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Need help with Orpheus? You’re in the right place!

What tablet should I buy?

For best results aim for an Android tablet with large screen size and high resolution.

  • Samsung tablets are a good safe choice – they have lovely high resolution screens. You’ll find them in every retailer, and the 10″ screen size is sufficiently large if you have 20/20 vision. They are consistently good value for money.

For those looking for something larger than 10″?
Large tablets are much harder to find. Be prepared to do some online research and evaluation.

  • 12″ is approximately the size of a physical page of sheet music, so start your search at that size and upwards.
  • Orpheus is an Android app specifically.  In your search, make sure to filter for this as a primary search criteria.
  • You may need to get creative – there are several large convertable Windows laptops that are dual bootable to Android
  • Chromebooks offer some exciting possibilities – they are affordable, large, able to run Android apps, and now come in several convertible and detachable models.  They’ll be chunkier than a standard tablet so make sure you have a sturdy stand. But they stack up very impressively on all the rest of the features you’d be looking for, for sheet music reader.
  • e-ink tablets are relatively new, but they look pretty impressive for sheet music, if you can afford the price tag. Be sure to check it will run Android apps.
  • The main thing to look out for when it comes to sheet music is high resolution – that will help a great deal when reading notation.  Also make sure you scan your music in black and white mode for the best resolution and contrast ratio.

Full disclaimer: I am not a retailer or expert in tablet hardware, and the available models change very quickly. My recommendations above are therefore not for specific models, but more a guide for doing your own research.  I’d recommend you investigate the full technical specs, read some reviews on the models you’re considering, and then visit a tablet store to try a few for yourself.

Maeve Lander is a software developer by day, jazz trumpeter by night. She created Orpheus ~6 years ago, when Android was first born. It has gone through iteration over the years, but has always held true to the original vision; a minimalist sheet music reader that just does one thing, really well.

9 Comments

Ron Vermillion

2 Dec, 2015 - 10:00 am

Hi there,

Just ran into something I thought I should share just in case it would help someone else.

In an effort to run a larger monitor screen I’ve tried a couple of big screen tablets. A Nabi and most recent a HP Slate. Samsung also has a biggie (17″) coming out but none of the big screens (over17″) will rotate the view to portrait.

The designers of these things seem to have agreed that no one would want to run them up on edge in portrait mode.

After much agonizing over how to deal with this, a simple work around occurred. I scan my leadsheets and then rotate them 90 degrees and save them.

Then when I pull the images up I can simply rotate the screen to portrait and everything works fine.

Very best of regards,

Ron Vermillion , CEO

Maeve

2 Dec, 2015 - 10:04 am

Thanks for the tip Ron, much appreciated.

Stefan

8 Jan, 2016 - 8:17 pm

A lot of colleagues of mine use Ipads for their sheet music, which works fine. Those have a size of 9,7 inch, and a 3:4 aspect ratio, which is quite similar to that of sheet music. Most other tablets have a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is nice for movies, but not for music.

Samsung recently released the Samsung Tab A and Tab S2, both of which have the same aspect ratio as the Ipad. I bought the Tab A, because it has a touchscreen pen which makes writing much easier. The lower resolution (same as the Ipad 1 and 2) is no problem, the music is displayed very sharp.

Richard Barbour

24 Jan, 2020 - 10:21 pm

Does Orpheus run on the Google 12.3″ Slate tablet? It’s supposed to run Android apps but apparently some of them don’t work well. I’m currently running on a Lenovo 10″ tablet but want something larger that isn’t as expensive as the Ipad.

Maeve Lander

4 Feb, 2020 - 1:30 pm

Yes, Orpheus should work fine on Google Chromebooks. I’m planning on further optimising for Chromebook in the next release because there are several 12″ + sizes available and it seems like a potentially cost effective device choice for sheet music reading.

Lee B

1 Mar, 2020 - 8:26 am

Will this work with older Android OS ? Like OS 4.4

Thanks

Maeve Lander

14 May, 2020 - 5:30 pm

I do my best to maintain backwards compatibility but cannot guarantee it back past v5.4. We are up to v10.x now so 4.4 (released 2013) is very old indeed, by technology standards! I would strongly recommend an upgrade for performance, security and happiness 🙂

James

23 Apr, 2020 - 5:50 am

Hi,
I’m hoping to run Orpheus on a Viewsonic VSD243 so I may view 11×17 scores without changing their size. Do you know if the app will work in that context?

Maeve Lander

14 May, 2020 - 5:26 pm

Nice! That looks impressively large and suitable for scores. I haven’t tried the Viewsonic VSD243 personally, however, I see that it runs a standard Android operating system. Orpheus should work perfectly on any Android operating system v5.4+

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