20140713

To Bb or not to Bb

Just a heads up for those of you playing bass or Bb instruments. There are now ready made PDFB scripts for importing and indexing The Real Bass Book (F Clef) and The Bb Real Book at www.skrivarna.com/p/fakebook.html.


With these additions the library now contains all variants (C, Bb, Eb, Vocal and Bass Real Books) of the most common jazz standards collection. There's also the fun Slick Book, with some classic pop and soul songs.

Any ideas of other books to add? Drop us a mail!

20140618

At last: Fakebook annotations!

As a lot of you has told us, Fakebook is a great app. It comes with a large part of the jazz repertoire and by importing your own PDF books, sheet music or chordpro files it can carry all the songs needed. For any gig. All the time. In the pocket. 

However (as you also told us), there's one thing the trunkful of binders could do that the Fakebook app didn't. Annotations.

We all need a reminder from time to time; in which order to take solos, the number of vamps, where the intro starts... And sometimes a visual clue, marking a repeat or a tricky passage, makes all the difference of a performance. A trivial task for pen and paper - not possible with Fakebook. 

Until now.

Apart from a lot of other nice updates, the new Fakebook 1.4.0 features annotation. Choose from a fineline red pen or a half-transparent marker and scribble along! And you can write, draw and mark not only in PDF docs, but also on the built-in jazz charts, chordpro lyrics sheets or any other files you may have imported.

So, it's time: Get rid of all those papers! Get out and play!

Fakebook, available now on Google Play and Amazon.



20140510

Andronome - Greater Than Ever

Now, available on Amazon and Google Play, the long-awaited update of the Andronome metronomes!

The plain and simple Andronome has for quite some time been the musicians favorite metronome, thanks to the great design. Now, on the latest Android Kit-Kat versions, this is greater than ever - the BPM number and the blink literary takes over the whole screen. And no extra charge, the standard Andronome is still completely free (gratis and without ads)!



Also the Andronome+ version ($0.99) benefits from the makeover. With direct access buttons for each function, it is now quicker than ever to adjust the presets or enable/disable sound, blink and vibration. The page indicator at the bottom hints at the next (and previous) song, while the "preset lock" prevents accidental changes in the heat of the gig.

Professional, familiar and greater than ever. Get it now!


20140430

Mail of the Month - April

Some really nice, Rude comments directly from Google Play:
This app is essential for, and will benefit, beginner through advanced drummers. Easy UI. Swipe left and right to scroll through rudiments, and swipe up and down to control bpm. OR hit your phone's MENU button to open a self explanatory list of features, including my favorite: "EXAMPLES". Click on the EXAMPLES button and you're taken to a website with detailed instructional videos pertaining to the rudiment you are currently studying. Metronome is 100% accurate (let it go through one cycle to adjust itself)
Or, as a Rude Rhythm user writes:
This is my new favorite app!
But just as important as all the great reviews is the user feedback that helps us to improve. Like this comment below a four star rating:
....but horrible sound. It's the drum app with the worst sound I ever heard. I tried more than a dozen of Drum Apps but this sound is without any quality... Anyway it's one of the best Rhythmcollections I've ever seen, a must have for any drummer. Thank you, but please try to update, to amiliorate this sound....
Some investigation shows a problem with the playback engine that will be fixed in the next release, thanks to this helpful drummer.

20140328

Fakebook - the Real Vocal Book - Part 2


An earlier post (here) discussed how the Fakebook ChordPro file import feature can be used to store and show lyrics together with the chords. However, as we all know, for some gigs only the Real Vocal Book will do.

And now you can have both! With the Fakebook PDF import and automatic indexing, getting the Real Vocal Book into your pocket is only a few clicks away. Check out the Fakebook import page, where you'll find links and instructions how to import and index the original Real Book, the Real Vocal Book as well as the transposed Eb Real Book. And don't forget to check out The Slickbook for some instant West Coast 70-80's nostalgia - some really great tunes!


20140215

Automatic Indexing of PDF Real Books

Working with music in PDF books can be really troublesome. Indexing and naming the individual songs in a large collection is something few applications handle well. To be honest, the Fakebook app was no exception, and importing e.g. a complete Real Book would be a timeconsuming chore.

Until now!

The new version of Fakebook (1.3.0, available on Google Play and Amazon) changes this. Thanks to PDFB script files downloading, indexing, filtering, sorting and naming is just a single click! The scripts are simple semicolon separated text files with all data necessary for the Fakebook parser to automate the boring work. Use them to extract a single page from a huge document or to import and index a complete song book.

