Sam Wilding's Blog
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iPads, Writing books and Playing Gigs

Okay, so I got an iPad and instantly wanted it to do stuff I really couldn’t. The iPad is great for video, music and all sorts of stuff, but I wanted it to help me write books, give me lyrics, be a MULTI track recorder etc. But guess what? It actually did the lot.

The first pain with the iPad is the keyboard. It takes a while to get used to the typing thing on the screen and there is no forward delete button. So, to delete, say part of a word, you have to do it backwards, using the backspace. The second pain is that it wouldn’t easily work with word docs. I wanted to work on manuscripts while traveling so I needed it to have all my books there to work on wherever and whenever I wanted.

I solved pain one, by just getting better at using the screen keyboard. I solved pain two by downloading an App called Pages. It lets you store and work on word docs and then email or store them. It even remembers where you left off. I work on two to four scripts at a time and often dot between them all, so this is invaluable. I can then email the finished script back to a windows environment for final editing and formatting. It was easier to email stuff back and forth rather than do it via iTunes. Once Pages is installed, it’s there on your email program waiting to transfer stuff into your Pages Documents library. By perfecting the iPad and ‘Pages’ I have rewritten three books and have got two new first drafts in the bag in less than 5 months. The good thing about an iPad is that it’s just not as intrusive as, say a laptop. You can type away at dinner, on a train, on a plane. So wherever and whenever and well and truly ticked.

Another few tips are to download a few dictionaries and thesauruses such as Wordweb and the Chambers, both are free and save lugging other stuff about.

I also got the iPad working pretty well as a lyrics prompt during gigs and as a backing track player using iLyrics. And as far as recording goes, GarageBand is the business. Again you just need to persevere. I still do vocals and guitar in the studio, but for backings, Garageband is great.

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