SongBook Android 3.0.1 Your lyrics and chords on Android smartphones and tablets

   Get it on Google Play

Installation And Upgrade

SongBook runs on all Android devices with Android 2.3.3 or later. It is optimized for the current Android versions 4.x and for tablets. See demo video on Youtube.

Please download SongBook from the Google Play Store (Android Market). Buying via the Play Store will ensure you get all updates automatically.

Alternatively, if the Play Store is not available for you, you can also purchase and install/update directly from our web site.

SongBook is also available and optimized for the Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. Get it on Google Play

SongBook requires the following Android permissions: Internet (for Dropbox sync), Read and Write external storage (for reading/writing song files), Wake Lock (for keeping the screen on when showing a song), Access WiFi State for Chromecast support, Check License and Get Accounts for license checking.

Your songs are stored in a separate directory on the internal or external expansion card and will be preserved when you remove, update or reinstall the SongBook app.

See the bottom of this page for the full version history.

Where To Find Songs For SongBook

SongBook uses the chordpro format, a plain text file format where chords are written in square brackets within the lyrics. It can also work with tab files. Unfortunately, we cannot provide songs on this site due to copyright restrictions. However, the Internet has huge archives of songs in chordpro format: simply type the song name and file extension pro or chordpro into your favorite search engine, e.g. "song title" chordpro. Or use the built-in Internet search.

You can also easily create your own chordpro songs. Just write the lyrics as usual and insert the chord names in square brackets at the appropriate positions as in the following example:

[Em]Alas, my [G]love, you [D]do me [Bm]wrong,

A detailed explanation of the chordpro format as supported by SongBook is available here.

Note: Our desktop applications SongBook Windows and SongBook Mac make it easier to edit or convert chordpro and tab songs on a bigger screen.

How To Get Songs Into SongBook

SongBook stores all songs in a directory called /SongBook on your device external storage. This is often the SD card or an area which can be shared via USB. Simply connect your Android device to your computer, and activate the USB drive connection (Media Transfer Protocol MTP on newer devices). Then copy your song files to the /SongBook directory. (A sample song Greensleeves.pro is automatically put into that folder when you first start SongBook). Note that for technical reasons you cannot use the SongBook app on the device while the directory is shared via USB. Note: you can change the path of the SongBook directory in Settings. When you use Dropbox sync and change the directory, it will perform an initial sync where songs are added on both sides.

The following file extensions are understood by SongBook:

*.pro, *.chordpro, *.chopro, *.txt (chordpro files)
*.tab *.crd (tab files, chords on separate lines)
*.lst (playlist files)
*.chords.txt (user defined chords)

SongBook can also open files with supported extensions, from e.g. mail attachments, dropbox or other sharing apps.

Note: SongBook does not work with PDF or DOC files, because these cannot be easily reformatted, transposed, searched etc. You need to save your songs in plain text format with one of the supported file extensions to use them with SongBook.

Dropbox Sync

If you have a Dropbox account, you can easily synchronize your song collections with SongBook. Simply enter your Dropbox account data in Settings, and copy your song files to the /SongBook directory and its subdirectories in your dropbox. Use the Synchronize menu entry (or toolbar button) of the song list to start the synchronization. Press the back button to stop the sync any time.

Note: Synchronization is two-way and (except for the first sync) includes deletions and modifications. You can sync multiple SongBook apps with one Dropbox account. For technical reasons, subdirectories of the SongBook directory (categories) can only be renamed/removed on the device. To overwrite all songs on the device, disconnect SongBook from Dropbox in Settings, then delete all songs/categories, then connect the app with Dropbox again.

To synchronize SongBook Windows or SongBook Mac with SongBook Android, just select the Dropbox/SongBook folder on the PC/Mac as your song folder (with the "..." button next to the category dropdown). Then connect and sync SongBook Android with Dropbox as described above. See this video for details.

Song List

Song List

Songs are structured in categories. Categories are somewhat similar to folders on your computer. You can group songs in categories to help you organize them e.g. by genre or difficulty. Just like folders on your computer, deleting a category will delete all songs in it. In addition, songs can also be organized in playlists and filtered by tags.

Use Edit Categories on the Categories dropdown at the top to add, rename or remove categories. Removing a category will also remove all songs in that category. Songs that are not assigned to a specific category will appear in category - Unfiled -. To put a single song in a different category, tap-and-hold (long tap) the song in the song list and select Change Category from the popup menu.

The song list displays title/subtitle and key of all songs in the selected category. SongBook determines the key by looking at the first chord in the song, or the value of the {key: ...} directive.

You can search for a song by title or full text.

Long tap on a song to delete it, add it to a playlist or perform some other actions on it.

Song ViewSong ViewSong View

The song view displays the current song with lyrics and chords. Tap on a chord to look up the chord definitions.

Chord, lyrics, comment, and tab font and text/background color can be changed by selecting Settings from the song list menu.

On a tablet or Android 4.x device you can tap anywhere on the screen to show/hide the action toolbar at the top.

You can also change the font sizes for the current song with the familiar "pinch" gesture (Android 2.2 and higher). Use the Save Zoom menu button to save the current zoom level with the song (as a {zoom-android: } directive) so that this particular song will always display in the selected size.

You can optionally show a chord band at the bottom of the screen. This chord list shows the easiest variant for each chord currently visible on the screen.

Unlike zooming of pictures or PDFs, zooming of songs in SongBook will trigger a re-layout of the song, so you will never have to scroll horizontally. Use menu Auto-Zoom to set the current zoom factor so the song will fit on the screen without scrolling. SongBook will automatically switch to multi-column mode if the song is narrow enough and would fit without scrolling on the screen.