The syntax looks like this:
PDFB1;playlisttitle;playlistcomment;url;
page;title;last;first;aka;style;tempo;signature;comment;
page;title;last;first;aka;style;tempo;signature;comment;

An example, extracting some Sonny Rollins songs from a scanned Real Book that is stored in the Download folder on the phone:
PDFB1;Sonny Rollins Book;;file:///sdcard/Download/therealbookvolume1.pdf;
24;Airegin;Rollins;Sonny;;Swing;;4/4;; 
340;Oleo;Rollins;Sonny;;Swing;;4/4;; 
359;Pent Up House;Rollins;Sonny;;Swing;;4/4;; 
506;Plain Jane;Rollins;Sonny;;;;;; 
510;Valse Hot;Rollins;Sonny;;Waltz;;3/4;; 

OK, but now you all say "writing these scripts still seems quite timeconsuming". Yeah, right.

That's why we provide more examples and ready made PDFB files for importing The Real Book (5th ed) and The Vocal Book on http://www.skrivarna.com/p/fakebook.html. Just select the Menu -> Import new songs -> Internet in the Fakebook app to get there.

More examples and book links will be added on request. And if you write a useful script, feel free to share it by mailing it to us or in the comment field below!

  

20140201

On Request - a Bolder, Better Fakebook

The latest Fakebook update - 1.2.1, now available on Google Play and Amazon - is answering a few very specific user requests. We get a lot of feedback from musicians playing with the Skrivarna apps, always appreciated and very valuable. Your comments help prioritize features and make these tools even better.

We hope a lot of you will find these requests useful:

  • Automatic removal of duplicates on import. Playlists sometimes have duplicates or may contain songs already in the database. Now Fakebook will check if two songs are exactly the same and then not add the duplicate.
  • Bold sans serif fonts. On some devices, especially with the inverted screen colors, this makes the songs easier to read.
  • Transpose info preserved on import. When importing song lists from iRealb/iRealPro, Fakebook now also keeps transpose info.

Furthermore, there are also a few small bug fixes and PDF parser improvements. Enjoy!

20140131

Mail of the Month - January

At Skrivarna Software, these days most resources and attention goes to the Fakebook and Rude family of apps. So maybe it's time to give some kudos to the Andronome metronomes - small, simple, yet incredible useful:
Does one thing well  This is the app I was looking for. It's stable, easy to set tempo, and doesn't require any special permissions. Great job, developer!
Smart, clean, functional and AD-Free Simple and beautiful UI. Just shows the tempo. Touch to start. Tap or swipe to change tempo. Long press to stop. I don't see a metronome getting any better than this.


20140119

NAMM Sale! Music apps for $0.99

To celebrate our presence at the NAMM Show 2014, three great Skrivarna Software apps will be on sale for $0.99!


The Fakebook music reader, the Rude Rhythm drum dictionary and the Rude Practice Pad rudiment training apps will all sell at the lowest price possible at Google Play - starting now. Go get 'em while offers last!

  

20140118

Fakebook + PDF = True!


Some of you may have noticed that the latest versions of the Fakebook app added support for PDF import. Considering that PDF files are

  • probably the most common format for storing and exchanging music,
  • a simple way of adding melody and lyrics to your Fakebook library,
  • widely available with (free and commercial) classical scores, jazz real books, pop songs

...this is a really useful feature.

Fakebook successfully imports most, but not all, PDF files. Some encodings are not yet supported and the import process is still quite slow. This means that adding a large score or a complete Real Book is rather cumbersome, especially as the songs has to be named manually. It works, but that's it.

However, you should know that there are some great improvements currently in the pipeline. A clever way of scripting the import process will take care of the boring work, indexing and naming individual pages of e.g. a scanned Real Book PDF. Currently in testing, expect the new version to be published in a few weeks.

So, don't hesitate to try out the PDF import feature and let us know what you think. Then stay tuned and watch out for updates, because A Change Is Gonna Come (Ain't That Good News)!

20131231

Mail of the Month - December

Ending a great year with some really nice mails and comments, this time about the small VL-Tone synthesizer:

Still the #1! best performing keyboard app!! Very responsive and realistic VL Tone voices. Great work.

Heh! My girlfriend hated when I would ask to borrow her VL. I spent more hours with it than I did makin' out with her. Shows where my priorities were. This app takes me back, but now I gotta hit eBay to find my own.

Nostalgia Thanks for this. An uncle of mine had one in the early 80's. This retro-app works good! Gonna use it in my home studio, no lagging, plays like the real deal. Sounds true to the original. Highly recommended!

Once again i have to thank you for this app.It is really usable. I listen a lot of internetradio (Fail's audio workshop @ Shoutcast) and when some cute little instrumental comes by I take your app and try to figure out some melody. Since the VL1 is a one-note pony (no chords) you HAVE TO figure out a melody.. Not an easy task but when you do.. It takes you to a Kraftwerk state of mind of total music bliss! I want to thank you for that.

