on all the time. I decide on a song, touch the title (or icon) once with my finger and the lyric sheet pops up. When I'm done, I close the song by touching a button, and I'm back to the list. Sometimes I do two or three tunes in a row that I need lyrics for, and I open the three up in reverse order, close each when I'm done and the next one is there.

One thing – in using the Word Reader to display, withOUT the Title Bar – there’s also no “X” box in the corner to close the sheet when you’re done. There are 4 little buttons you can program, and the best I could do was assign “Close” to one of the buttons - have to touch it TWICE to close… it’s still ok.

{ The Good Mr. Munch has been using HIS laptop on stage for many years, with great success, and prefers "normal PC mode" because he likes to type a letter or two of the title and select that way. Won't argue with success! }

It is convenient for me at gigs to plug it in while playing - it's a little brighter and I don't have to worry about the battery dying.

I already had all my songs formatted (in Word) for a single printed page. This thing, when in tablet mode, is almost exactly the same size, so I did not have to completely re-vamp my sheets. I have about 50 that I use regularly, and 100-plus more. I received the thing on a Friday and used it at my Saturday gig - it was very cool.

I also found a music stand that is the exact size of the tablet, 12 tall by 9 wide, which is nice, and less visible, more low key.

As I've used it for a couple of months now, I have gone in and adjusted a number of sheets to "display better". I use colors to distinguish verses, choruses and bridges, chords, other little things like that. I also have a couple of sheets that for various reasons I scanned a handwritten page into Word. I've also found that you can set paper size to ridiculous larger dimensions, like 12 by 18, etc - to accommodate songs with LOTS of lyrics, and the Word Reader adjusts them to screen space very well. So, NO scrolling! Which is very cool...

I had tried the 8 or 9 inch screen tablets, but they just didn't allow enough screen space without scrolling. This 13-inch tablet / portrait orientation is perfect. And, since it also swivels into "normal notebook" orientation, and has a keyboard and mouse - that's the way I edit the songs and use the internet etc. Very versatile machine - I'm very happy with it.

It was a little over $1,300 bucks - expensive for a music book, but I decided to go ahead, and I'm glad I did - it's convenient, low-profile and professional, and exactly what I'd been scheming in my head for several years. You CAN find them for less on eBay - I wanted a new one with warranty and latest OS, AND I wanted to be able to return it (Fujitsu Direct) if it didn't suit me.

Yet, I have not added a song at a gig on break, probably will someday, but I HAVE added a song in the afternoon, just a couple of hours before playing it for the first time. This, I like a LOT!
I made the move to a tablet myself mainly because my number of sheets was growing and finding the one I needed was becoming unwieldy and not fast enough. My book wasn't 100% alphabetical, partly on purpose to group certain songs together, and it started taking too dang long to find the song I wanted.

The computer is much better. I also like having a "real computer" better than I think I would like one of those Freehand MusicPad dedicated tablets - I can control what's displayed much better, and didn't have to learn a whole new system.

I was ready to try a Mac for this, surprisingly, BUT my gut told me that the portrait orientation of a tablet and finger touch screen was the only thing I'd be truly satisfied with, and that eliminated Apple. Also eliminated the otherwise very cool Motion Computing true tablet (thinner with no keyboard or mouse) - they only work with a pen stylus, and I didn't want to be reaching for and dropping and losing that thing while I should be playing guitar! My finger generally stays attached. I had tried their smaller one - need to sell it now.

I intend to put a "Gear Page" on my web site, and I'll include the tablet for sure.

Thanks for asking, and any more questions just fire away!

Best, Mike

Here's the pics:

Lyrics On A Tablet PC
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Roy
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Thanks Mike - That is some great info. I am having the same problem of the note book getting out of hand. I like the looks of this and it could work out nice for my needs. Thanks for the pictures. That's what I like about this community. We share the knowledge we have. Thanks Again Mike.
 
Posts: 958 | Location: Savannah, GA. | Registered: Thu July 26 2007Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of ST
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Thanks Mike,

Great description and pictures.

I'm using my Tablet PC for lyrics too. Not all the time, but when I do I'm using a Motion LE1600 slate even though it does not have touch screen. I've got a couple of convertibles like yours with touch/pen screens too, but I like the slimmer slate on stage even though I have to use the pen. It's a lot lighter so I can mount it right on the microphone stand if I want.

I'm using Microsoft OneNote for the software side of things. I find the 'tabs' approach to organization works well for me. My set lists are links to the individual pages I need. I can access the set lists from anywhere by tapping the tab. Works for me. Quite often I'll do the lyrics in ink. No one else can read them but they are better memory triggers for me if they are hand written. Another nice thing about OneNote is that is automatically synchronizes live in real time with all instances of the files I'm using. This is perfect for me because I've got several machines. (Performance machine, rehearsal machine, desktop) and if I add files, or make edits, they are always sync'd up as long as they are attached to my network. Even if they aren't, (e.g. take the performance machine to a gig, add a song, add annotations, edit set list), as soon as I connect again, all the machines are sync'd up.
 
Posts: 38890 | Location: Canada (Vancouver) | Registered: Sat June 12 2004Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Drumr
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Pretty convincing reason to go touch screen Mike.
I've been holding out on my next laptop, for something that is *just right*.

thanks!
 
