Page 1 of 2

Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:05 pm
by elerouxx
Hey! Have any of you guys tried Notion 4 on a touch device?

I have it installed in a very old tablet PC with a digitizer pen but no touchscreen. I love that machine, but it's getting old, heavy and inefficient for today's standards. Just by opening Notion it starts blowing warm air out and doing some fan noise. A string quartet turns it into a hair dryer...

Other than that, the wacom pen experience have been great with Notion. But now I have an Asus Windows 8 tablet which is light and works quite well in my opinion, only it doesn't have a digitizer pen.

I have installed the demo of Notion 3 I still had around. To some point it works fine, but it has some issues that show that touch screen wasn't in the map back then. I wonder if N4 works better on a touchscreen!

I could transfer my license from my notebook to the wintablet but I'm not sure if we both (Notion and I) are ready for this...

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:29 am
by Jaws75
IPad and notion be cheaper option...and it has support!

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:57 am
by wcreed51
You can have Notion activated on two computers. You can also de-activate on one, and activate on another.

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:42 am
by elerouxx
Jaws75 wrote:IPad and notion be cheaper option...and it has support!

Sorry, its too late for me :mrgreen:
I never had an iPad. Notion almost made me buy one. But, after months of thinking about it, I decided I already lost iPad's better age and choose a Windows 8 tablet.

Please don't take me wrong, i think the iPad is a fantastic platform, and Notion a fantastic product for iOs (and at a very good price!) but since I can have a full featured Notion on the go, I decided to go for it.

Don't be too hard with the Notion team, I know that the iPad version is taking a lot of their time but I'm sure the desktop version still has enough support!

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:44 am
by elerouxx
wcreed51 wrote:You can have Notion activated on two computers. You can also de-activate on one, and activate on another.

Thanks! After trying the tablet for a day, I absolutely fell in love with it. I gave N3 a try, just to check for performance and such... and finally I decided to transfer my N4 license and so I did.

First impressions were great. From almost all angles, I love how it works, and I'm very pleased by how Notion has improved the functionality with the touch interface from N3 to N4 - it's another beast! N3 wasn't touch-aware. Selecting a quarter note and touching the screen would add the note immediately, while in N4 you can drag the note before dropping it (much like the iPad version, I guess).

Even a tablet like this -being on the low performance-side-, responds very well, graphically and soundwise. I am playing back Awakening Notions right now without glitches, even while... [TIP :arrow: ] ... I configured N4 to read sounds from a folder in the microSD card, so I spared some of the precious but little internal storage (half of the 64GB internal storage is taken by the OS!)

However, there seems that the touch improvements implied in some serious trade-offs. There are a few issues I really, really hope Notion will be able to solve.

* You now can touch the screen with a single finger and drag around to pan the score, when the SELECTION tool is selected. It works great, but because of this you can't use your finger to draw a selection box!

* There's no right-click! which in a tablet is performed by clicking and holding a single finger for about a second. I guess that the same ability to just touch and navigate prevents sending the RIGHT-click event to the system.

* As a side effect, because there are no leftbutton or rightbutton click events passed to the OS, I cannot use a third party gesture app to help me out. I know this will hardly look like a priority, but since fingers have no buttons or modifier keys, gestures make a HUGE difference in the interface!

So, no right clicking or selection box because of the single-finger panning. :(

In the world of windows touch devices, two fingers are used both to pinch and zoom (works great in N4!) and to pan around the document. I think it would be much better if N4 used this 2-finger method instead of a single finger.

Maybe a digitizer screen and pen would overcome these problems. Unfortunately, only a few tablet models have digitized screens and are more expensive. Mine doesn't, so my hearth kind of shrank when I saw these caveats :(

Other than that, I'm very impressed by having a full desktop Notion with me all the time, and that most of it works so well. Nice work!

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:01 pm
by elerouxx
Anyway, I'd like to summarize some information and tips for those who are thinking about getting a windows tablet for Notion 4. (It would have been very useful for me before).

My Asus Vivotab smart is one of the cheapest Windows 8 devices, it's very light and comfortable, and it responds pretty well. It's powered by an Atom Z2670, as most in its category. It has 64GB of storage, but the system takes about half. Ram is 2GB. The device also supports microSD, so you can add up to 64GB storage.

I was able to install Notion 4 without problems.

The touch experience has been great for the most part. A single finger can be used to pan the score around, while performing pinch and zoom with two fingers will zoom the score in or out. These behavior only works with the Selection tool active.

Notes or other elements can be chosen easily from the palette and put into the score. To add a note you can touch on the staff and then drag the note around before you drop it. You can also select a note by touching it and then drag it up and down as expected.

