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Thread: Which android phone to buy ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Which android phone to buy ?

    Hi,


    I'm planning to buy a smartphone (or maybe a tablet ? Don't know yet. A smartphone could be usefull) to use it with ireal pro since it seems to be usefull.

    Which model of smartphone is worth buying ? I don't want to spend a lot of money for it...

    I think I need a big screen, but what size is the minima to use it to rehearsh songs etc. without being at 2 centimeters of the screen ?

    Do I need a good processor, a lot of RAM ?


    Thanks !
    Last edited by Kapout; 04-27-2014 at 04:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,956

    Default

    Here are some thoughts:
    (hopefully others will post also)

    1
    keep in mind the distance you are from where your music stand, tablet or phone will be (depending on your instrument), if others will gather around your device while playing and if you wander around while playing (guitar, sax etc.)

    2
    notation - if you need to read notation, a 10 inch tablet is better than a 7. Also the aspect ratio of an iPad (4:3) is generally better for reading PDFs of a printed page. Most android tablets are more suited for video widescreen viewing but not as suited for printed page sizes so there is usually wasted space at the top and bottom, whereas some tablets (I think Acer do some) with a 4:3 aspect ratio show the page bigger because the printed page is nearer that ratio. iReal Pro works with both proportions well.

    3
    You will be using the device for other things. Check out apps at the App store, talk to others with the same interests you have (as well as musicians) to help you decide. Often users find they use their device for things they did not have in mind until after they have had it a while.
    You might use your device for internet, web etc. so a bigger screen is much better and easier.

    4
    Any current device will work with iReal Pro. It does not require much memory, even with thousands of songs loaded. If you are storing personal audio or video files, these will take up much more storage space. Most users do not need to save audio files from iReal Pro (although this is possible) because the player is calculating randomised playing so it will not sound exactly the same each time you press Play.
    A fast CPU will take less time to calculate play before the songs start playing but even with older devices it is reasonably fast.
    You should be ok running a device with android OSv4.x or iOS7.x although many users run older devices. Most have 1GB or RAM (or more) but iReal Pro can run with less.
    Other apps you might be running may need more CPU and RAM like games.

    5
    iReal Pro works well on phones, and like on tablets, the audio can be cabled to an amp or headphones. But you might find the screen very small for this. Some have iReal Pro on their phone just as a backup for gigs and it is with you all the time, but use a tablet for practice and gigs. (It is free to load apps on the same platform onto different devices. e.g. the android version of iReal Pro can be used on your android phone and android tablet assuming you are using the same google account.)

    6
    some devices can output to monitors, TV, projectors, screens etc. so if needed, you can use these to view from at home and some use this in gigs where a large display is used for band members to read from.

    7
    you do not mention your preference for Android or Apple (iOS). For musicians, generally iOS has a much larger range of apps to choose from spanning a wider variety of music-related apps. This makes your device much more useful and fun for you. Even some of the older devices run the latest OS so you could consider these as an option. The current version of iReal Pro still runs on the original iPad 1 (although many other apps now do not run their current versions on it) so it probably is not recommended. However we try to support older devices as much as we can. iReal Pro runs on iPad 2 and older android devices.
    If you have a specific model in mind, ask different musicians if they use it for the same kind of purposes you will be.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    7

    Default

    Thanks for you help and time.

    1) I play mainly the double bass (if someone here plays it to with ireal pro ), and a little piano to work.

    2) Yes, it could be usefull to read notation too you're right.

    5) Ok, so what is the minimum screen size on a phone to be confortable reading chords while rehearsing ?

    7) For some reasons i prefer Androir over iOS, but it's true that it seems to be better apps on iOS
    I was considering maybe a cheap but not too bad chinese phone like Huawei or Haier.

    I will search for friends with phone and/or table to view what suit better my need. I was already considering buying a smartphone (it's size make it very practical), but a tablet seems to be cheaper and usefull to read notation. I guess the best would be to buy both but I can't at the time (money money)

    Thanks
    Last edited by Kapout; 04-26-2014 at 04:41 AM.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    1) I play mainly the double bass (if someone here plays it to with ireal pro ), and a little piano to work.
    A consideration is if you stand upright while playing bass, where the music stand/device might be nearer to you or if you use a stool with the bass sloping against your shoulder, where the music is perhaps further away from you; and also finishing playing, if the music stand will then need to be shifted away from you in order to put your bass down.
    Although you can put your device on a music stand, because they are smaller, there are dedicated holders for different sized devices that can attach to microphone stands (etc.) and many musicians use these instead. This could be another idea to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    5) Ok, so what is the minimum screen size on a phone to be confortable reading chords while rehearsing ?
    Attached is a .png to print out. It is a typically full chart so the chords are quite small. You can print it out using the Scale setting in the print window from your computer so that it is 4 inches (or whatever) (diagonally) across. This will approximate a small screen and you can move it around on your music stand. It comes from a small screen iPod touch, so it might blur a little when you scale to a 10 inch tablet screen size, but this is only because it comes from a small device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    7) For some reasons i prefer Androir over iOS, but it's true that it seems to be better apps on iOS
    I was considering maybe a cheap but not too bad chinese phone like Huawei or Haier.
    Yes make sure you have good reasons for considering Android (or iOS). As I suggested, look at the apps available as these are what you will be wanting to use. The OS is secondary in my opinion.
    iOS for example has recording apps (4 or 8 ... and up to 48 tracks) depending on the app (not many at all on Android.) Apple's Garageband is very cheap and there is nothing like it on Android. Both have PDF apps (iOS has quite a few more to choose from), used for your notation, PDFs, lyrics etc. iOS has midi (Sampletank for instance), synths and other odd music creating apps that can be lots of fun to play with. Also if you teach, consider apps related to that. Both have tuners. There is a nice selection of metronome apps on iOS.
    Both Sibelius and Finale have iPad apps although both currently are very basic. I expect them to add features in the future because more musicians are using iPads for rehearsal and performance. Notion and Symphony Pro (both iOS, not Android) can be used to input notation (although computer software like Sibelius is much faster).
    iOS also has a number of excellent guitar apps (for anyone else reading this thread) like Amplitube (which has pedal apps and recording).
    And as you know, iReal Pro runs on both.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    20

