Thursday, June 23, 2011

iPad Mega-Update part 3: General Music Apps

Edited 6/15/13: I see these posts are still getting a lot of traffic, two years later! Much of this info is outdated. However, I am working on updating my iPad app pages for 2013! I'll post to my blog as updates are completed, or you can check the page directly.

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  • ForScore: ForScore is my favorite sheet music library/reader app. ForScore came out shortly after the iPad was released, and the developers have released frequent updates that have turned into a huge, highly functional feature set. ForScore stores an unlimited number of PDF's, and has many ways to organize your music, a large downloadable library of mostly piano music, the ability to browse and download other scores within the app, page-turn customization including links for repeats, setlists, and fantastic annotation capabilities. An essential app for musicians!
A piece displayed in ForScore.
 
ForScore with the menu bar showing.
 
  • Note Goal Pro: So far, I'm not very happy with the selection of developmentally-appropriate music theory apps for kids. Note Goal Pro is good for what it does, however. Like most of the beginner-level theory apps, it is piano-based. However, with the option to put letter names on the keys, it can be used as a basic note-reading quiz app for children learning other instruments. It has a customizable interface, adjustable levels, achievements, and the ability to save multiple users' data so that students can save their progress.

 

Note Goal Pro's default display.

 
Note colors and names turned on.
  • Padrucci: I'm cheating a bit here, as this is the only app in this list that I do not yet own. It just came out on June 5, and it looks great–I'll be purchasing it soon and will publish an update. Padrucci is a dedicated app for browsing the Petrucci Music Library (imslp.org), an enormous online database of public domain music that is a great source for music reader apps such as ForScore.
  • Pandora: Pandora is one of those apps I love to share with folks who are suspicious of the whole technology revolution. Type in your favorite artist, composer, song, or genre, and Pandora will instantly create a streaming radio station that plays music of that artist/composer and music like it, gradually expanding its scope to introduce you to new songs and artists. You can bookmark songs, artists, or albums, link directly to iTunes, and give thumbs up/thumbs down to songs. The more you use the thumb feature, the smarter your station gets about choosing songs you like. Pandora is free, and therefore ad-supported, but the occasional ads are short and nothing compared to FM radio ads.
Pandora on the Wailin' Jennys channel
  • SoundCloud: Soundcloud is a cloud sharing service for music and other audio, allowing you to safely store and share your own audio files, and browse sounds from all over the world. The SoundCloud app is currently only available as an iPhone app, but it works fine on the iPad. You can record straight into the app, browse, add favorites, and share with other services through this easy-to-use app.

  • SoundHound: Soundhound is another one of those apps that feels like it's straight off of Star Trek. SoundHound listens to your music, whether a song on the radio or your own voice humming, and quickly and quite accurately identifies the song and gives you tons of information about it, including artist info, lyrics, etc. It's getting more features all the time!

 

 

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