If you have a Google Chromecast device in your network and select it from the Chromecast button , SongBook will display the current song in landscape auto-zoom mode on the connected Chromecast TV/beamer. Note: this feature does not work on devices that don't have the Google play services installed.

You can use AirTurn or similar bluetooth pedals to scroll up/down and switch to the next/previous song in the current category or playlist. The latter can be switched off in Settings.

Note: SongBook will automatically increase the auto power-off (idle) timeout while a song is displayed.

Transpose

You can transpose the song into a different key by tapping on the Transpose menu button. Tap on the buttons to change the tuning in half-tone steps. Use the "All b" and "All #" buttons to convert all # chords to their b equivalent or vice versa. Tap on the Save button to permanently save the changed chords in the song.

Swipe left/right or double-tap in the middle part of the screen left/right to move to the next/previous song in the currently selected category/playlist.

Auto-Scrolling

The play button on the Auto-Scroll menu will start auto-scrolling the song. You can adjust the total playing time mm:ss of the song (including the last page) with the slider or the +/- buttons. Tap Save to save the playing time in the song (as a {time: } directive). To temporarily pause the current scrolling, double-tap anywhere on the screen.

You can insert optionally insert {pause: xxx} directives somewhere in a song, where xxx denotes a pause in seconds. When the line with this pause statement reaches the top of the screen, auto-scrolling will pause for this amount of time. You can also put that directive at the top of the song to delay the auto-scroll start. The total playing time set above includes all pauses.

Link with Music

If you want to play along with a song stored in your Android Music library, you can link a SongBook song to music via the menu Link With Music. Play button next to auto-scroll button in action bar Once the song is linked, select the Notes icon in the action bar, or the Play Linked Music menu item to play the music. You can start/pause the song, rewind/fast forward in 10sec intervals.

Metronome

SongBook features a simple metronome. You can save the selected metronome tempo in the song. Select Metronome- Flash in Settings to switch to a silent metronome which will flash a color bar at the top of the song. Select Metronome - Tick/Flash Count In in Settings to auto-stop the metronome after 8 ticks/flashes.

Song Edit ScreenInternet Search

SongBook has a simple Internet search for chordpro files built-in which you can start from the song list menu. You can use one of the two main search providers, or type a URL of your own. If the displayed page contains a pre-formatted song, an Import button will appear in the lower right and open the song editor. You can then save the song in the currently selected song category (with the back button) or cancel the edit (via menu) and get back to the search view.

Note: By it's very nature, Internet search can be hit-or-miss, results may vary. You are responsible for obeying the respective copyrights of the material found on the Internet.

 


Tab files

Songs that are not in chordpro format, i.e. don't have a {title: } or {t: } directive are considered tab files. Unlike chordpro files, tab files have separate lines for the chords, like

 Em       G         D     Bm
Alas, my love, you do me wrong,

To have fixed chord positions regardless of font preferences, SongBook renders tab files with a fixed font (also in the editor). SongBook will automatically recognize chords within the tab file, render them in chord color, transpose them or let you look up the chord fingering. You can switch off tab support in Settings. The song editor has a menu entry that can convert songs in tab format to chordpro format by inlining chords with lyrics.

 

Tags

To further organize your song collection, you can assign arbitrary tags to any song. Select Tags on the main song list screen to filter songs by tags. When you remove a tag, the song is not deleted. However, if you delete all songs that contain a certain tag, that tag will disappear from the list of tags. Unlike with categories, songs can have several tags assigned. In the song, tags are stored with a {tag: xx} directive.

Playlist ScreenPlaylists 

Playlists (aka sets) are collections of songs for a special purpose, e.g. a concert, or training. Removing a song from a playlist does not delete the song from either the device (it remains in its category), nor any other playlist the song might be in. Songs can be in multiple playlists, and in fact, can occur multiple times in a single playlist.

Select Edit Playlists from the playlist dropdown to add/remove playlists. Use the Add Songs menu to add multiple songs to a playlist.

To change the order of songs in a playlist, check the Order menu entry and drag-and drop songs. (On Android 3.2 and earlier, tap-and-hold on the playlist and select Re-Order, then use the arrow buttons to move the song to a different position).

Playlists can automatically transpose songs to different keys. To store a different key for a song in a playlist, open the song from the playlist (not from the song list), then transpose it as usual, but do not save the transposed song. If a playlist song has a different key then the original, the key will be shown in italics.

Note: Playlists contain only references (title and subtitle) to the real song. If you remove the song, it is not automatically removed from the playlists but can no longer be viewed.



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Chord List ScreenChord List ScreenChords and Instruments

SongBook comes with comprehensive chord libraries for guitar, ukulele (C, D tuning, Bariton), mandolin, banjo, and piano. You can view and change the tuning of the selected instrument in Settings.

Chords are sorted by base pitch. Each chord can have several variations. SongBook knows about identical pitches (e.g. C# = Db).

To change the currently used instrument, select Settings - Instrument. This instrument is used for all chord lookups.

You can search in the chord list by chord name or fingering. Enter e.g. 2 2 1 to find Am (and other chords with these fingers).
Chord Edit Screen

You can extend the string chord libraries with your own chords. SongBook comes with a chord editor that lets you define fingerings, base fret and muted strings. The search button on the right will look up the currently defined chord in the chord library.

User defined chords will always show up in the first position in the chord view. Note: if you need a special chord only for a certain song, you'd better define the chord in the song with {define: G 1 3 2 0 0 0 3} rather than in the chord library.

The added chords are saved in a file <instrument>.chords.txt in the documents folder. You can edit it with a text editor. If you want your extra chords appear in the built-in SongBook chord libraries, please send us this file.


Feedback

Do you have a song that is not rendered correctly? Is an important chord missing in the chord database? Please let us know.

Version History


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