feature of the week

Annotation Snapshots

| feature of the week

Context is important, and the annotations you make today may not be useful in another situation. Instead of constantly erasing everything and starting from scratch, forScore’s Snapshots tool lets you save and restore all of the annotations on a page, including your drawings, stamps, shapes, links, buttons, and text annotations.

While in annotation mode, tap the clock icon (the last tool in the lower row of controls) to see the Snapshots interface. Tap the “Add Snapshot” button and give it a name, and all of the annotations you’ve made—even if you haven’t saved them yet—will be copied and displayed in a row along the top of the screen. Tap on it to see a preview, rename it, delete or restore it.

Now you can continue annotating, or erase everything and start over, saving as many new sets of annotations as you like. To reset the page back to a saved state, simply tap on the snapshot you want to use and tap the “Restore Snapshot” button to replace all of the annotations on the page with that snapshot.

So whether you’re maintaining separate annotations for practice vs. performance or you’re a teacher with multiple students, snapshots can save you time and let you work more flexibly.

Page Turn Animations

| feature of the week

Back when the iPad was first introduced, there were a few key things from a software standpoint that really made it feel like a completely new thing: the photos app with its unique interface and gestures, the mail app’s split screen layout, and of course iBooks with its unbelievable page curl animation.

Every version of forScore has used this same animation when moving between pages, and although it’s not the head-turning detail that it once was it still fits well with the page turning concept. Unfortunately, it’s a system-provided animation and can’t be customized, so it always curls up from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen up to the top left. That means the most important part of the next page is the last part of the page to come into view. We’ve sped up the animations a lot since version 1.0 to help, but if they just don’t work for you we’ve since added three other options: stack, slide, and no animation at all. (Tap the “Page Transitions” option in the settings panel to try them out for yourself.)

The “Stack” option animates the top page only, throwing it off to the left and revealing the static next page beneath it. The “Slide” option moves the current page off to the left while moving the next page in from the right, like camera film advancing. Both animations work in reverse when you navigate to the previous page.

The “Off” option removes animations altogether, making your page turns virtually instantaneous. For some, the lack of animation makes it difficult to see if you’ve actually advanced to the next page or not, but for others it’s perfect. Try them all out and find the one that works for you!

Up Next

| feature of the week

Sometimes one song is enough, but when you’re playing through several different pieces you’ll want to know about Up Next. By default, when you select a song from a Setlist, you’ll be able to turn pages not just within that song, but also between all of the songs in that setlist—so turning past the last page of one song takes you to the first page of the next.

When you get to the last page of a score and you’re not already at the end of your list, Up Next lets you see what’s coming up before you actually turn the page. It’s a small notification that slides down over your device’s status bar (where you can see things like the current time or battery level) and shows the name of the next piece in the queue. There’s also a small gear icon on the right-hand side that lets you customize how long this notification appears: for four seconds, ten seconds, indefinitely, or never.

Pitch Pipe Widget

| feature of the week

On iOS devices, swiping down from the very top of the screen lets you access a dark panel called Notification Center. Like its name suggests, it gives you quick access to all of your device’s notifications, but it also has another view called the “Today View” that lets you see all sorts of bite-sized pieces of information. With a quick glance, you can view your upcoming calendar events, check the local weather forecast, monitor traffic conditions, and more.

These chunks of information are called widgets, and you can pick the ones you want to see and rearrange them to suit your needs. Some of them are built-in, but developers can also create their own widgets and include them with their apps for free. To use one of these widgets, just tap the “Edit” button at the bottom of the “Today” view and then tap the green plus button next the one you want to see.

A pitch pipe widget is included with forScore, forScore mini, and Pitch, Please! (our standalone pitch pipe app). Once you’ve set it up, you can tap any of the note buttons to hear a pitch in whichever octave and instrument you last used within the app itself. It’s quick and easy, so if you find yourself needing a pitch pipe regularly be sure to check it out!

Cue

| feature of the week

Coordination is a key part of music. The balancing of different notes and instruments produces something greater than each individual element, but good timing is essential. Effective harmony relies on tight synchronization.

Cue, forScore’s wireless navigation system, allows users to automatically coordinate page turns and program changes so everyone is literally on the same page. When using Cue, one person assumes the “leader” role, changing songs and turning pages just as they normally would. Other users can assume the “follower” role, and their copy of forScore will automatically follow along.

To use Cue, select “Cue” from the tools menu or tap the circled Cue icon in forScore’s title bar. Choose to lead your group, or choose one of three follower options: Follow Page Turns will flip forwards and backwards, use half-page turns if needed, and scroll up or down in landscape orientation. Follow Program Changes allows the leader to select a song to play, but leaves page turns up to you. Follow Both allows the leader to control both simultaneously.

For groups that use different but similar parts, following page turns only is a great solution. Everyone can choose their own version of music, but overall page turns are still kept in sync. For other groups, following program changes is especially helpful because not only can the leader direct everyone to the right piece at the same time, they’re also immediately notified if a follower doesn’t have the file on their iPad. If the leader chooses, they can send a copy wirelessly to anyone who needs it in seconds.

Cue uses an Apple framework that combines the power of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to send commands as quickly as possible. It works with forScore for iPad and forScore mini for iPhone or iPod Touch. There’s even a standalone Cue app that works more like a remote control, allowing someone to read along with you and discreetly turn pages without hovering.

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