torsdag 11 augusti 2016

LinkeSoft SongBook

The most compatible music reader app - as long as you only need ChordPro.

App: SongBook
Available for: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS
Price: $8 - $20
Developer: LinkeSoft

The LinkeSoft SongBook app is unique in that it is truly portable and works not only on iOS and Android (optimized for tablets, OK on phones) but also on Windows (7, 8, 10) and macOS (10.6.6 and up). That is quite an achievement. Using the Dropbox synchronisation all versions can also work with the same song collection. Nice!

The SongBook app really shines in handling ChordPro files, with excellent formatting of text, chords and labels which can all be set to preference. Unfortunately, the PDF support is less impressive - it works, has auto cropping, and you can mix song file formats in your set lists, but importing and indexing clearly shows that PDFs are second class citizens.

Personally I find the SongBook song management rather confusing, using both lists, categories and tags for organization and filtering. These makes a little more sense when thinking about the way the files are physically stored on your device and the way the ChordPro file format works, but it actually makes the user interface unnecessarily complex. On my Android phone I constantly found myself wondering which view I was in (and how to get out of there), but the corresponding dialogs worked a lot better on a Windows 10 tablet.

All OS versions of SongBooks seems to be very actively developed, adding fixes and features in regular updates. There's a brief manual on the developer site, which also contain a simple form for support issues.

The Windows app crashed frequently during the test period, but this was a beta version for touch tablet, not a final release. The Android version was very stable.

If most of your repertoire is in ChordPro files, the LinkeSoft SongBook might just be the perfect app for you. Especially if you (or your band) has many devices with different operating systems, but like to share a common music database. Otherwise there are better alternatives, at least on Android and iOS. 
SongBook - 3 stars -

(Tested: LinkeSoft SongBook version 4.0 on Android phone and tablet, beta version for Windows 10 touch tablet)

3 kommentarer:

  1. I've been using Songbook for a couple of years now and own every version except for Mac. Very pleased and the developer is very responsive.

  2. I've been using the IOS version on my iPad & the Window PC version on my desktop for about 5 years. Both interface well with the Dropbox feature. So simple to use & very clean either way. Some minor glitches appear on the Windows versions occasionally, but the developer responds to email inquiries immediately. They've also come on board as members of our Linkesoft Songbook Users page on Facebook & readily answer questions we might have there. Can't say enough good about them.

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