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What format are all of your fake books in? What app do you use to manage them on a gig?
The books are in PDF format and I use iGig Book. The guy who created it is sort of a jerk and earlier versions were more of a pain to deal with because while the indexes were there often your version of the fake book didn't perfectly align with the included index. This meant you needed to insert and/or delete pages in the PDF to get the index to line up. I spent about 6 hours doing this with the digital fake books I have so they aligned a bit better making the indexing and search function work easier. I haven't updated the app in years but my understanding is that he now includes a PDF editing tool making this process far easier to manage.

It takes a bit of effort up front but once you get it working it's really nice. Someone calls a tune, you type the first few letters into the search function and the app finds it. If none of the fake books you have uploaded include the tune, the app still finds it but it is grayed-out so you know what book it would be in if you had it.

Most of the guys I play with still just use a standard PDF reader but if someone calls a tune that they don't regularly play and have book marked a great deal of hunting through multiple books and tedious scrolling ensues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thing has to have back lighting or it's not even an option for real gigging.
I hear you, but remember how we did gigs before tablets were invented (not so long ago)? Back then we had paper and light over the stand. e-ink is very reflective, like paper. It's not like a LCD display with brightness turned down.

In any case, there are e-ink tables with front light illumination out there too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
What format are all of your fake books in? What app do you use to manage them on a gig?
Everything I have is in pdf. RealBooks, Method books, Magazines, my own sheet music that I create on the computer and export in pdf.

Quaderno doesn't have a particular app for this. It just uses a standard folders directory (as we have on computers) and it has a simple pdf reader with stylus annotation capability. It's really simple. It allows you to also create your own notes over templates, which include staff paper, or custom templates you may create.
 

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An actual music reading app has many more features than a simple pdf reader app. There's no way I could manage the several thousand tunes and dozens of fake books I have on my tablet with a simple pdf reader. I use mine in 5 bands on different instruments, each with a library of hundreds of charts.
... Wait a minute. You mean there's something out there I can use to view my sheet music PDFs other than Adobe Reader? I feel like I should have known this! I guess I'll go hunt for that, but if anyone wants to clue me in I'd be grateful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I've been using the Lenovo version of a "Surface" tablet for years ($250), and an Android tablet ($100) for years before that, and an iPad (big bucks) before that. But unlike these new e-ink options, they're unreadable in full sun. I've had a couple of outdoor gigs where I couldn't read my tablet at all and had to go back to paper. An affordable, large e-ink tablet like the Fujitsu would be perfect if it could run the apps I normally use.
That the exact reason I really like e-ink for sheet music. Backlit LCD in the summer under the sun become very hard to read. e-ink actually works best the more light shines on it.

On the reverse in a dark environment you can always add light to it, like we did when we used paper. Its contrast is so good that it is actually very readable even under dim ambient light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
... Wait a minute. You mean there's something out there I can use to view my sheet music PDFs other than Adobe Reader? I feel like I should have known this! I guess I'll go hunt for that, but if anyone wants to clue me in I'd be grateful!
There are plenty of options. On iPad I love GoodReader which is actually very similar to the capabilities of this Quaderno device. You store files in folders tree and it lets you annotate them with the pencil. It has other nice settings too, like viewing 2 pages side by side in landscape, it lets you offset those pages by 1 so the beginning of the song is always on the left, and more.

There are other pdf reader apps even more sophisticate with more features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
One comment on the price. In my search I found 2 major online e-readers seller for the US market that sell the Quaderno (and many other brands): "g o o d e r e a d e r.com" and "f i n d e r e a d e r.com" , but their mark-ups are absurd for the near zero value they add to the purchase. Their price with shipping is upwards of 20% higher than what you pay if you order directly from Japan.

I found this company "f r o m j a p a n.co.jp" that facilitates shipping anything from Japan with no price markups. You just pay for handling and shipping, which I think was something like $36 for this. It was a bit nerve wracking dealing with websites in Japanese and not knowing that I'd receive the product in good shape, but the transaction went very smooth with great status communication all along. It was actually surprisingly easy. If you decide to use them, do it at your own risk. This was my choice.
 