Posts: 4670 | Location: Central Illinois | Registered: Wed August 25 2004Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Joelheck
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quote:
Several have asked for details about the tablet PC I have been using for song lyrics


Hi Mike,

Have you played outdoors with your Fujitsu Tablet yet?

I do about 80 % of my gig's outdoors and my HP TX2000 tablet is tough with the reflections. I had an old Toshiba, with the mat finish that behaved a bit better. The HP is great if you want to see your reflection in the screen, instead of the contents.

Even a sun shield shroud around it does not help much. I also tried one of the 3M privacy filters, it cut some of the glare, but was still hard to get enough brightness. So far that's the big downside for outdoor gigs. I usually have to find a shady spot or Lani area to set up at.

Inside it works great.

BTW, a very nice free program is Digital Fake Book
 
Posts: 989 | Location: The Villages, Florida | Registered: Tue July 17 2007Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of ST
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Hi Joel,

I really like the TX series of HP Tablet PCs. Small, light, lots of horsepower. The only reason I don't own one is the glossy screen. I wish I could offer a solution to that.

The Motion Tablet PCs are available with several screen options including something they call "View Anywhere". I can see and read mine just about anywhere, including direct sunlight. Mind you, I tend to avoid direct sunlight, but I have tested the machine and it works fine.
 
Posts: 38890 | Location: Canada (Vancouver) | Registered: Sat June 12 2004Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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Fellas,

I'm very happy this is of interest to you.

I enjoy and appreciate hearing others' thoughts and methods. And LEARN from them!

Best, Mike
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Tom Munch
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My vote is still for a laptop with a keyboard if you have more songs than will fit on one screen. There are just so many quick ways to access files with the keyboard & shortcuts.

Tom
 
Posts: 3804 | Location: Pueblo West, Colorado | Registered: Wed June 30 2004Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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Hi Tom - I sure agree with you for your 15 gazillion songs! My hope is to keep my primary / active list to a screen full, then sub-folders for the rest...

I appreciate your help and insight in my search - ST's too...

Good weekend - Mike
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
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Great topic. I currently have a big messy notebook that I would love to throw away for a solution similiar to this one.

Is there a Mac solution? I have a Macbook pro and would love to be able to use it for something like this.
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: Sat December 19 2009Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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Hey Strider,

Man, I REALLY wanted to try a Mac for this, but it didn't work out. Mac's coming out with a tablet relatively soon, but the screen won't be big enough for my needs.

BUT, if you can adapt your songs to a horizontal format, your MacBook should work fine. It's pretty simple from a "programming" standpoint - as long as you have a workable screen to display the entries (like a diretory list), and something to display the lyrics (word processor or viewer), that's all you need. I'm a programmer by profession, and real picky about this stuff, but less exacting solutions can be done relatively easily.

Best luck, Mike
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Drumr
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Glass Onion....oh man, I'd love to be in on that one!
So many good songs on that list Mike.
 
Posts: 4670 | Location: Central Illinois | Registered: Wed August 25 2004Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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... told ya bout Strawberry Fields ...

Thanks Pete, I dig my tunes... I have several "new" ones for this Saturday...
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
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Thanks Mike

How do I keep my screen from fading and then going into screensaver mode during my performance?


This has been my problem in practice situations
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: Sat December 19 2009Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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Hi Strider,

I don't know specifics on your Mac, but I bet there's a SETTING somewhere related to Display or Screen, where you can adjust the brightness and control the screensaver...

Good luck, Mike
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of BBB
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Hi I use a MacBookPro 17" with a matte screen. Use Music Reader software which provides a Database and the ability to read PDF's. If you do not want the screensaver to come on or sleep mode, click on the apple logo in the upper left hand corner and select System Preferences. Select ScreenSaver and change it to Never. Then select Energy Saver and turn it to Never. Hope this helps.Brian
 
Posts: 127 | Location: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Tue September 16 2008Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
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Thanks guys. I will go to work on this at once..

We couldn't ask for a better resource than this message board. I have recieved so much great advice here..

Thanks to all!! Smile
 
Posts: 19 | Registered: Sat December 19 2009Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of captbanjo
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Because of input I received directly from this forum, I use the Motion Tablet along with a program called Music Reader. I then attach a foot pedal via a USB to the Tablet. This is called a Foottime and lets you turn pages with a simple foot tap. The Music Reader uses JPG or PDF scanning to input. The beauty of this is I can take tunes straight from my books and scan them in. I prefer to play from memory but there are occasions, such as when I play the classical guitar, where I need to refer to written tablature.

As my wife says, the Bose Forum is bankrupting us... Ah, but the music is flourishing!
 
Posts: 914 | Location: Rhode Island, USA | Registered: Sun December 14 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
Picture of Mike in Texas
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Oh DEAR...

Now I have to check out the iPad...

:-)
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Carrollton, Texas, USA | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
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I'm interested in the iPad, too. Using a 12" powerbook now with a program that displays lyrics on the desktop. I'd love to have the ability to view in landscape mode.

One downer I see with the iPad is no digital audio out. I love the usb interface on the T1.
 
Posts: 90 | Location: Montville, NJ USA | Registered: Fri August 10 2007Reply With QuoteAsk Bose for help
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