    Default

    I tried to use my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2) for the ireal program at first, and after about 2 gigs I gave up and then bought a Motorola Xoom android tablet. I found that the small screen was ok in the bedroom/practice but anything live was just too small, especially if was looking at other things (crowd/band members etc) and then went back to the screen, finding my position was hard. The tablet was awesome, as I could also get rid of my music stand and get a half mic stand with a holder and the bigger screen just killed it as well.

    I have since sold the Motorola and upgraded to an Ipad 4. I'm not a OS or Android lover/hater as I use both, but I found the IOS version of irealb/pro smoother on the IOS version and (this may have changed) it seemed to get the updates and newer features first over the android version. The big plus for me was the other music apps that are available on IOS absolutely killed anything available on android - it's commonly agreed that music apps on the android system are harder to get right and do because of the openness of the android system (which is great BTW i have it on my Samsung S4). Garageband has been mentioned, but other apps you may want to look at that I use daily are Anytune Pro +, Audiobus, Jamup XT, Tabs HD.

    These may be enough to sway you to get an ipad, or may not , however I would suggest a tablet would be a better choice over phone, at least for irealb!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Default

    Thank you

    I think i will look for a cheap smartphone for now to practice over chords progressions with irealpro and later a larger tablet to display sheets and use on stage etc.

    Isn't the Ipad's screen a little small to read music sheets ? (and quite expensive, even if justified)
    But there aren't many others tablets with a 4:3 ratio...


    And will it work with an USB dac (like my stoner acoustics' UD110v2 or another (hifimediy...)) to got a good quality line out ?
    Last edited by Kapout; 04-29-2014 at 08:20 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    Isn't the Ipad's screen a little small to read music sheets ? (and quite expensive, even if justified)
    You do not have to get a new one Also Apple have refurbished ones from the Apple store. Most people do more on their tablet than they thought they ever would because of the diverse range of apps available.
    It can be a little small for notation, it depends on the staff size and complexity. Many orchestral players are using them now. You do not need the (white margins) on each side of a printed page, and you crop so the music is at maximum size (depending on the aspect ratio of the tablet.) (And using notation software you can specify margin size.) Setting up a PDF app with all your music sheets can take a while (cropping, titling, keywords, categories, composer, key, band or whatever) but once done is very convenient, especially for searching, organising, set lists, rehearsal, practice sessions.
    If you have a friend with an iPad, get them to take a photo of some printed notation for you with cropped margins and test with your instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    But there aren't many others tablets with a 4:3 ratio...
    True, as I said, I think Acer (android) have some (had some) available and I have seen a few cheaper models also. Some newer android tablets are coming out in 12 inch sizes although I have not checked to see if a ‘normal’ printed page (with cropped out margins) displays any bigger than on a 4:3 device at 10 inches (although theoretically you could work it out, mathematically at least). There have been rumours Apple might release a bigger tablet size than the current iPad range. If this happens, I am sure many musicians will purchase this, because you are right, although 10 inch works well having notation a little larger would be better. Again it can depend on the distance of the device and if you can move it closer (depending on your instrument) to compensate. There are android devices up to 21 inches size now (HP Slate 21 for instance).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    I think i will look for a cheap smartphone for now
    If a music PDF reader app does not work (or install) on a small device, you might be able to use a general PDF reader with your music notation then mirror to a larger screen. I have not tested this to check if there is a resolution problem—it might depend on that specific device.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kapout View Post
    And will it work with an USB dac (like my stoner acoustics' UD110v2 or another (hifimediy...)) to got a good quality line out ?
    Many people just use the headphone out for recording, connecting to amps, sound systems etc. but as you know, digital has better clarity.
    We have recently been testing iReal Pro with a few interfaces connecting directly to iOS devices providing digital out with the lightning (or 30-pin on older models) connector.
    A couple of links:
    http://www.apogeedigital.com
    http://global.focusrite.com
    Generally they are used for recording to iOS devices but there might be some offering S/PDIF output etc.
    For android, digital out would involve research to get it working for a specific device, possibly using a USB or HDMI interface for audio output. We have not tested this with iReal Pro.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    3

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    I have a Galaxy Note2 and it seems to work fine, I just downloaded it yesterday.

    TABLET: For the price, I would suggest the Nook HD Plus. Reads most e-reader formats, is easily expandable with an SD card and is really a great Android tablet. Of course, it is SO much easier to read the charts on the Nook HD+ than on the Note2. But those are my two suggestions.

    In the Fall, I'm upgrading to the Note4. Yea!

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