iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

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iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by michnet76 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:42 am

Hi all, how has everyone been?

It's been pretty quiet around here of late so figured I'd throw up another completely random topic!!

I took delivery of an Apple iPad yesterday... yes I'm a bit of a nerd Shocked I don't know anyone around this part of the country who has one yet so figured I'd be the first. I've always had a gadget fetish. Never lived a day without a PDA of some description for the past 10 years... imported an iPhone when they first came out in the States etc. and I think a number of people were surprised I never imported the iPad from the US around Easter time too!

It's an awesome little gadget but there's one problem I've come across - for us guitarists the onscreen keyboard is proving rather tricky to use. The screen works by touch, the fleshy part of your skin and it won't work with fingernails or other objects like a stylus. Unfortunately calluses aren't fleshy! When trying to touch type I found myself having to hit a key multiple times and even having to rotated my fingers back a bit to have it register. The keyboard is a little awkward to use to start with so this problem doesn't help any either! I've got a spare bluetooth Apple keyboard I will use with it anyway for those prolonged things I need to work on like this post (yes this is being done on the iPad). Still it's a pain in the backside when out and about and I want to type up something lenghty.

On the positive side, I had already purchased and downloaded a heap of what I thought would be useful apps. I figured I'd share some of them with you guys in case you where thinking of getting one, they're not really music related but for an advanced user they're quite handy;

Pages - Apple's MS Word equiv. I do a bit of public speaking so it's handy for writing up the notes etc...
Keynote - As above for creating the slides - I'm yet to use these in practice so not sure how practical they're gonna be but from my brief fiddling around they look promising.

Air Display - Awesome app, it turns the iPad into a 2nd screen for a desktop Mac. It was one of the deciding factors to get one. When I record I like to have the audio interfaces panel open as well so I can monitor the input levels and adjust the faders on that... but I also like to have Logic in full screen, this way I can now have the interfaces CP sitting on the iPad screen next to the iMac. It works wirelessly via a wifi connection and has a very slight lag but certainly usable. Very handy! I had been looking around for some time for a small 8-10" screen for this very purpose but hadn't found anything till now. I'm not sure if it works with a PC though.

Air Video - I'm a bit of a movie buff... I also rarely watch live TV, instead I download all the shows I want to watch and view them at my leisure. I have about 600Gb of video sitting on an external HDD hooked up the iMac. With this app I can use the iMac as a server and stream the video content to the iPad. The server automatically encodes the DIVX/MKV/whatever file in real time. Over a wifi connection it works great, very smooth and only takes about 5sec for the movie to start... I'm yet to try it over an internet connection or over 3G but I doubt it would be as smooth or might take some time to buffer. Certainly saves space on the iPad not having to store lots of video content on it.

LogMeIn - Really awesome app, but comes at a price ($30+AUD). This app allows me to 'log in' to any desktop computer, mac or pc from the iPad. It brings up the remote computers screen and you can operate it as if you're sitting in front of it. Over a wifi it's pretty smooth, I don't think it transmits peer to peer over the WLAN but still streams it to server somewhere in internet land and then back to the ipad but probably cause it doesn't have to go to another ISP it's a lot faster. When I'm at work it's a bit slower when using my works wifi but still useable. I'm yet to try it on a 3G connection but I'd say it would be much slower again to refresh but in an emergency it would be still get the job done. FWIW, you don't even need to leave the remote computer on, if you have 'wake on lan' set up, the iPad app can prompt the computer to switch on, then wait a couple minutes and log into it. The LogMeIn system even works PC - PC for free, I only had to pay to use the iPad app itself to be able to use it with the iPad, the service is completely free though. This morning I sat in bed for a half hour and operated my iMac; checked email, did some file management etc. Then logged into my work machine at work, opened up a job I'm currently working on, made some changes to it and emailed it to the client! All from the warmth and comfort of my bed, hey it was -3°C outside.

Quota - handy little app - if you're like me and have multiple mobile phones, internet accounts etc to manage then this app puts all the data in one place. Open it up and it automatically fetches all the data and displays it there on one screen. I.e. how much credit is left, download used, expiry dates etc... very handy.

There's a few other smaller apps but those are the mains ones I've found quite handy so far and makes the iPad quite useful IMHO.

Cheers
Carl

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Re: iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by MusashiChan on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:55 am

Thanks a lot for sharing !
I don't have the budget now but i'm dreaming of it...
I'm just a apple geek and it seems to be very cool. This is the first device being just as we imagined when thinking about future for a long time !
Air video is very cool, i didn't see that !

For the extra screen, i'm working on 24" imac and an extra 24" dual screen and i could not do without it !

Sorry for my short answer, i'm just on my iphone... :'(

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Re: iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by michnet76 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:17 pm

Here's a pic with the iPad sitting next to the 27" iMac...
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Re: iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by MusashiChan on Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:32 pm

Nice !!!!
Why don't you buy a standard extra screen ? It costs nothing today and dual screen working is a real pleasure, especially when working on pics and web design etc.

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Re: iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by michnet76 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:59 am

I use dual screen at work, but only cause I have a 22" widescreen for the main unit and a 17" 4:3 on the side. I find come to work and looking at the 22" a bit claustrophobic after using the 27" at home!!

The iMac is 27" at some ridiculous resolution and plenty of real estate for logic pro to fill up and lose pallets on!! When Adobe changed their interface for the CS products back in CS4 I found having separate pallets floating on second screen really slowed things down so I don't bother with that anymore either so at the second screen is only used to the email screen open on and the odd window or two but no pallets or anything.

I rarely do website design anymore, but yes you're right, the second screen is a godsend for that type of work, being able to have a browser on the second screen to preview changes as you make them!

The other reason I don't bother with a second screen at home is I have no space for it! I had been after a small 7-10" screen for some time just to put on top of the monitor speaker next to the 27" screen and this iPad works perfectly for just that purpose to display the audio interface CP. I had been trying to find a photoframe that had a DVI or VGA input but hadn't come across any. Least now I have a very multipurpose screen to use!

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Re: iPad - The good and the not so good (for us anyway)

Post by MusashiChan on Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:48 am

Here was my installation in my kitch room...

Here is the desk now...

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