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Freehand Systems MusicPad Pro Plus

Bottom line: Freehand Systems’ MusicPad Pro is a great new way to view not only sheet music, but also to organize and store it. It’s also one of those rare pieces of technology that has the ability to give its user peace of mind: You will never have to worry about whether or not you’ve remembered all of your music-your entire collection will already be there, much in the same way a roomful of CDs can be stored in one pocket-sized iPod.

My initial concern is that this system really ought to come as a complete package. That is to say, the consumer should not only get the MusicPad itself, but also the foot pedal and the stand to which it attaches. These are available, but at an extra cost (stand $99, foot pedal $49.95). Without the foot pedal and stand, this is not an easily managed piece of technology for a trombonist who generally has both hands working just to play the instrument; frankly, MusicPad is impossible to operate without the foot pedal. The MusicPad stand is also pretty much essential. With it, the ‘Pad is placed at the correct angle for easy viewing; without it and placed on a regular music stand, the MusicPad is difficult to view at the correct angle and more likely to tumble onto the floor. Not a good plan for a pricey piece of equipment ($1,119 retail).

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