Why You Need an iPad for VO
So, how many days has it been since you were last in the local Apple store, holding that iPad in your hands? I know, I know — sleek ... glossy ... futuristic — you'd love to have one but how do you justify the purchase? If you're in the VO business, try this for a compelling argument.
Silent Operation - My first VO projects involved taking my paper script into the studio and clipping them to a 'reader' board. The script was carefully formatted to eliminate oh-so-annoying page breaks, and I made sure there was enough dead space between page turnings which I could edit out later. For radio imaging or the 10 second commercial it's not a problem but an e-book? A corporate narration? With the entire script on the iPad, page turnings are noiseless. Well, maybe not on that $20,000 mic in the professional studio down the street which picks up sweat forming on your forehead but, in most cases, it's noiseless.
Dropbox - You can buy the first argument but how does one get the script on the iPad? The answer is Dropbox which is a little unsettling since 'Drop' and 'iPad' are words that should be mutually exclusive. Dropbox is a free tool that lets you easily share videos, photos, documents (e.g. scripts) and audio files (hmmmm...) on multiple devices (e.g. your future iPad purchase). Basically, your client emails you a script and you save it in your Dropbox. You go into the studio with your iPad, access your DropBox account and voilà — there's the script. With your iPad and Dropbox, you'll be able to view the most common text formats, like Word and PDF, without additional software. You can also share folders in Dropbox with your clients which now makes your VO endeavor cloud-enabled. Dropox.com
Remote desktop - You were so excited about using your iPad in the studio, you forgot to fire up the recording software on your computer that is outside the studio (I know I'm reaching, but go with it; we're talking about buying an iPad). You can use remote desktop software on your iPad to connect to your computer and start Pro Tools - without ever leaving your studio! I use PocketCloud which does have a free version if you're willing to live with the ads but there's a free iPad app for GoToMyPC users.
E-books - With the free Kindle app and the free Nook app, you can download and read the latest VO e-books from Amazon or B&N easily and quickly. I know, I know; you can read Kindle books on a Nook and vice-versa but then you get into things like DRM and Calibre where terms like 'easily' and 'quickly' are subject to technical expertise. And, yeah, the Kindle/Nook has much better battery life but, honestly, when was the last time you read a book continuously for 100+ hours? If you're average reading session is about 10 hours, the iPad is fine.
Getting Cheaper - Still can't justify $500 for the low-end iPad? How about $350? You should be able to find the 1st generation iPad on E-bay or Craigslist for $100-$150 lower than the latest iPad 2. Also, everything I've written above works on either iPad.
So, there you have it. Me? The iPad 2 is great but I'm holding on to my 1st generation iPad until September; that's when Apple is rumored to make a product announcement. If it's the iPad 3 then I may wait until the summer of 2012 when it comes out. If it's the iPhone 5 then I'll take another look at the iPad 2 - and maybe sell my iPad 1 to the next up and coming VO talent ...