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I find my 10.5 in Samsung Galaxy tablet with MobilesheetsPro works well, but there is room for improvement. My ideal tool, which I haven't found, would have these features:
  • A4 screen size
  • e-reader non-glare screen (since Covid most of my gigs are outdoors and glare has been an issue)
  • backlighting option
  • ability to add 3rd party app for organizing sheet music. I used plain pdfs for years, but MobilesheetsPro has been a time saver for creating setlists and organizing by band.
  • no more than $500 (even that is a lot for something just to read sheet music)
Note-taking functions and pen are not important, I prefer typed notes for legibility. So far I haven't found this combination of features, or at least at an affordable price point. Thanks for the Quaderno review. It looks like a step in the right direction, but for now I'll keep waiting and hoping for my ideal to come along.
 

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I find my 10.5 in Samsung Galaxy tablet with MobilesheetsPro works well, but there is room for improvement. My ideal tool, which I haven't found, would have these features:
  • A4 screen size
  • e-reader non-glare screen (since Covid most of my gigs are outdoors and glare has been an issue)
  • backlighting option
  • ability to add 3rd party app for organizing sheet music. I used plain pdfs for years, but MobilesheetsPro has been a time saver for creating setlists and organizing by band.
  • no more than $500 (even that is a lot for something just to read sheet music)
Note-taking functions and pen are not important, I prefer typed notes for legibility. So far I haven't found this combination of features, or at least at an affordable price point. Thanks for the Quaderno review. It looks like a step in the right direction, but for now I'll keep waiting and hoping for my ideal to come along.
FWIW, it looks like versions of the 10.3" BOOX Note e-ink device that I referenced earlier are available for under $500. They also have built-in lighting and run Android10, so you should be able to use most Android apps on it.

It's not quite A4 size, but neither is your Samsung Galaxy Tab.

I agree that it's a shame that these devices tend to be so expensive. I'm guessing that its because of their specialized nature and low sales volume.
 

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FWIW, it looks like versions of the 10.3" BOOX Note e-ink device that I referenced earlier are available for under $500. They also have built-in lighting and run Android10, so you should be able to use most Android apps on it.

It's not quite A4 size, but neither is your Samsung Galaxy Tab.

I agree that it's a shame that these devices tend to be so expensive. I'm guessing that its because of their specialized nature and low sales volume.
Thanks, that's sounds really close. Maybe I won't have to wait much longer for my ideal.
 

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I've had my e-ink Kindle for many years and I love it. The best part of it is the backlight. I don't think I'd buy a device like yours without the backlight. My Kindle lasts three weeks on a charge whether I use the backlight or not. I use it every day and have for about 6 years now. Last time I looked my account had over 500 books on it. Between me and the wife we read a lot, haha, to say the least. Anyway, my point is if I were in the market for something to read music on a stand like you I think I'd find one with a backlight.
 

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I've had my e-ink Kindle for many years and I love it. The best part of it is the backlight. I don't think I'd buy a device like yours without the backlight. My Kindle lasts three weeks on a charge whether I use the backlight or not. I use it every day and have for about 6 years now. Last time I looked my account had over 500 books on it. Between me and the wife we read a lot, haha, to say the least. Anyway, my point is if I were in the market for something to read music on a stand like you I think I'd find one with a backlight.
Agree.

Minor quibble/clarification though. The Kindle readers, like all lighted e-ink devices, use "front lights" not "backlights". It's part of the nature of the technology that they use reflected light from the front rather than backlighting like LCD screens do.
 

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I have dreamed of an e-ink reader for sheet music for a long time, but the prices have been really high and I always get spooked by the fear that, having spent a great deal of money on one, I'll be left stranded in a few years when it isn't compatible with anything I would want to plug it into.

This Quaderno looks really damn close to what I would want it to do. I wonder how easy it would be to root and reinstall a more generic version of Android so that I could do whatever I wanted with it. My initial read is that it has the hardware it would need to connect to a bluetooth "keyboard" (aka foot pedal) and run a sheet music app of some variety. Frustrating that the stock install is so limited that I would feel the need to go this route even though I literally just want this for a single, specialized purpose.

I see that Goodereader has an "unlock" option to run full Android, but they charge $300 for that. I wouldn't pay them that. I could figure it out myself, but that would be an expensive experiment. I might do it eventually.

I finally got a tablet holder attachment for my Peak music stand and have been reading more and more off of my iPad from a few years back. It works, but is not ideal, since battery life is not amazing, the screen is small, the glass is reflective and the backlit screen, to me, is nowhere near as nice for reading in black and white as the e-ink on my cheapo kindle paperwhite. Plus, it being a whole computer with internet access is not always conducive to good practicing...