Happy New Year! Looking forward to building even better and more useful apps in 2014 - all thanks to you all!

20131130

Mail of the Month - November

Another month with a lot of great feedback. Thanks, keep it coming! This time the focus will be on Fakebook, highlighting some of the new features and the road map ahead:

Thanks for the great fakebook app - very handy and easy to use.  Any plans to add backing tracks/chords similar to ireal?
Some kind of play-along/backing/band-in-the-box feature is definitely on the list. However, something good enough to be useful would require huge efforts (probably one of the reasons iReal Pro costs 6 times as much as Fakebook...). So, at the moment the focus is to provide functionality currently not in iReal Pro or any of the other competitors. That means we'll be adding file formats and features useful for live performances.

But I'm sure we will come back to the question of playback, so stay tuned.

I'm struggling to import 2 page charts into The Fakebook app. I've tried naming them Songtitle P1 and Songtitle P2 but they don't necessarily always follow each other when swiping to the next page.These are my Sibelius Lead Sheet arrangements imported as jpg files into Fakebook. Is there a merge page or add page function or other possibilities that I'm not aware of to enable me to do this.
Sorry to say, there's currently no method for merging imported image pages. This is likely a feature that will be added soon, as it is so useful also for the PDF import. So for the moment you are doing the right thing, naming the pages to be sorted correctly in the "All songs" mode. Setting up your own song lists the pages can be sorted any way you like.

As for the page turning problems, previous Fakebook versions have had a proprietary mechanism for swiping that worked fine in most cases, but was erratic on some devices. This is now replaced with the standard Android swipe.

While evaluating your product, it became evident that your files actually do not contain lyric content -- which is the main reason I was excited to purchase it. On your Google Play product window this was not an explicit warning to me.
Sorry to hear that the Fakebook app didn't meet your expectations. I will clarify the Google Play description, the text on our website details the lyrics support and we have no intention to hide this.

The reason for not including lyrics in the app purchase is due to copyright. The lyrics are protected and cannot be sold in a product at this price, i.e. the same reason as for not including melodies. Only the chord progressions can be legally distributed this way.

I have purchased Fake Book from you for Android and it states that it will run on all my devices...I have it downloaded on my phone but I can not find the way to get in on my I Pad which is where I really need it...Would you please instruct me how to do so..
Currently Fakebook is Android only, there is no iOS version. So when Google Play states that an app works on "all your devices", it actually means "all your Android devices".  Maybe you should contact Google and let them know that there are users with both Android and Apple products, they seem to ignore that fact...

Anyway, if this means you cannot use the Fakebook app in the way you intended, we're happy to offer you a refund. Just let me know - we only want completely satisfied customers.

20131015

Mail of the Month - October

Do you have plans to make this fake book app available for the Microsoft Surface? Please make it available!!
After some investigation to see what different possibilities there are for supporting the Microsoft mobile OSs, we are not likely to port Fakebook (or any of our other apps). And if we were, iOS would still have the highest priority. Right now just keeping the Android versions up-to-date is more than enough to do...

Of course, things may change depending on market trends and what musicians like you and me requests. But at the moment there are no such plans. Sorry!

I am loving this app!  I use it all the time. I see the new update says you have now added lyrics, which is the icing on the cake, but I don't know how to make them visible...please advise....thanks again for a great app......
As you have noticed, the latest version of Fakebook can include and show song lyrics thanks to the new ChordPro support (the iReal b and ABC formats don't carry lyrics).

So, write your charts in the ChordPro format or search the Internet and add songs to Fakebook (through Menu->Import->Internet). The page that opens has a link to the famous On Line Guitar Archive (OLGA), but there are a lot of other song libraries and search engines for ChordPro.

However, like the original Real Books and fakebooks, there are no lyrics in the 1200 included jazz standards.You have to find (or write) and import them yourself, as lyrics and melodies are protected by copyright and cannot be published legally in an app at this price.

20131008

Fakebook - the Real Vocal Book

Nah, maybe not comparable to a real Vocal Book. Not yet. But a lot of musicians wanted to use their beloved Fakebook app also for lyrics. With the new support for importing ChordPro files, this is finally supported.

The ChordPro file format is simple and designed to store lyrics together with the chords. Searching the Internet you can find huge collections of songs in the ChordPro format, both free and for sale. The files may have different extensions -- .chordpro, .chopro, .cho, .crd and .pro are most common.

Most Fakebook features works exactly the same with ChordPro files as with the built-in jazz standards, the iReal b and ABC imports. Most important is the possibility to transpose -- it makes it soo much easier for vocalists.

The Fakebook 1.1.0, available now in Google Play and Amazon.


20131005

Feature Check - Your Guide in the Music Reader Jungle


Trying to figure out which music reader app is best for you? Not easy, not easy at all...

