computers · jazz

How the iPad could be useful for musicians

Steve Jobs and the Apple iPad

When Steve Jobs announced the Apple iPad on Wednesday I immediately began thinking about alternative uses for the device. It’s expensive as a consumer device, although not much more than a Kindle DX, but the 1024 X 768 pixel screen fascinated me.

There are already a number of recording apps on the iPhone, and some are quite good. There are even four-track recorders. This device has enough screen space for a real digital audio workstation, albeit scaled-down from what you would get in Pro Tools. It certainly can be as good or better than any digital recording software of, say, 10 years ago…and probably priced much lower.

But it could be a killer for the Freehand MusicPad, which is a dedicated digital sheet music display. Anything that can be in print can be displayed on this device, and that includes music notation. How about all the Real Books in one file?

I would expect that a page-turning switch, using a dock connector, would be an easy device to create. The iPad is a little smaller than the MusicPad, but it can be used for many other things as well. To me it’s a no-brainer.

Hmmm. Maybe I should talk to some company about this…

And then there’s stuff like a classroom set of these that do multimedia teaching of the history of music, or of jazz, or Broadway, or…anything. I think the folks who see this only as a giant iPod touch that people use to read books on airplanes are sadly missing the point.

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