unrealBook For Musicians!

unrealBook allows you to access your entire library of music or lyrics on your iPad with ease. Replace your bulky and heavy binders with a small and light iPad filled with your music PDF files. The alphabetized and indexed list makes it easy to find the song you are looking for. No more asking for a light for your music stand anymore on dark stages. No more worrying about a breeze turning a page by accident. Search for a song easily and quickly. Create bookmarks that allow you to easily load up a large PDF and go directly to a page within. Use bookmarks and PDF files together to create set lists for different gigs. Hot spots allow you place highlighted areas on the page that allow you to jump from one page to another when pressed (think To Coda and D.S. signs). Finally, there is a built in music player so you can listen to your music while you check out the score!

I created unrealBook because I was tired of lugging around a different binder for every band I play with. Some of the bands required 3" binders and I wanted a solution that would allow me to carry all my music in a portable device. So far I have over 500 charts in my iPad and it has been GREAT!!!!!


Loading songs into unrealBook:

Loading PDF song files into UnrealBook:
Load your PDF music files into UnrealBook by plugging your iPad into the USB port of your computer. Launch iTunes and select the iPad by clicking on it under Devices:
Next, click on the Apps tab to the right of the DEVICES list in the main window pane.
Scroll down until you see File Sharing.

Under unrealBook Documents there is a drop area that you can copy your PDF files to. Either drag and drop files into the area or use the Add... button.


unrealBook reads most non-password protected PDF.

UnrealBook Help

Songs Button:

Load your PDF music files into UnrealBook and press the Songs button on the top left of the screen. Tap on a file to display it in the main window. To turn pages, tap on the right to go to the next page and tap on the left to go to the previous page. The page number and the total number of pages is displayed in the top right corner.

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You can also search for a song in the list. Simply drag the song list downwards and a search field will be displayed. Simply type into the search field and matching song files will appear.

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Dragging on the index to the right of the list will scroll items that start with the same name to the top of the list.

Music Button:

UnrealBook also has a built in music player. Simply tap on the Music button to have your entire music collection appear. Press on one or more titles and then Done to start playing. After your music starts playing, the music controller will appear. The title of the currently playing song file will be displayed. You can drag on the slider to move through the song.

Music Player:

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Player Controls:

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Do Button:


Bookmark This Page:

There will be times when you have a large document but you want to refer to songs in that document as individual songs. Bookmarks allow you to do this. Simply go to the page in the document that you want to treat as a file and press the Do button and choose Bookmark This Page. Name your new Bookmark and it will appear in the list like any other file. Choose it and your document will be loaded with the page showing. You can use Bookmarks in set lists like any other file.

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Edit Set List:

This will bring up a window where you can edit your set lists (see Creating a Set List below).

Add Hot Spot:

A Hot Spot allows you to highlight an area of your music and jump to another page in the document. You would use this for a D.S. Sign or for a To Coda. Press the Do button and choose Add Hot Spot. An alert will appear telling you to click on a spot in the document to place the Hot Spot. After choosing OK, tap on the page where you want the Hot Spot to appear. Once the Hot Spot appears on the music, tap it again to assign a page number to jump to when you tap on the button again. Note that Hot Spots can only be assigned in the default zoom.

Once a Hot Spot has been assigned, tap on it to jump to the specified page.

You can change the page number or delete the button any time by pressing and holding the button for longer than 2 seconds. A popup will appear allowing you to change the page number or to delete the button. Buttons are saved per document. Note that a large document can only have one set of buttons. This means that since Bookmarks refer to only a single document, there can be only one set of buttons for a single PDF document.

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The Hot Spot will appear in blue.
Tap once on the Hot Spot to assign a page number.

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Editing Hot Spots:

To delete or edit a Hot Spot, press and hold on the Hot Spot for more than 2 seconds. The Hot Spot parameters will be displayed. You can delete or assign another page to the Hot Spot.

Reset Zoom:

A double Tap in the middle of the page will reset the zoom to default.

Set List: On/Off

This toggles Set List mode on and off (see Creating a Set List below).

Using Set List Mode:

You can group together music files to create a set list. A set list is an easy way to order and use a subset of all of your music files. To create a set list, click on the Do button and turn Set List: to ON.

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The set list tool bar will appear on the bottom of the screen. Click on
Choose A Set List and choose New from the popup.

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The Set List Editor will appear. The music files in the left table are the files stored on your iPad. The table on the right is the set list that you are creating. Choose file from the table on the left and click Copy selected song to Set List to add it to the set list.

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You can click on the Edit button to delete and re-arrange the files in the set list.
When you are finished, name the set list and press the Save button. Your set list has been created.

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Using a Set List.

Click on the Do button and turn Set List: to ON. Press the set list button on the toolbar below and choose a Set List.
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Once a Set List has been chosen, the name will appear in the Set List tool bar at the bottom. The name of the set list shown is the currently active set list.
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Use the previous and next buttons to step through the set list.

To edit an existing set list, click on the set list button and choose Edit:

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Navigating through a long document (Go button):

If you have a document that has lots of pages, you can use the Go button to help you navigate through your document. Tap on the Go button and a window will appear. You can type in the page number directly or use the slider to scroll through pages.

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Optimizing files for UnrealBook.

When using the Print to PDF option on the Macintosh with Sibelius, you may find that the music displays less than optimal. To fix this, use a program called Fix aliased PDF (found on the internet) or drag the PDF into TextEdit and search for APPL, then change the false to true.

Open file in TextEdit. Find AAPL
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Locate the false next to AAPL.
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Set to true:

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Then save the file.

A word about the support files that UnrealBook creates:

UnrealBook will create support files as you use it. Here is a short explanation of what the files do.
.bkm are Bookmark files that UnrealBook creates . They point to a document and the page within. They have the same name as the associated file.
Note: in order for Bookmark files to work properly the document they point to must be in the UnrealBook folder.

.stl are Setlist files. They are simply a list of songs in order.
Note: in order for Setlist files to work properly the document they point to must be in the UnrealBook folder.

.prs are Hot Spot files. They contain your Hot Spots for your document. They have the same name as the associated file.
Note: in order for Setlist files to work properly the document they point to must be in the UnrealBook folder.

All of these files can be viewed in TextEdit.

Important notes:

Bookmarks reference files by name. If you change the name of the reference file, the bookmark will be invalid. If at all possible, do not rename PDF files that are referenced by bookmarks. If you need to delete a bookmark, delete the bookmark using iTunes and the File Sharing window. (Select the file and press delete). Bookmarks cannot be deleted in unrealBook at this time.

Setlist files reference files by name. If you change the name or delete a file that the setlist points to, the entry will be invalid. In order to keep set lists valid, do not delete files that they reference.

Important tricks:

unrealBook can read any sort of PDF files including magazines. Catch up on some reading on the gig!