The St Peter's Chamber orchestra is performing this weekend, and I'm principal violist. It's a small orchestra still in the "start up" phase, so there is no librarian. That means the responsibility of music distribution falls to the principals. I like to just email PDFs to my section and then bring the originals to the first rehearsal. Two of the three pieces were available from IMSLP and the other was a quick scan. I figured since I had the PDF versions, I would give the iPad a chance. After two days of trying to view the music that way, I gave up. It's just too small.
I have the PDFs in UnrealBook (on recommendation of choirguy at the TechInMusicEd blog, it’s his current favorite). They display nicely in portrait, just small. In landscape, the music becomes more readable, but the program doesn’t really handle scrolling well. Sure, you can grab the music and drag it up to see the bottom half of the page, but a tap is all it takes to turn to the next page. Half the time, the app thought my attempts at sliding to move the music were really taps and I ended up going forwards or backwards pages when all I wanted was to see the music on the bottom half of the page. This just reinforces my desire to find a bigger screened tablet. The problem is, 12” widescreen is the new norm, and I’ve already seen that it doesn’t add anything to the overall size of a full sheet of music.
Oh for a 13” 4:3 tablet. With 10 hours of battery. And a core i5 processor, with 4GB of RAM. Less than an inch thick. Under 3 pounds. That would be nice.