Tablet Recommendation Request

Post your questions & get help from friendly LibriVoxers
Post Reply
ColleenMc
Posts: 971
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » March 30th, 2019, 2:53 pm

I had a tragedy this week! I plugged in my iPad (Air 2) to charge and fumbled it so that it dropped directly onto the charging cord, snapping off the connector in the socket. Many attempts failed to remove it, and given the age and declining battery life of the thing, it would cost more than it's worth to fix it at this point. So the decision was to wait and save up some money to replace it, and in the meantime, I just have my phone to use.

The phone works fine for most things, but I tried using as my reading device for LV recording and it SUCKED! Could not see the screen well enough, constantly having to scroll, and my neck hurt by the time I finished.

With my current setup, I record on my laptop and had my late lamented ipad on a stand to one side. That way I had audacity on my laptop screen and my reading material on the tablet. I tried using a split screen on my laptop to have audacity and my reading on the same screen but it didn't work; also whether i used the mouse or keyboard to scroll down, the mike was picking it up.

So, my questions for folks here are:

--do you use a similar setup when you record/do you have any tips for a setup that works well?

--do you have a tablet recommendation if you use a tablet?

My preference would be to replace my iPad with another iPad but it's also on the expensive end of the choices. What I like about it is the size (I had the 9" one), the familiarity (I had a system of downloading files from PG or IA that worked pretty well, but uses the iBook reader), and the fact that if I switch to an Android variant, I will lose all the money I've spent over the years on iOs apps!

I had been using the Kindle app to load the files but it was a bit clunky and slow and relied on using the email system to get them into Kindle. Once I finally realized how easy it is in the iOS system to either send the .epub file to my Google drive and then open it from there in the Books reader (PG) or open the PDF in the browser and then open it directly in the reader, it's been my preference.

My other two options under consideration are to get a Samsung or other Android based tablet (in which case, which one? I haven't seriously looked at them since I opted to replace my 2010 ipad with the Air 2 in 2015) or a Fire from Amazon (because super -cheap) but then I would be stuck with using Kindle for the ebooks, right?

TBH I'm seriously thinking about getting a Fire 7 just to tide me over til I can save up for a new iPad, since they are only around $35 for the basic model right now, and I hate reading regular books on my phone almost as much as I hate reading Librivox books on it...

If you use Android or a Fire to do you LV stuff, how do you manage the docs?

Thanks for any thoughts/ advice. I'll be sitting shiva for my ipad over here in the corner....

Colleen

Cori
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 12151
Joined: November 22nd, 2005, 10:22 am
Location: Britain
Contact:

Post by Cori » March 31st, 2019, 5:20 am

Oh your poor ipad. So sad. :(

I use an Android Huawei M5 (I think that's the model, it's not next to me right now to check.) 10" screen, because I like a big font size and to see a whole page at a time if I'm reading from PDF. I previously used a Lenovo Yoga Tab and can't remember the one before that, we're going back many years, but it was also Android. Mostly I've gone with whatever I could find cheaply, and it's only with the latest one that I decided because I use it so much (2+ hours every day, mostly reading, but also recording, and watching videos) that it was okay to spend a bit more. Still not Apple levels of spendy but I like Android, so it all works out. I have no strong opinion on brands, though.

It sits on a music stand, and then the laptop is round the corner so the fan doesn't get picked up, and also because I check my recording levels at the very start and then forget about them the rest of the time. So, first question ... do you really need to be able to see Audacity? :D If it's more habit than necessity, then that'd be an easy solution. :lol:

In terms of managing files, I use the free software Calibre to manage my library. I download the file on my PC, drag it into Calibre, then plug in my tablet and send it over. It's even set up so that non-fiction is sent to the main tablet memory, while fiction goes to the memory card, and then I have a different app configured to read each folder (Aldiko for non-fiction, Pocketbook for fiction) so I can easily go for the type of reading I want. Calibre is available for Macs, and should work fine with a Fire, too -- it lets you convert epubs to mobi files very easily to read within the Kindle app, or you could just install an epub-reading app which is less faff. Alternatively, plug in and transfer via USB, or even email to yourself (I do this if I come across something interesting in my lunchbreak on a work computer.)
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

ColleenMc
Posts: 971
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » March 31st, 2019, 8:01 am

Thank you! That is very helpful. I've resisted dealing with Calibre and changing file formats for years but I may have to suck it up and do it. Meanwhile, I'm writing lots of articles to list for sale, so if my sales go quickly and I can pile up some money in a few weeks, I may be able to solve this dilemma with a new ipad.

Outside of using for LV purposes, how do you like the Android tablets?

In the meantime, I'm using my iPad 1st generation, which still works! Sadly, Google Drive does not work on it, since the app refuses to work without an update, and going to Drive in Chrome just makes it also want to direct me to the app. :evil: I can open PG books in Chrome and use the HTML or plain text versions -- not ideal, but workable. At least until the very elderly hamster inside my ipad finally gives up running on its wheel....

Colleen

Cori
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 12151
Joined: November 22nd, 2005, 10:22 am
Location: Britain
Contact:

Post by Cori » March 31st, 2019, 9:56 am

That's great that your creaky old iPad is still working! Good workaround while you figure out something permanent. Might another online storage system like Dropbox work like Google Drive for you?

Hmm, I've been through 3 tablets in 7 years, each one bought because the last one died, so their lifespan is not great, but I use an Android phone too, the pricing works for my budget, and it all plays nicely with Windows, so ... the ecosystem works for me. I like the new screen size a lot ... when I bought it I did think I was being a bit silly, and didn't need it that big. But it's much more comfortable to read or record from, though I wouldn't want to stand and hold it, for sure, which I was able to do with previous ones if needed.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

ColleenMc
Posts: 971
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » March 31st, 2019, 11:21 am

I'm hitting the same wall with all of the online transfer systems -- they all require the app installed, and the ipad 1 was left behind in terms of updates a long time ago. I'm happy I can use Chrome at this point. But it has trouble displaying Internet Archive effectively, so I am probably going to have to stick to PG texts for the duration.

Colleen

Cori
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 12151
Joined: November 22nd, 2005, 10:22 am
Location: Britain
Contact:

Post by Cori » March 31st, 2019, 1:26 pm

Does it have the same problem with Hathi Trust -- they have a good selection of older books overlapping with IA?
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

realisticspeakers
Posts: 998
Joined: December 6th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Post by realisticspeakers » March 31st, 2019, 1:32 pm

The google tablet made by Asus I've been using for the last 4 years works flawlessly.
There is also this little tiny laptop they made about 10 years ago that I still use for various light-duty things.

If I were in need of buying a new tablet I would go right to Asus.

Tht's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
"Kind reader,
if this our performance doth in aught fall short of promise, blame not our good intent, but our unperfect wit."

Post Reply