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MS Surface for Displaying Scores #2952708 02/28/20 08:29 PM
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ee375 Offline OP
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Has anyone used a MS Surface for displaying scores?

I spent hours trying (unsuccessfully) to get a page turner (and the keyboard PgUp and PgDn keys) to change pages in portrait mode. They all worked fine in landscape mode. I tried it with MS Edge and it didn't work either. I realized that this was a Surface issue so I called MS Support. I was told by one of the MS Support specialists that none of the position keys (PgUp, PgDn, L Arrow, R Arrow, Up Arrow, Dn Arrow) work when the screen is rotated to the portrait mode.

If that is true the Surface is useless for displaying scores. Since I spent much of my career writing software it is hard to believe that MS would be so short-sighted to make such a horrible decision. I will call Support again and see if I get the same answer from another specialist.

Has anyone else had this problem? Did I get bad information? Is there a work-around?

If all this is true, does anyone want to buy a MS Surface cheap?

Last edited by ee375; 02/28/20 08:36 PM.
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Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952719 02/28/20 08:44 PM
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In what format are your scores? Are they PDF? If so, what PDF reader are you using?

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952729 02/28/20 09:06 PM
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Yes, the scores are PDF. I have tried Xodo, Sheet Music Viewer, Power Music and Edge. All work the same - keyboard codes to not work in portrait mode.

It really doesn't matter what app is used. The problem is that the Surface does not accept cursor commands when in portrait mode. That's a killer for displaying scores.

I just confirmed with another MS Support specialist that this is the way the Surface was designed. It is hard to believe that anyone writing software would make such a foolish decision.

Last edited by ee375; 02/28/20 09:07 PM.
Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952740 02/28/20 09:36 PM
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Which Surface do you have?

I have the original Surface Book, and for piano playing I use the tablet part of it separated from its keyboard along with the program MusicReader (PDF files) and an AirTurn BT 105 foot pedal. It works fine in either portrait or landscape mode.

However, my first Surface Book failed unexpectedly about six months after I purchased it. MS replaced it under warranty, even gave me an upgraded version, unbeknownst to me, within an hour of me taking it in to the local MS store. The techs there did suggest I not use the MR program in tablet mode, but just the standard. (A pop-up in the bottom right hand corner asks me which mode I want each time I start it up as a tablet, before I go into MusicReader.)

Pages also turn promptly forward or backward in standard mode if I just swipe using a finger. That is much easier than making similar page turns in paper music. Just a quick poke needed.

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952749 02/28/20 10:18 PM
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Can you get reader software that lets you select the key (s) to turn pages? I used Mobile Sheets Pro on Chromebook and I can assign any key, and any number of keys, to do anything, from turn pages forward and back to jump to specific pages, back to index, etc.

I have 4-5 keys bound to turn page forward, and just hook up different BT devices depending on what I need.

It doesn't solve the Surface problem but I think it would be an effective workaround of you could bind whatever key you want.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952758 02/28/20 10:32 PM
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ee375 Offline OP
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Which Surface do you have?

Surface Pro 4

Quote
it would be an effective workaround of you could bind whatever key you want.

I don't think so. The Pro 4 does not respond to ANY key codes when in the portrait mode.

Quote
I just swipe using a finger. That is much easier than making similar page turns in paper music. Just a quick poke needed.


A swipe changes full pages with Xodo but not with Sheet Music Viewer or Power Music. That's better than turning paper pages but not as good as with a pedal.

I haven't tried Music Reader or Mobile Sheets but if the Pro 4 doesn't send key codes in portrait mode they won't work either.

The Surface release dates:
Pro 4 Oct 2015
Book 3 Nov 2017
Pro 5 Jun 2017
Pro 6 Oct 2018

Maybe they realized the error with my Pro 4 and corrected it for the later products.

Last edited by ee375; 02/28/20 10:40 PM.
Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952763 02/28/20 10:47 PM
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LXXXVIIIden, what mode Surface Book do you have. Maybe that's where I need to go. Lots on eBay for about $150.

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952767 02/28/20 11:08 PM
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Hmm I would download the musicreader app from musicreader.net and try the free demo. I had it working in the Microsoft Store a couple of years ago in portrait mode. If you can't get it working I would contact Marco from Musicreader.net. I know he has said people use the Surface Pro and he has it listed on his recommended tablet list.

Good luck. FYI I''m using Musicreader on a 24" monitor but have used it on my wife's HP Envoy 2n1 in portrait mode and it works fine. Looking to get my own 2n1 for church instead of hauling all those books back and forth.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952775 02/28/20 11:23 PM
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I have the first Surface Book that came out. There is a newer model now. The Surface Books are not cheap, but I like being able to detach the screen part and use it as a touch tablet. It is a full feature PC for other uses, lots of programs, some great drawing programs if you do art.

Marco at Music Reader has been helpful too, replies promptly, but I did not need his help in order to use the portrait mode as opposed to the landscape mode.

In the SB settings you can lock the tablet into landscape or portrait mode if you wish, or leave it free to rotate as the tablet is turned, depending on what you want at any time.

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952806 02/29/20 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ee375

I don't think so. The Pro 4 does not respond to ANY key codes when in the portrait mode.


I have a 5th generation Surface Pro (sysinfo shows surface_pro_1796) and I just tried putting it in portrait mode and typing with a USB keyboard plugged in and it works fine, so it's definitely not a problem that persisted past the Pro 4. I've found the Surface Pro to basically be the perfect "on instrument" device. So I guess you need at least something from 2017 for that to be true?

I took a video of me doing it so you could see just in case I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, sorry for shaky cam, was doing this quickly so I was holding my phone in one hand to record:



Last edited by Chrispy; 02/29/20 04:29 AM.

Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
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Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952887 02/29/20 11:21 AM
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So I guess you need at least something from 2017 for that to be true?

Crispy - Yes, you are correct. Typing in portrait mode does not work on my Pro 4. Bummer.

I need to get a Pro 5 (or later) or maybe a Surface Book like LXXXVIIIden has. Not sure what the difference is yet.

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952891 02/29/20 11:39 AM
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Can you assign page turning to one of the pen buttons?


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: Learux] #2952937 02/29/20 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
Can you assign page turning to one of the pen buttons?


+1. Mobile Sheets also allows mouse buttons to be assigned to turning pages, maybe that's an option?


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952975 02/29/20 04:38 PM
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That would work then, I use Mobile sheets with my surface pro (3) and like them both very much.

There used to be a trail version for it let me check for you.

Yep here you go

https://www.zubersoft.com/mobilesheets/


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
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Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2952984 02/29/20 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ee375
Quote
So I guess you need at least something from 2017 for that to be true?

Crispy - Yes, you are correct. Typing in portrait mode does not work on my Pro 4. Bummer.

I need to get a Pro 5 (or later) or maybe a Surface Book like LXXXVIIIden has. Not sure what the difference is yet.

Works on SP3 with a USB keyboard as well.

Re: MS Surface for Displaying Scores [Re: ee375] #2953729 03/02/20 09:52 PM
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I use a Surface pro 4 in portrait mode wiith a donner bluetooth page turner with no problems with Power Music Pro. However if I haven't got the pedal then a tap on the left or right of the screen will turn the pages backwards and forwards.

From what I remember when I tried mobilesheets it also worked the same way.


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