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Wednesday
Mar312010

The iPad- What is it good for? Save some trees for starters!

I've had me ear to the ground around all the speculation and excitement (and disappointment) about Apple's iPad appliance, hitting the streets this coming Saturday.  No one doubts it will be a cool gadget, but few really seem to know how it could be make useful in the context of a voice-over user's daily process.  However, while talking about this new must have "toy" from Apple with one of my clients, Scott Rummell, it suddenly came to light one of the most useful functions the iPad can serve right out of the box. 

Many voice actors have adopted the idea of reading copy from a computer screen, rather than paper.  While it works great in some scenarios, others may keep users from doing away with good ol' paper just yet.  What about being able to make a quick change to the copy with a pencil, for instance?  I see the iPad as being the ultimate way so far to receive, display, and mark-up copy in your voice-over booth. 

Here's the high points:

  • Very compact, will rest on your copy stand, but large enough to read easily
  • Completely silent operation
  • No paper shuffling noise when "turning pages", just scroll with a finger
  • Copy can be displayed immediately from an email, no printing or waiting for a fax
  • Ability to mark-up copy with touch screen interface using an app like Rehearsal
  • Apps like ProPrompter excellent for reading a script live on camera (bonus!)
  • Ease of installation compared to an LCD monitor/keyboard/mouse in your VO booth (totally wireless)
  • Will eventually be useable to record and edit audio
  • Remote control your studio computer to start, stop, monitor levels and make markers while recording with RealVNC or similar app

And the low points:

  • Even the base model at $500, still kinda pricey
  • May be a little less comfortable to read than paper for long days

While looking for apps to support this post I stumbled upon Rehearsal.  While I am still a Blackberry stalwart, and therefor have no way to test this app first hand, I can say from their introductory video and reviews that it could be a killer app for voice actors.  It has some surprising features I would never have expected.  Do yourself a favor and check it out. 

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References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Record voice-over audio products at home or office quickly, easily, and profitably - Blog - The iPad- What is it good for? Save some trees for starters!
  • Response
    Record voice-over audio products at home or office quickly, easily, and profitably - Blog - The iPad- What is it good for? Save some trees for starters!
  • Response
    Record voice-over audio products at home or office quickly, easily, and profitably - Blog - The iPad- What is it good for? Save some trees for starters!

Reader Comments (2)

All great points, George. I'm down for the 3G model once it hits market, for when I'm on the road.

My priority with the iPad is instant script access from within the booth. Having to stop recording, step out and print a new script unnecessarily takes up precious time. I also don't like wasting paper, which is why I've been printing on the back-side of all the scripts I've collected over the years. As if on queue for the arrival of the iPad, my printer died yesterday.

Someone showed me Rehearsal last week. And while it looks fantastic and the App itself is "free", there is an added fee involved, either per script or monthly. Not a fan of being nickeled and dimed, so I'm hoping one of the other programs, like InstaPaper will allow quick imports. InstaPaper also looks to be a little easier on the eyes for long-term reading.

Also, a "low point" is that multitasking is a no-go on the iPad; it can't be used to run more than one program at a time, so controlling your studio with VNC and doing anything else, like reading scripts, is out - have to switch between the two programs entirely.

Another "low point" is no USB input, so no MicPort Pro. One of the Camera Kit attachments allows you to hook up USB via the Dock, but only for transferring images from a digital camera. Hopefully someone finds a workaround or exploit for this, allowing us to hook up some external devices.

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd Cowden

For the help please use http://www.google.com

September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnaskDetPeete

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