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Old November 25th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Any musicians out there?

So I'm pretty torn right now between the transformer prime and the ipad 2. I'd be all for the prime if it weren't for all the great looking apps for musicians the ipad offers. I've been wanting to get a tablet for a while, and whats finally tipped the balance is my sheet music collection, even after organizing and filling in three binders, has simply gotten ridiculous to keep in its current state, so a digital alternative seems to be necessary. Anyways, my question is are there any musicians out there who've had experience with android tablets (and ideally an ipad too) and for those, what sort of app support is there. If it weren't for this I'd go for the transformer prime in a heartbeat, I've been drooling over ics for a while now (even had the emulator running on my computer the day the sdk was released), I love the customization and freedom android brings, and there are some parts of iOS that I can barely stand, so I'm really hoping the ipad isn't at too great an advantage when it comes to musicians apps. To be more specific into the kind of apps, I'm looking for something for viewing scores, something for arranging scores, and something to edit midi based recordings, and possibly using whatever tablet I get as a way to interface with DAW software, but I'm not sure how supported that is. My setup is pretty simple, just a midi keyboard, but I occasionally do work with much nicer equipment at my school (real mics, a yamaha baby grand, the whole nine yards) and it'd be nice to do some quick and dirty mixing of the recordings I do there on the go. Again, I feel like I'm moving out of the realm of the doable, but I figure its worth mentioning just in case. Well, I think thats long enough. Thanks in advance, and much more will follow any help offered. And thanks for taking the time to read this, it certainly ended up longer than I expected.

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Old November 25th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you find the ipad apps MUCH more refined -- However there are some strong up and coming contenders now on Android, and I think the devices will be mostly equal soon (with regards to music apps)

Here are some threads that might help:

(old) Looking for a music app

Android App Controlling External Midi Instruments

Idea for a Sheet Music Reader App... Need Advice!!

Pro Audio software for Android

external links:

MIDI over Bluetooth, Part I: Hardware

The Missing Link : Jabrudian Industries LLC

Golden Age of Wireless: Korg iOS Sync, Android + MIDI Hardware, Enter Bluetooth MIDI?
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Old November 26th, 2011, 03:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you very much, this is immensely helpful. I have just a few more questions. By refined do you mean how nice looking the apps are, or how stable, or what functionality they offer, or something else or in between. Also, when do you expect the devices to be mostly equal. Lastly, are there any particular areas where either OS's music apps excel or have a clear advantage. Also, if it changes anything, all my home mixing is currently done on a macbook in garageband, and my school is pretty exclusively mac based, and uses pro tools in their studio. Again, I can't thank you enough, this is really very helpful. You may have saved me from buying an ipad
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Old November 26th, 2011, 05:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We developers work with Android SDK. If the SDK expose more API that are very music focused like what you want, then of cuz we can build the apps. Without API, most app developers has to build their own solution which for some are pretty successful but all may go to waste once Android later version come out with official API for that.

Another hurdle would be hardware. It seems to get the best of music features, the hardware come into the picture. Since Android does not mandate any hardware, it is hard for a API to make full use of certain hardware music features. This will not be the case for iPhone/iPad since the hardware is fixed in advance and apple can tune to the best in your case music features.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by modster View Post
Thank you very much, this is immensely helpful. I have just a few more questions. By refined do you mean how nice looking the apps are, or how stable, or what functionality they offer, or something else or in between. Also, when do you expect the devices to be mostly equal. Lastly, are there any particular areas where either OS's music apps excel or have a clear advantage. Also, if it changes anything, all my home mixing is currently done on a macbook in garageband, and my school is pretty exclusively mac based, and uses pro tools in their studio. Again, I can't thank you enough, this is really very helpful. You may have saved me from buying an ipad

By refined I mean overall -- iOS has just had more native code for it for longer. And given the stability of the platform it was an obvious choice for music apps.

However, since Honeycomb was released (Android 3), the Android tablets have been looking much better. People have successfully ported things like FFMPEG to Android so I'd say we're getting there nowadays.

The Toshiba Thrive and Asus transformer look like good bets for strong, versatile tablets.

The Toshiba Prime (I think it's called) is coming out soon and also looks awesome.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I couldn't find a toshiba prime, if you mean the transformer prime that is the one I'm planning on getting. So would you say that android may be more limited now in terms of apps but is the more future-proof platform.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah yes transformer prime, sorry about that. But yeah I'd say that's a fair assessment. Adroid Hardware and software caught up to the ipad and surpassed it in some ways in the past year and thus the devs are just beginning to work on it.

I really think the truly awesome part is having so many ametuer musician/devs starting to crank wacky cool stuff out.

Whereas on in iPad, you might see apps right now from Korg or Akai or similar large music companies, those will eventually come to Android.

But the one edge Android has now, is these brilliant independent devs (like the guy creating bluetooth midi in an article I linked above). That's where the real innovation happens imho
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Old November 26th, 2011, 09:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome, thank you very much for your help. You guys here are the best. Transformer prime it is.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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edit: OP, a simple google search brought me to these two iPad apps
iGigBook Sheet Music Manager - Does what no paper gigbook can ever do. for iPad on the iTunes App Store
Perform Pro? - PDF Sheet Music Reader with Autoscroll, Metronome, and Recorder for iPad on the iTunes App Store
my apologies if you have seem em already!

I've been having the same (or quite similar) dilemma as you. I'm a pretty "involved" hobbyist (I'm not advanced) and was looking for a great tablet to suit my needs of creation/brainstorming/live play/etc between the Prime (or any Android tablet mostly..) and iPad 2.

My 2cents (being an iPad user from first generation - no i dont have that ipad anymore) would say that the iPad is a better tool for a musicians needs (though it also could depend on the musician I guess). Not to compare sharply, the music/creative app stuff seem to be well integrated and seamless on Apple's iPad (or OSX). I agree with more refined as mentioned earlier. What I'm talking about is the great apps like Final Cut/Logic/Garageband. It is a preference.. not going to argue that. But the way something like Garageband makes it easy (among other available iOS creation stuff), and the availability of even more and more music creation apps coming on iPad2/3 (not to mention a good head start over Android) will continue to integrate quite well on Apple's "single" product line iPad..

I am hoping the Android tablets will keep growing with quality music apps for musicians soon.. but imho it will take some serious time for that to happen (as in close to the end of next year maybe).. those Android tablets are still evolving too so I'm looking away from the prime also since I know something much more "cool" will be announced or be available early next year (you know.. aside from just all specs vs Transformer 1). Hope android can match iPad's level but it's set pretty high now honestly..

I get my Android fix on my phone for now, maybe I'll wait for an Android computer LOL. For now an iPad will have it's use
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