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Starting from scratch from iPad and MusicPad
#1
So I've been using digital sheet music for probably 20 years, starting with a MusicPad Plus and most recently an iPad. Music Pad was a closed linux system and all data was kept on a flash drive. I had all my music organized by categories such as solos, etudes, excerpts, brass ensembles, etc. and that worked fine. If I wanted a solo, I went to the solo directory and got it. Same for an Etude book.

Switching to an iPad was a difficult procedure since (to me) it's not a real computer unless it has a file system, but it's just a giant phone that can't make phone calls!! Big Grin 

What I did was import (for example) all the solos and within the iPad (ForScore) put a tag on them of Solos. Then etudes, all tagged Etudes, etc. ForScore allowed me to view the entire library by tags so it "appeared" to have a file structure. By this time I have well over 5000+ files

ForScore (which is a good program except being on the giant phone...) uses PDF files, so now all my files are in PDF format. On my computer (Windows 10) I kept all those PDF files in the "iPad Backup" directory and the subfolders in that directory had the same names as the tags in ForScore (Solos, Etudes, Brass Ensembles, etc)

I have now put that entire folder on my Surface Pro (renamed to Mobile Sheets Files). From reading another post about directories and folders, if I understand it correctly I can import the entire "Mobile Sheets Files" directory and that directory structure will be visible in Mobile Sheets, so if I'm building a playlist for a gig and need one of the solos, I can go to the Mobile Sheets Solo folder and find the one I need.

Is this going to be that simple or am I missing something?
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#2
You would want to first go to Settings->Storage->Set MobileSheets Storage Location, set the storage location to your "Mobile Sheets Files" directory, then use Import->Batch Import to import the entire "Mobile Sheets Files" directory. On the batch import screen, you will see an option to "Populate Metadata from Directories". You will want to enable that if you already have your folders structured in such a way that fields in MobileSheets can be populated from them. You'll just need to specify the hierarchy you set up for the metadata (let me know if you have any questions about this). In case you are wondering why you have to first set the MobileSheets storage location, it's due to file permissions. MobileSheets can only access files under the default application data directory or under the storage location that is chosen. This is because MobileSheets is a UWP application (although with Microsoft not supporting UWP well, this could potentially change in the future).

I should mention that MobileSheets does not display data in the same way as a file system where there is support for an infinitely deep heirarchy of folders. Instead, you will have all of your songs/pieces on the songs/pieces tab, and then you can access songs by one of the group types if desired (such as artists, composers, etc). You can add filters to narrow the songs down more. Collections are often used for this purpose as well. As long as you can access your songs by using a group + any necessary filters, the app should work pretty seamlessly for you. Users who have very deep folder hierarchies and want to rely on those hierarchies run into issues with MobileSheets as it does not display the songs in that way. I purposely didn't want things to be structured like a file system because that's generally much slower and more tedious to access, especially when building things like setlists. I haven't ruled out trying to add some kind of file-like browser tab in the future, but the problem is that there isn't a one-to-one correlation between files and songs in MobileSheetsPro (songs can use multiple files all over the file system and files can be used by multiple songs), so that kind of throws a wrench into just showing files. Since each file can be tied to multiple songs, I would either need have to duplicate entries for each file that show it's tied to a song, or a way of grouping songs under a single file entry so that users can be aware of that.

Let me know if you have additional questions and I'll be happy to answer them.

Mike
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#3
My entire (nearly 5,000) items is specified by filename-title (Haydn - Trumpet concerto) There is no data giving composer or title or artist (don't see this ever being used... who would be an artist on Beethoven - Symphony No. 4? I'm ONLY dealing with sheet music)

So unless I misunderstood, to pick something for a set list, I'd have only the list of 5,000 titles to choose from. That doesn't seem workable.

One other issue I have - being a trumpet player, I have LOTS of public domain orchestral trumpet parts. I also have lots of those sent to me by a friend. There are duplicate titles. The ones I have played I have edited and straighted out and cropped prior to putting them in. The others are just as they came to me and I haven't needed them so nothing has been done with them. So I COULD have a "Beethoven - Symphony No. 5" in my "ORCH PLAYED" folder and one in my "ORCH FROM JERRY" folder. On the old MusicPad I could navigate to either folder and pick the one I want for my setlist. On the iPad, where they are all in different "tags" I can go to the "ORCH PLAYED" tag or the "ORCH FROM JERRY" tag and put either in my setlist. It seems like duplicate filenames are OK if they have different tags. As I typed that it doesn't seem correct that duplicates are allowed!! But it's late a night.

It seems like I could make a Collection of "ORCH FROM JERRY" and a collection of "ORCH PLAYED" and then pick what I want from either collection. That would be similar to "tags" on the iPad. But mass tagging was easy. Everything imported in the iPad goes in a "No Tag" tag. I could import 1000 solos, all go the "no tag" list, I select all, edit, and in the tag field put "Solo" and I'm done. Is there any way to import 1000 solos, easily select them and put them all in a "Solo" collection?
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#4
If your directory structure is very consistently organized, read about batch importing specifically the section on 'Populating Metadata from Directories' on pages 37 and 38 of the manual. That would be the fastest way to import everything.
It's also possible to import several songs at a time and enter some of the metadata (that they share) during regular import. You could do this folder by folder until you have everything uploaded. It's slower but would allow the folder structure to be less than perfectly organized (hierarchically).
I like to use the Artist field to note arrangers, transcribers, editors, and/or composers (firstname lastname). I use the composer field to list composers (lastname, firstname). I also have the 'Custom Group' set to 'Instruments' so that I can filter songs that have the same name in multiple instrumentations (i.e. Haydn - Trumpet Concerto instrumentation Trumpet and Full Orchestra/Chamber Group/Wind Ensemble/Piano/Organ/ or something else)
Mobilesheets uses tags but you can assign multiple to each field. This allows you to deal with some music that fits in multiple categories (setlists, collections, genres, etc.)
I put all of my music that doesn't have all of the metadata filled out in a setlist labeled 'New'. Some of the songs (or groups of them) may have some metadata that I filled out on import, but I don't remove them from that setlist until I have filled out everything I would find useful. I just keep working through them. As it is, (even without all of the metadata filled out for all my songs) it's very easy to find what I'm looking for. It probably helps that the files (and song titles) are labeled 'ComposerLastName - SongName - MainInstrument.pdf'
I would probably try testing the import and batch import settings on a small copy of the structured music library just to figure out what to do and how it works.
For importing 1000 solos I would use Import>Local File (unless they are in different folders, then you will have to use batch), select all 1000 songs, click Open, add all of the tags in each field that apply to all 1000 songs in the 'Import Settings' dialog, and click OK. I would put 'Solo' and 'Trumpet' in the 'Instrument' field (maybe also 'Solos' in the 'Collection' field).
Sam

Surface Pro 7 with MSP
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