The table below was created to help with the Fakebook app development, keeping track of the features of similar apps and providing some guidance on what users expect. Of course, the list of features is not comprehensive, but the choice reflects what we think is important. Look at it as a "road map" for future Fakebook versions if you like.

But we also imagine a comparison of music apps could be useful for our potential customers, providing some guidance in the music reader jungle. Hopefully you will find that Fakebook fits your needs -- if you choose someone else we are still happy to to have been able to help.

Good luck. And don't forget to have fun making music!
Fakebook iReal Pro (**) Gigbook iGigbook Unrealbook Guitar tabs ChordPad forScore Musiciansapps Googol Song Book Setlist Helper LinkeSoft Song Book GuitarTapp Pro Ultimate Guitar Guitar Pro GuitarTab Player MobileSheets Musicnotes OnSong
Price $1.50 $10.99 $9.99 $14.99 $4.99 Free (ads) $4 $6.99 $2.99 $1 $5.99 $2.79 $3.99 $6.59 Free (ads) $8.99 Free  $9.99
Size 1.4 MB 11 MB 9.3 MB 7.1 MB 12.4 MB 4.2/22.6 MB 0.5 MB 5.7 MB 12.8 MB 0.6 MB 1.7 MB 1.2 MB 1.1 MB 1.8 MB 14 MB 1.3 MB 9.9 MB 4.1 MB
Designed for Android Yes N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Android versions From 2.2 Only ARM, From 2.2 iOS only iOS only iOS only From 1.6 iOS only Win Phone only From 2.2 From 3.0 From 2.0 From 2.1 From 1.6 From 2.2 From 2.1 From 2.2 From 2.2 iOS only
Songs included (***) 1200 50 0 0 0 13000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Music notation score No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No
Chords Yes Yes No Yes (*) No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Lyrics Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes
Image (incl PDF) Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes
Guitar tabs No No No No No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Free text notes No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Freehand drawing Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Playlists Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
Integrated editor No Yes No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes No No No Yes
External editor No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes No No
Transpose:
Book (C/Bb/Eb/F/Nashville) Yes (Y/Y/Y/Y/N) Yes (Y/Y/Y/Y/Y) No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Song Yes Yes No Yes (*) No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes
Search Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fonts 4 1 N/A 1 N/A 1 1 N/A 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 N/A 4
Zoom Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
Landscape Yes No (only tablet) Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Full screen Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Links to recordings:
Spotify (presets/search) Yes (Y/Y) No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
YouTube (presets/search) Yes (Y/Y) Yes (N/Y) No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No
Device media  No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Metronome Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Live metronome Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No Yes No
Play along accompaniment (piano/guitar/bass/drums) No Yes (Y/Y/Y/Y) No No No No No No No No No No No Yes (N/Y/Y/Y) Yes (Y/Y/Y/Y) Yes (Y/Y/Y/Y) No No No
Included styles N/A 35 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
In-app purchase N/A $3.99 - $5.99 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A No N/A N/A N/A
Record No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Native format Fakebook iRealb PDF PDF PDF Txt Proprietary PDF XML Txt ChordPro ChordPro Txt Tab Pro Guitar Pro Guitar Pro PDF Musicnotes
Import formats:
Device camera Yes No No No Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No No
Fakebook Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
iReal b Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
ABC Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Txt No No No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
ChordPro Yes No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
XML (MusicXML) No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
XML (OpenSong) No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
PDF Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes
PNG Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes
JPG Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes
Export formats:
PNG No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
JPG Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
PDF No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No
iReal b No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Txt No No No No No Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No
XML (MusicXML) No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Sharing: (****)
Mail Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No Yes
Facebook Yes No No No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No
Twitter Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No
Dropbox Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
G+ Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
AirTurn support (2 pedals/4 pedals) Yes (Y/Y) Yes (Y/Y) Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?) No No Yes (Y/?) No No Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?) No No No Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?) Yes (Y/?)
PageFlip support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
Product web site Skrivarna Software iReal Pro Deep Dish Designs iGigbook DIY Stompboxes Guitar Tabs ChordPad Forscoreapp Musicians Apps Googol SongBook Setlist Helper.com Song Book GuitarTapp Ultimate Guitar GuitarPro GuitarTab MobileSheets Musicnotes OnSong
Google Play link Google Play Google Play N/A N/A N/A Google Play Google Play N/A N/A Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play Google Play N/A
(*) Requires Internet access
(**) iReal Pro was previously called iReal b (and before that iRealBook)
(***) Bundled in the product download
(****) Sharing/exporting via e.g. social networks or cloud services

To the best of our knowledge, the information in the table is correct at the date of publishing. If you think something is wrong, missing or misleading, please don't hesitate to let us know at software@skrivarna.com. Thanks!
(Updated: 2014-06-18)