My outlandish fantasy is a music stand with an e-ink screen the size of two pages of an orchestral folio part instead of a tray, with an included pencil for marking up. But that's many years away, I suspect. Device manufacturers will have to figure out the folding screen thing really well and then the cost of screens will have to come down a lot. I could see the screen being presented as maybe a newspaper reader or something, then I could attach it to a tripod-type stand. Once something like that exists, though, I can imagine it would be a godsend for orchestra managers.

But I'll take an A4 tablet for now!
 

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My outlandish fantasy is a music stand with an e-ink screen the size of two pages of an orchestral folio part instead of a tray, with an included pencil for marking up. But that's many years away, I suspect. Device manufacturers will have to figure out the folding screen thing really well and then the cost of screens will have to come down a lot. I could see the screen being presented as maybe a newspaper reader or something, then I could attach it to a tripod-type stand. Once something like that exists, though, I can imagine it would be a godsend for orchestra managers.
It's not outlandish, it's available now in the Gvido that @Hassles referenced earlier in this thread. It's just ridiculously expensive.
 

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oh, I should read better! That's expensive enough that's an outlandish fantasy for me.

My dream would be a continuous screen for whatever reason, but I guess that's not really practically any different. Just prettier. I think the ideal would be one where each of the two screens is in two segments that fold like the current crop of folding smartphones and tablets (continuous screen across the crease). I haven't seen an e-ink screen that does that yet, nor am I positive there will be one. I am thinking that would allow it to be integrated into a folding stand (I am thinking of my Peak stand) and made portable.

I imagine the prices will come down on the Gvido and similar readers over the coming years.

Problem (for me) is that it's way too big for situations where the music stand needs to be small and out of the way. I wonder how long it will be before there is a dual page reader that can be split into singles. Or singles that can be hinged together when needed to form a dual reader.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I have dreamed of an e-ink reader for sheet music for a long time, but the prices have been really high and I always get spooked by the fear that, having spent a great deal of money on one, I'll be left stranded in a few years when it isn't compatible with anything I would want to plug it into.
I think exactly like you. That's the reason a decade ago, when I went full digital (I used to carry a briefcase of RealBooks around), I decided to keep it very simple and only rely on the stablished standard format pdf with files stored in generic folders. No dependencies on a particular operating system or apps.

I'm glad I did. After a decade carrying pdfs on my iPad, with lots of hand annotations (again within the pdf standard), now I have full interoperability between that library working on my iPad as well as on this new Android eReader.

I can pull a sheet music on either device, free hand annotate them, erase prior notes. After a brief background sync'ing that happens automatically, the same content shows up on the other device, or even my computer with the same annotations. All organized in the same folders. It's really awesome.

Apps and hardware/software formats obsolescence is one of the major challenges to the future our digital lives.
 

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What format are all of your fake books in? What app do you use to manage them on a gig?
I'll usually just look for stuff I might want to at a gig and screenshot them and make an album of them. I have a fake book search I can use to look for tunes.
 

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For me neither the glare nor the battery power have been an issue. I've played hundreds of gigs with these tablets and only 2-3 that the sun was at such an angle it made reading them difficult. I, and I would suspect most players, play far more gigs in low-light or dark situations than you play in direct sunlight. Having to remember to bring a stand light would defeat the purpose of having a lightweight cheap e-reader. Thing has to have back lighting or it's not even an option for real gigging.
I agree, I'm on an ipad and the backlight is a big plus that I wouldn't be willing to give up. Also, in most small groups settings, stands don't look great on stage (in my opinion), while a tablet clipped onto your mic stand is pretty unobtrusive, so needing to set up the tablet on a music stand with a stand light would defeat part of the purpose for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
If you must have light and want to install apps, the BOOX Max Lumi could be a good option, albeit heavier, thicker and more expensive, with an inferior display. The Quaderno display has not only 10% higher resolution, but a newer technology that enables faster page turning.

A few relevant comparative specs on the BOOX vs Quaderno:

7.9 vs 5.9 mm thick
570 vs 261 grams
207 vs 227 pixels-per-inch
front-lit vs no-light
Approx $910 vs $660 shipped to US
both run Android 10, but the Quaderno doesn't allow apps installation natively

It really depends on what's most important to you.
 
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