Mudcat Café message #3294168 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142801   Message #3294168
Posted By: Mark Clark
21-Jan-12 - 09:05 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Do I Want a Tablet?
Subject: RE: Tech: Do I Want a Tablet?
Joe, I can't remember whether or not I've talked about my computing background here in the past but I was a computer professional for more than thirty-five years. During that time I developed software, performed consulting services to large companies, ran IT groups and worked at both the technical and managerial levels on hardware from the largest mainframe installations to the smallest mini and micro computers. During that time I've also been a musician and often a working one. I have deep experience with both Windows and Unix/Linux as well as NeXTSTEP and OS X. I know there are quite a few 'Catters with similar experience but since I"m answering your question I though I might share some credentials. I've met very few professionals that can match my depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. I don't mean to be bragging, I'm just old and have been around many blocks.

  1. No tablet is going to completely replace a notebook or desktop computer. If you're looking for a single computing device, a tablet isn't going to fill the bill. A tablet is intended as a media consumption device and while the iPad is by far the best at this it's still a media consumption device.

  2. Advertising claims and buyer loyalty aside, there is really only one tablet worthy of consideration and that is the Apple iPad. You will love the user experience and the apps available for musicians like us (Mudcatters) is outstanding.

  3. The iPad's operating system (iOS) no longer forces you to sync the device through iTunes but you'll still find it advantageous to do that. Some people seem to have an emotional resistance to using iTunes and if you're one of these then my advice is to buy a newer more portable notebook computer and call it done. I can find no technical or personal reasons for wanting to avoid iTunes but for some, it remains an issue.

  4. If think you might want to use an iPad for serious input like writing, entering lyrics, etc., you can pick up an Apple wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard that works very nicely with the iPad. There are also some iPad stands/cases that include a keyboard. The addition of a physical keyboard brings an iPad pretty close to replacing a notebook. I no longer take a notebook with me on most trips since the iPad provides all the information and communication I would use my notebook for. Of course I'm writing this from home and using my notebook, not the iPad.

  5. I mentioned the most important music apps I use In the thread Tech:iPhone vs iPad. Several of those apps might be especially useful to 'Catters.

  6. IK-Multimedia makes an iPad bracket that attaches to a mic stand letting the iPad be easily read during a performance. I don't use any notes or lyrics while performing so I haven't tried this but I know some people regularly perform from books and lyric sheets.

  7. Other devices being sold as tablets have important uses too. I'm thinking particularly of the new Nook Tablet. But if you have in mind using a tablet as a musician's tool, the iPad really has no competition.

As far as the Digital Tradition is concerned, I'd say it's time to develop an iDT for the iOS platform. This will give it a much wider distribution among musicians and likely attract many new people to Mudcat as well. There are iOS database products that would support the load and there are several ABC applications for the iPad that could be linked in to support the audio side of it. Mudcat or Dropbox could be set up as a sharing site for users of iDT and a long life will be assured for all the fantastic work that everyone has done to build the DT.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

      - Mark