One of the ways I work through mental blocks at work is to stop what I’m doing to “play” a bit. Its that change of activity that generally gives me new inspiration for things like working on a grant budget!
Today was one of those days where I needed to change up my thinking. On my desk is a great little iPod dock that I often cradle my iPhone in to listen to music while I’m working. Its made by Phillips and comes with a great little neoprene carrying case. Today it occurred to me to see if the iPad would function with it. I’m happy to report that it does! The only drawback is that the iPad does not charge while docked, so it will be important to keep an eye on the juice.
Some of the apps I tried out with the sound-dock were:
- The Pandora app – I was able to listen to my favorite radio channels from the iPad and read about the various artists as their songs came up. If you haven’t tried Pandora yet – its an amazing way to bring in all sorts of genres of music into the classroom without paying a dime. (Many schools do block the service though.)
- the iPad app – because I have authorized my laptop at work to see my iTunes account, all of my purchased music is now loaded on my iPad (careful on this one – music is a big space hog!) I was able to listen to all my music and see a nice album artwork cover displayed while listening. Unfortunately, I don’t appear to be able to do the “visualizer” that’s available in iTunes – but I can go back to the home menu and still hear the music playing – which means I could potentially put up a pretty image slideshow on another app while listening – creating a really nice music/image effect. The iPad has a built in slideshow feature which is available when turning it on – and it does work with the music playing!
- Netflix app – Netflix movies do play through the doc – however with the iPad oriented vertically with the doc, the video is smaller than I’d like.
- NPR radio app – I could scroll through, read, and listen to a wide variety of art and music themed radio shows.
- all my other “music” apps (see my earlier blog post) – they all seem to do audio output through the doc – which has me thinking of it as kind of a “speaker and stand” tool. While it does make the iPod stand up pretty vertically, I think the creative music teacher could easily adjust to that and use a keyboard app, coupled with a speaker doc, to play accompaniment just about anywhere.
For those who have Tweekers speakers – have you tried them with your iPad yet? What are your thoughts?