Hello, me again!. It’s been a while since I last posted or have been in touch. I’ve been using power music for a few years now and i’m pleased to see how much it has advanced. I last provided a feedback list a couple of years ago. I have a few comments/suggestions that I hope will be useful to further enhance the program. My explanations might be unnecessarily verbose, but I want to make sure I communicate what I mean effectively providing the reasons behind the way I’m thinking :-).
CAPO CHORD DISPLAY
Although the use of a capo permits various different voicings of chords on the guitar, I think most people use it to make a song in an awkward key containing many sharps or flats into an easier key to allow the guitarist to play predominantly open chords. To this end, I was wondering if there could be radio buttons next to the drop down box to quickly stick the capo in the right place with a note on each button with the guitar key. Eg. If a song was in “Eb”, there’d be a radio button for capo 1 and it would say “D” and another for capo 3 that would say “C”. This would allow the guitarist to very quickly select appropriate capo chords without working out what to select from the list. Although you can do this manually from the list, you might end up choosing “A” from the list and having the capo somewhere ridiculous like 6 or 7. Particularly of use when you’re entering a time of unplanned worship and selecting songs from the master list. I’ve been caught out a couple of times trying to really quickly stick the correct capo chords up for the guitarist while maintaining steady flow of music. As there are only a few keys in which you can play predominantly open chords, it might be simpler just to have the buttons that say “A” “D” “G” “C” that give you the capo number for that particular song (ie. what number the capo would need to be on to play guitar in D). Obviously this relies on the song being set to the right key in the first place. This along side the existing drop down box will increase the speed someone can put capo markings up whilst maintaining the current flexibility.
Related to this idea would be the ability to save the selected key and capo markings into the main song record for that song. Maybe with a dialogue box on changing/closing lists (toggleable for people that might not want that) and/or a toolbar button “save to song record” or “set as default” or a context menu item. (or even better, when the song is next loaded from the master list a message saying “song last played in Xmajor with capo set to Y!, use this key and set as default?”)
PLAYLIST AND MAIN RECORD SONG INCONSISTENCY AFTER EDITS
When I have a playlist up with a song in it and I go down the list to edit that song to repaginate or put different chords/corrections in, the version in the playlist stays the old version. I have to delete and replace the song in the playlist. This problem also carries across the the ipad as well (old playlist, download an edit from pm box and ipad playlist holds old incorrect version of song). It’s like power-music is making a copy of each song in the playlists. I can see how both behaviours might be desirable in different situations and changing this might make another camp want the change reverted, so the best solution might be to have a “song record has changed” message, probably in one of those yellow bars at the top (like in IE) that you can either ignore if you’re in the middle of a set or you can click and update your playlist entry. Definitely not a pop up though. popup dialogues are bad.
DIFFERENT KEYS/LYRICS ONLY TO DIFFERENT MONITOR OUTPUTS
I appreciate this will need a multiheaded graphics card, but when powermusic was first released there was talk of a “professional” version that would allow for different displays for different musicians. I’m thinking if this could be implemented to allow people that play Eb or Bb instruments to have a different key on their screen. At the moment I get around this problem by sticking capo chords up for them to play in, but this tends to exclude the guitar player if the key is awkward. Outputting a chord free/lyrics only version to a projector as well would be handy, but I think other users have suggested this already. The most useful way for this would be to have a couple of output options or profiles for the whole program that transposes each song displayed on the fly based on the key of the master (rather than having to set it separately for each song), then the user can actually assign the “profile” to a physical monitor output depending on the hardware setup. So you can probably put in 3 profiles out the box, Eb instrument, Bb instrument and lyrics only, with the ability to add your own. I suppose different formatting can be assigned to each profile as well (making projector/singer screens bigger text for example)
TIGHTER INTEGRATION WITH PMBOX
I switch between my ipad and computer a lot. I tend to do the edits on computer and use that when i’m playing with other musicians, but then just use my ipad when i’m playing alone. Can there be an option for tighter integration, so if there’s an internet connection it automatically updates the song record in the cloud with any edits and makes the latest version available on all devices.
This highlights another slight problem in that if you change any performance notes on the ipad, you can’t get them back up in the cloud. the ability to change tempos and some of the other options on the ipad and save them back up to pmbox would be handy as well.
Another problem (rendered moot if the above is implemented) but if a song is updated on the computer, uploaded to PMBox, and the song is already on the ipad, there’s not a “download all new/updated” option like there is between computer and computer. You just have to scroll down the list of songs checking for the green text indicating it’s updated.
I appreciate this would probably need to be an option that can be switched off and on in the preferences as some people might not want this.
VARIOUS WARNING NOTICES
Can some of the warning notices be switched off? For example
The one that says “you haven’t saved any tags for your song, are you sure you want to continue”
The one on closing an edit window that says “are you sure you want to exit without saving?” I appreciate changing this now with so many users might confuse people, but much more sensible would be behaviour like other programs (word processors) where it offers a save/discard/cancel window. At the moment you have to click “no” go and save the record, then exit which is against the grain a little bit. The number of times I’ve clicked “Yes” expecting it to be a dialogue asking me to save changes and lost the edits. (because i’m not very bright). Having the dialogue as save/discard/cancel rather than the old fasioned word 5.0 yes/no/cancel should stop anyone getting confused at the change that are used to the existing dialogue.
The warning about number of lines when saving a record. Can there be an option in settings to turn this off? I know I can set it to 60 lines and make it go away most of the time, but I think it would just be tidy to be able to tick a box in the preferences to make that go away.
ADVANCING THROUGH SONGS ON PLAYLIST (PARTICULARLY GOING BACKWARDS)
When moving forwards through a playlist it’s very nice as it nicely goes through each page and then onto the next song. However, going backwards takes you back through the first pages of each song. Again, I can see that there’d be people who would want it to stay like it is, so could there be an option to explode the playlist into pages and for the back/forward function to move backwards and forwards through the playlist like a book (ie. from the first page of song 2 to the last page of song 1 on the list. (I’ve had the problem where I’ve accidentally flipped songs too quickly and I have to do a convoluted Back, forwards, forwards, forwards, oops too far!, back, forwards, forwards, ahh this is where i’m meant to be! to get to the last page of the song before.
MOVING THROUGH THE MASTER LIST MAKES SOFTWARE HANG
The copyright information is now displayed at the bottom of the song on the master screen. When moving through the song list powermusic appears to try and extract this copyright information and place it at the bottom of the screen as soon as the record is highlighted. Also, it appears to redraw the whole screen if the copyright information needs to take up two lines. It’s when this happens the whole thing hangs up. It does come back to life fairly quickly, but it’s enough of a problem when you’re quickly scrolling through the list intended to hit enter to get it quickly on the screen to play. I provide this one as just an observation. I’m not sure how this would be fixed apart from maybe a delay before it gets the copyright information from the record and just truncates it to one line.
AVAILABLE KEY SIGNATURES
can the unused enharmonics be removed from the key list and all the keys be on the same lis?. So, rather than the b/# option, can we have the list of chords available as below all on the same list? (for example to make it easier to transpose a song from F# down to Eb without having to first chose D# and then hit the b button. For example, you generally wouldn’t ever get a song in D# major. I’ve listed the keys below up to 7 accidentals so the ones not on the list can come off? (check it though, i might be wrong).
The major keys are generally: C G D A E B F# C# Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F
The minor keys are generally: A E B F# C# G# Eb Bb F C G D
IPAD SONG DISPLAY
When the chord line is too long for the ipad display, it gives you two lines of chords with the lyrics underneath. However, when this happens for more than a couple of lines it pushes the bottom lines of the page off the bottom of the screen