Monday, July 12, 2010

I am Technology's...well, you know

Can I say how much I love my new iPad?  Sorry to boast, but this thing is a marvel.  I mainly got it for reading manuscripts--I get tired of printing out stacks of paper and dragging them home and into bed with me.

[Did I say "home"?  We had a colleague over for dinner a few weeks ago and caught her staring at the piles of manila folders on the dining room buffet.  "Is" she gasped.  Well, yes it is.  When else is it going to get done?]

Anyway, now I can load a bunch of PDFs on the iPad, crawl into bed and skim to my heart's content.

But even more than that, I love narrating from my iPad.  Yes, you read that right.  I take it into the booth, punch up the wondrous GoodReader app, load the PDF, turn off the light, adjust the brightness, crop the pages a bit to enlarge the type, and off I go.  I'm amazed at how much fumbling with page turns has slowed me down in the past.  I'm generally distracted about a paragraph before, when I see it coming and start searching around for a place to stop while trying to concentrate on what I'm reading.  Then the dang pages won't separate and I spend a few seconds grappling with them.  And after the turn, it's a sentence or two before I get back into the swing.

Now I just flip my finger--quickly if it's a period, more slowly if the sentence continues onto the next page.  

I'm still getting used to it and find myself reaching the bottom of the page and sitting there dumbly for a few seconds before realizing that I didn't have to stop.

Another thing is that there's no glare from a lamp in the corner of my eye, no annoying reflection off the paper, no blurry type from a bad print job.  And best of all, I can see the whole page clearly!  By that I mean, I wear progressive lenses, and with standard size pages there's always a struggle to get everything in focus.  I would strain and crane, raise and lower the stand, move it closer then further away.  Nothing really worked.  I guess I could have invested in a pair of reading glasses--but now I don't have to!  Everything is there, clear and bright on a compact screen.  My whole upper body is more relaxed, my head position is stable and the whole fatigue factor is reduced by magnitudes.  And I so far I'm not sensing any sort of eye strain from reading off the screen.

Oh, and did I mention the heat?  It stays cooler now that I don't need a lamp.


  1. I've often thought about how an e-reader would affect audiobook recording. Good to hear your perspective! Do you think this is something we should implement in our studios? Have you compared the iPad to other e-readers, like Kindle and Nook?


  2. Well now I want one! Karen Commins made similar comments about the positivity of going paperless in the studio with an iPad. Hmmm. Not generally a fan of reading off a computer screen...but you do make a compelling case. Again...hmmm.

  3. In studio a touch screen pc would probably be best. The reader could transfer his or her annotated script to the pc and the screen would be larger (though in my case this isn't necessarily an advantage.

    The Kindle and Nook don't have the capabilities of the iPad.