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News of the week of April 8, 2014

Meeting report, April 8

We played:

Schedule

Between now and the beginning of May, we will be working mainly on the program for the Walk for Hunger. People who are not playing that performance are welcome to come help us work on it, except for the April 29 meeting, which will be limited to performers.

It looks likely that we will be coached by John Tyson on April 22, if people would like to play Renaissance dance music led by one of the leading contemporary performers of it.

Apps I use on my phone

A friend just got a good android phone, and I wrote her advice about what to put on it. I thought you might like to know, too, so here it is. The phone is currently a Google Galaxy Nexus, which I bought in August of 2012. So it's almost three year old technology, but it still seems pretty functional.

Apps for using the phone

Call Filter
This one really saves me time. It lets me send all calls where the number is hidden directly to voice mail. If a real person I wanted to talk to did ever call from a number like that, they would presumably leave a message, but it's mostly fundraisers or worse.
Dropbox
I thought when I started using this that it would help me work on something on my laptop as well as my desktop. It does do that, but even more often useful is that when I take pictures on my phone, they automatically get uploaded to my computer.
Prey Anti Theft
Of course, I installed this after I lost a phone. So far it's been tested only when I've changed SIM cards, which it sees as a possible loss of the phone. But it does send you an email and you can see on a map where the phone is.

Apps that let the phone function as lots of other small electronic gadgets (or not)

Accupedo pedometer
Seems to be fairly accurate. Since losing the dog, I don't consistently do 10,000 steps a day, but if the weather ever improves, I will start.
Accuweather
I never had a small gadget that did this, but it is useful. This one works better than the other weather apps I've tried, but it is a bit of a nuisance about telling me all the weather alerts.
Calendar
I find the interface on this painful enough that I usually wait until I get home to enter appointments, but it is useful to be able to look at your calendar before you make an appointment.
Camera
I do still have a camera that's better than this one, but this is pretty good, and of course, the best camera is the one you have with you.
FBReader
This is what I use to read books on all my devices. It may not work better than the competition, but it works the same way everywhere, so I don't need to figure out how to find the table of contents on the new gadget.
Mobile Metronome
Has all the features any other metronome I know about does. It's loud enough on the phone speaker for recorder playing, but needs an external speaker for groups or loud brass instruments.
On Track
I use this to record my blood sugar readings, but you can use it to keep track of any number you want. I can show the graph to my doctor when he asks how my blood sugar is doing.
Smart Voice Recorder
This is one that really doesn't replace the special purpose device. This app works better than the built-in one. If you use high definition sound, your recorder will sound like a recorder, but it will be much too noisy to listen to for any length of time. So if you don't have a special purpose recorder (mine is a Zoom H2), it's worth getting, but otherwise don't bother.
Spotify. My latest discovery. I was using the Google Play Music app for playing my music, but this lets you play other people's music, too. After my free trial is up, I may try whether the Google All Access is as good or better about having the music I want to listen to -- they're about the same price, and Google or Spotify has made it impossible to use Spotify on Google TV, so the Google thing would be easier to play through my stereo.
Waves
This is tuning software, with all the features of even very expensive tuners. (I haven't tried defining my own temperament, but they have all the temperaments I've wanted.)This is a rewrite of g-strings, which has a free version that works pretty well for recorders, but Waves isn't very expensive, and works better for the serpent. Again, the phone isn't loud enough to play a drone, and the speaker doesn't have enough bass to play a low drone, but you can put it through better speakers.

Apps I use on my phone

A friend just got a good android phone, and I wrote her advice about what to put on it. I thought you might like to know, too, so here it is. The phone is currently a Google Galaxy Nexus, which I bought in August of 2012. So it's almost three year old technology, but it still seems pretty functional.

Apps for using the phone

Call Filter
This one really saves me time. It lets me send all calls where the number is hidden directly to voice mail. If a real person I wanted to talk to did ever call from a number like that, they would presumably leave a message, but it's mostly fundraisers or worse.
Dropbox
I thought when I started using this that it would help me work on something on my laptop as well as my desktop. It does do that, but even more often useful is that when I take pictures on my phone, they automatically get uploaded to my computer.
Prey Anti Theft
Of course, I installed this after I lost a phone. So far it's been tested only when I've changed SIM cards, which it sees as a possible loss of the phone. But it does send you an email and you can see on a map where the phone is.

