| ► Short
► The TB Band Is Getting High-Tech
The other day while on a gig, I was flipping through my enormous binder
of lyrics, grumbling at how the sheet protectors were falling apart as
well as falling out, one by one. Large binders have served me
many years, but they're extremely clunky to use, not to mention bulky
and heavy. Many musicians have moved their lyrics libraries from
paper to the digital realm. iPads are especially
popular with musicians, since there are so many apps available for
managing lyrics, chord charts, and more. I've seen iPads
being used on stage, but for me, they're a little too obtrusive.
screen is considerably smaller than a sheet of paper, so musicians
typically mount their iPads to their mic stands, quite close to their
The other day, I picked up an Asus tablet — not a mobile device that
runs on apps, but a full-featured PC running Windows 7
Professional. It has a 12.1" screen, which is only about a 1/2"
shorter in height than a standard sheet of paper.
I am now in the process of converting all of my lyrics to PDF
files. I found a PDF
viewer online that uses very few resources and opens files fast.
To view lyrics, I simply use the standard File Explorer program that
comes with Windows. One the left side of the screen, I expand my
Documents folder to reveal the lyrics categories I've set up in
subfolders, such as Polkas, Waltzes, Holiday, etc. When I select
a category, all of the songs in the category are then listed on the
right side of the screen. I click on a song title, and the lyrics
for that song pop up on the screen. When the song is over, I
close the lyrics window and then I'm back at the File Explorer screen,
ready to select another song or category.
I'm Now a
Two-Fisted Mobile Phone User
I have been a cell phone user for fifteen years now, and have been with
T-Mobile for the past five. I am
grandfathered into a plan T-Mobile no longer offers which gives me
texting for $15/month. Voice minutes are 10¢ per minute
additional. I've never used very many voice minutes on my cell
phone, but now that I've dropped my AT&T land line, my voice
minutes have been adding up. If I'd use my mobile phone for 300
a month, I'd be looking at $45 in monthly charges.
$45/month is not a lot compared to what some of you probably pay for
your mobile service, but I'm rather frugal. I wanted a less
expensive plan, and less expensive plans are available. But there
was a problem I needed to circumvent...
I have a Samsung smartphone that I use with T-Mobile. It's
fantastic for texting and data, but the voice quality is sub-par.
Smartphones, in general, are not designed with voice quality in mind,
because most people use their smartphones for texting and apps.
That wasn't the case a few years ago, though. I have an older
Motorola Razr V3 flip phone, which is a phone that was built to have
loud and relatively clear voice quality. I thought to myself, if
I'm going to be using a mobile phone for voice calls from here on out,
then I'm going to want to use that old Motorola. But flip phones
are too clunky and
slow for texting, and not set up for data. It was then I decided
to search for an economical voice plan so that I could make use of my
Motorola for voice calls while I keep using my Samsung smartphone for
shopping around, I found PureTalk USA. They have a flex
plan that gives me 330 voice minutes for $20. So now I have
unlimited texting and all the voice minutes I'll likely
ever need for just $35/month. On the downside, I have to carry
two phones with me. But the advantages are unique: if I lose
either of my phones, I still have the other. Most importantly,
though, is that I get to enjoy the
individual qualities of each of my phones.
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