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September 13, 2013

Onsong Chord chart manager

Onsong is an app for the iPad that I have heard a lot people talk about. It seems really useful, especially for performers and teachers. The following post was submitted to me by Benjamin Brown.

Onsong 1.93 is an app for IPad that stores, organized and displays sheet music. Songs can be viewed by name, artist, Key and Topic, or organized into books and set lists.

Onsong is designed to work with a Bluetooth device to enable hands free page turning, which is the main reason I bought it. I usually use PageFlip Bluetooth pedal but it works with the BT-105 Airturn as well. A tap of the right pedal scrolls down, the left scrolls back up. When working from a set list, a tap of the right pedal will change from the end of one song to the beginning of the next.

One of the things I like about my magnetic IPad cover is it sticks to most music stands but I usually use it with the IKlip microphone stand holder. It's easily adjustable and holds the IPad securely in a convenient position. Tougher than I thought; it's held up through a lot of gigs even though I just stick it on top in my back pack.

It's backlit, so it's easy to see no matter what the lighting. Finding songs is easy, scroll through lists by sliding your finger like anything else on IPad or tap the letter it starts with to jump alphabetically.

Adding songs to the IPad is a little tedious. The files have to be PDF, plug the IPad into the computer, go to apps, scroll down, select Onsong, add charts, sync, open Onsong on IPad, pull up All Songs, Add, select ITunes File Sharing, select all, wait for upload.

Less work than writing out the song by hand and binding it, but if you need to correct or change a chart you have to repeat the whole process. Still, the process has become natural to me and therefore quicker.

There is a Sticky note function for making notes on charts but so far I haven't been able to use it because it doesn't open the keyboard.

I confess I've become quite dependent on it since I'm constantly learning and performing new songs for my students plus it's handy for pick up gigs when I don't have all the songs memorized. It's great for solo gigs because I can call up old repertoire with the swipe of a finger and don't have to carry three note books.

If you're a musician and own an Ipad it's definitely worth the money just to keep your charts organized. If you are looking for that work related excuse to purchase an IPad, this might be it!

Benjamin Brown

Ben's book can be purchased here:

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on September 13, 2013

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