Apps that let the phone function as lots of other small electronic gadgets (or not)

Accupedo pedometer
Seems to be fairly accurate. Since losing the dog, I don't consistently do 10,000 steps a day, but if the weather ever improves, I will start.
Accuweather
I never had a small gadget that did this, but it is useful. This one works better than the other weather apps I've tried, but it is a bit of a nuisance about telling me all the weather alerts.
Calendar
I find the interface on this painful enough that I usually wait until I get home to enter appointments, but it is useful to be able to look at your calendar before you make an appointment.
Camera
I do still have a camera that's better than this one, but this is pretty good, and of course, the best camera is the one you have with you.
FBReader
This is what I use to read books on all my devices. It may not work better than the competition, but it works the same way everywhere, so I don't need to figure out how to find the table of contents on the new gadget.
Mobile Metronome
Has all the features any other metronome I know about does. It's loud enough on the phone speaker for recorder playing, but needs an external speaker for groups or loud brass instruments.
On Track
I use this to record my blood sugar readings, but you can use it to keep track of any number you want. I can show the graph to my doctor when he asks how my blood sugar is doing.
Smart Voice Recorder
This is one that really doesn't replace the special purpose device. This app works better than the built-in one. If you use high definition sound, your recorder will sound like a recorder, but it will be much too noisy to listen to for any length of time. So if you don't have a special purpose recorder (mine is a Zoom H2), it's worth getting, but otherwise don't bother.
Spotify.
My latest discovery. I was using the Google Play Music app for playing my music, but this lets you play other people's music, too. After my free trial is up, I may try whether the Google All Access is as good or better about having the music I want to listen to -- they're about the same price, and Google or Spotify has made it impossible to use Spotify on Google TV, so the Google thing would be easier to play through my stereo.
Waves
This is tuning software, with all the features of even very expensive tuners. (I haven't tried defining my own temperament, but they have all the temperaments I've wanted.)This is a rewrite of g-strings, which has a free version that works pretty well for recorders, but Waves isn't very expensive, and works better for the serpent. Again, the phone isn't loud enough to play a drone, and the speaker doesn't have enough bass to play a low drone, but you can put it through better speakers.

News of the week of March 25, 2014

Meeting report: March 25, 2014

We played:

Schedule

Remember that next week's meeting, April 1, is a performance rehearsal, restricted to the people who are playing the April 6 performance.

Other than that, we will be meeting as usual on Tuesdays on 7:45 pm at my place.

Please remember that with as few regular attenders as we have right now, we especially appreciate dropin members, but we also really appreciate them letting us know by Tuesday morning if they're dropping in.

We will be playing on May 4 at the Walk for Hunger. The organizers are bugging me now for how many t-shirts we want, so if you're at all interested, let me know in the next day or two. It's likely that we'll make the April 29 meeting limited to and compulsory for the people playing at the Walk.

Events

If you feel at all like going somewhere on Sunday, April 6, come to the Community Church of Boston in Copley Square at 11 AM. We'll be playing Guerrero, Holborne, Arcadelt and Campian.

Also remember that the Boston Recorder Society is having a workshop on Saturday, April 5. Loud wind players are especially welcome for the afternoon session.

News of the week of March 11, 2014

Meeting report: March 11, 2014

We played:

Schedule

We will be meeting as usual on Tuesdays on 7:45 pm at my place.

Please remember that with as few regular attenders as we have right now, we especially appreciate dropin members, but we also really appreciate them letting us know by Tuesday morning if they're dropping in.

We now have the cast of characters for the April 6th performance at the Community Church of Boston. The April 1 meeting will be limited to, and compulsory for, the people playing the service.

We will also be playing on May 4 at the Walk for Hunger. We'll probably repeat a lot of the April 6 repertoire there, so if you want to play at the Walk, you should let me know, and start coming to as many rehearsals as possible. The organizers are bugging me now for how many t-shirts we want, so if you're at all interested, let me know in the next week. We'll probably play most of what we're playing at the church service and start adding more stuff after that, so it isn't too soon to start coming to rehearsals. It's likely that we'll make the April 29 meeting limited to and compulsory for the people playing at the Walk.