Tablet computers are becoming more and more common which means there are more on the market and more in general use. This means, sound programs are becoming touch screen, finally! This is something that sound operators have been asking for since the 1990s when Game Ops Commander and Stadium Click Effects debuted (now Sound Director
Tablet computers are becoming more and more common which means there are more on the market and more in general use. This means, sound programs are becoming touch screen, finally! This is something that sound operators have been asking for since the 1990s when Game Ops Commander and Stadium Click Effects debuted (now Sound Director and the shortened Click Effects).
Through those years of having to deal with CRTs and now the convenience of a laptop, tablets are bringing to real life something that was very cost-prohibitive just a few years ago. However, are tablets really work it to the general user? It depends on what kind of user you are.
Tablet computers make a simple point-and-touch much easier. You see it, you tap it, you get it to work. However scroll bars can be an issue when a matter of tenths of a second makes the difference between playing a song and adding a little awkward silence. On the surface, using a tablet is awesome. If you’re just starting out, yes a tablet can really be helpful to you. Until you get under the hood.
Some issues we’ve experienced with limited tablet use, and feedback from others include:
Lack of hotkeys. Yes, these are important but unless you have a keyboard attached to your tablet that is active while you’re using it, you lose the use of hotkeys. You can pull up the on-screen keyboard, but it takes up valuable real estate from your audio program. Now you’re having to choose between using the touch screen or the keyboard. If you decide to attach a keyboard, then is the use of the touchscreen really that much more important? To some users it is, others it isn’t. That’s a personal preference.
Less storage space. Remember back when a gigabyte was a lot of space? Yeah, now we’re talking about 500-times that coming standard on a laptop with external terabyte hard drives relatively inexpensive. However tablets tend to peak out at 64GB with a few starting to hit the market at 128GB, that’s an average of 1/4 the size of drives on laptops, 1/8 if you have a 64GB tablet. You can also start looking at getting 256GB tablets but those are running more than a comparable laptop with a hard drive twice the size. Since most people purchase a tablet for multiple use, how much space are you going to have for your music? A few years ago, those starting out wouldn’t have much music. Today, however, most people have gigabytes of music they’ve already purchased and will be purchasing more as time goes on. Will you have the space or will you have to upgrade sooner rather than later?
External storage hookup. With Apple devices, this has long been a serious issue. You can’t hook-up external storage to your iPad, but can access cloud storage which can be great…if you have Internet access. There are tablets that do offer USB hookup so you can still use an external hard drive if you need to.
Lack of Internet access. It’s hard to believe we can’t get online everywhere right now, though it’s getting closer. This is a problem that affects all who may store their music online, or on a home server and need internet access.
To us, we need the hotkeys as it gives you anywhere from 45 to almost 200 additional sounds depending on the program you’re using. Having access to hotkeys is necessary as we use a lot of sounds for a lot of situations and need direct access.
Like a lot of things, there are positives and negatives to both.1 comment