Some elements like slurs or hairpins don't act as expected by touching and dragging, but they can be added easily by tapping on the starting and the ending point of where you want to put the element.

Some caveats:

There's no way of right-clicking by touch. Notion ignores the click-and-hold method.

Also, because touching and dragging pans the score around, there's no way of drawing a selecting box to select portions of the score by using your finger!

The piano keyboard and fretboard work very well, but to add chords you have to press ENTER, and there's no enter key. You have to invoke the tablet keyboard - which takes about half of the screen- press ENTER and then close the keyboard. In my opinion, the need of pressing ENTER was already counter-intuitive, but just got awkward on the tablet. I think there should be an additional button on the fretboard/keyboard interface as an alternative to hitting the ENTER key.

Some tips and workarounds:

1. Tools and icons trend to be tiny in these devices. I find it's better to set text and size of things to 125% in the resolution control panel.

2. To spare internal storage, It's possible to install the sounds in the microSD card by setting the path in Notion preferences. I'm using a slow 8GB card for the time being, and I am able to open N4 and Awakening Notions in a couple seconds, and play it without glitches even while zooming and paning the score around. The tablet supports way faster and bigger microSD cards.

3. I just found out you can perform a right click (press and hold) on the scrolling bar at the right of the score view! it's a little weird place to click but it's the only place it works.

4. Windows 8 virtual keyboard is a simplified keyboard, but there's an option to activate the FULL LAYOUT virtual keyboard, which allows you the following things:

+ While you can't drag a selection box, you can use the full keyboard to hit the SHIFT key and then go clicking on any number of notes, one by one.

+ The one I miss most you can't do without a keyboard: converting notes to other values, by hitting '=' and then the value shortcut (=q for quarters, =e for eighths and so on).

(The keyboard takes half the screen in landscape mode, but works better in portrait).

5. Next time get a tablet with a digitizer pen :(

Well, that's all I got for the time being! I hope it may be useful for someone.

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:23 pm
by elerouxx
I must be the only person in the planet who's using a windows 8 tablet with touch, attached to a wacom graphire!

I plugged the graphic tablet to the Asus's usb port to check how a digitizer would work. I wonder if an active stylus work the same as the Wacom tablet does.

I should definitely have picked a digitized Tablet, from Dell or otherwise. I am not bitter but post this as a warning. Eventually I'll sell this one and get another model.

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:39 am
by elerouxx
Just a couple more (unsolicited) tips for windows tablet users:

-It's possible to highlight (select) portions of the score or individual notes by using the ON-SCREEN KEYBOARD (osk.exe). It's not the Windows 8 touch keyboard, but the 'old' windows 7 keyboard for ease of access.

Clicking the shift key will hold it down, so you can select individual notes by touching on them. Also, if double-clicking on a measure when SHIFT is down, you can highlight that measure, and then click ahead to expand or shrink the selection box. Tricky at first, but efficient afterall for on-the-go finger music writing ;) (Tip: to select notes from the middle of a measure, you must double click the NEXT measure, and then you can expand the selection box backwards). See picture.

Screenshot (9).png
Screenshot (9).png (187.28 KiB) Viewed 13473 times

- I've been looking for alternative on-screen keyboards that are customizable but found nothing better than osk.exe so far. The onscreen keyboard has this 'nav' keys mode, a single row of keys that. I haven't been able to customize it but it has some very useful keys for notion: tab, enter, space, arrows, pgdn, pgup, f6 and ESC. And, some of them are easily reprogrammable with AUTOHOTKEY. Pgdn and pgup could be used for shift down or shift up, F6 could be configured to RIGHT CLICK in the middle of the screen. (right clicking is another issue when using just touch). See picture.

Screenshot (8).png
Screenshot (8).png (211.63 KiB) Viewed 13473 times

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:21 pm
by Composed
@elerouxx, thank you for notes on using a Windows 8 touch tablet with Notion 4. I'm considering picking on up so that I can break free from the desktop when composing (and doing other work), and like the ability to have a full desktop version of Notion in a tablet form. I'll probably also have some kind of keyboard (not virtual, but real, keyboard) so maybe I won't have as many struggles as you did in using only the touch tablet for input.

Re: Windows 8 Touch tablet and Notion 4?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:43 am
by elerouxx

I love my windows Tablet. Still, I'm selling it over because the lack of the digitizer pen. My only advice is to get one with a pen-it adds LOTS of functionality you can't have with just a capacitive pen or touch.

Of course it works great with a mouse and keyboard, but in moments that you really use it as a tablet, you will want the pen. I'm getting a latitude 10 from Dell, stylus compatible.