iQ Flash User`s Guide

PianoDisc iQ Flash
Multimedia Flash Player User’s Guide
Version 0.3
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Table of Contents
Overview!
5
Important Safety Instructions !
5
Save These Instructions!!
6
General Operating Notes!
6
Technical Assistance!
6
Control Unit Overview!
7
SD/MMC Flash Memory Slot!
7
Balance Control!
7
USB Port!
7
Power Indicator!
7
Record Indicator!
7
Power Button!
7
Skip Back/Volume Down Button!
8
Skip Forward/Volume Up Button!
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Stop/Record/Random Button!
8
Play/Pause/Mode Button!
8
Remote Receiver!
8
Future Use!
8
Line Out!
8
Line In!
8
Remote Control Overview!
9
Power!
9
Mute!
9
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Mode!
9
Play/Pause!
9
Stop!
9
Random!
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Record!
9
Previous!
9
Next!
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Numeric Entry!
9
Volume Down!
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Volume Up!
9
Disk Mode (SD/MMC)!
10
USB Mode!
11
Line Mode!
12
Recording A Performance:!
12
Playing From An Alternate Source:!
12
Basic Operation!
13
Playing Music!
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Recording A Performance!
13
About the Music!
14
Buying Music!
14
Standard MIDI Files!
14
Managing Music With iTunes!
15
Copying Music to SD/MMC or USB!
15
Troubleshooting Compressed Music!
15
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Specifications!
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Overview
The iQ Flash is a modern, flexible music player specifically designed for use with a
PianoDisc iQ player piano system. Key features include:
• Play MP3 files from USB, SD, or MMC flash memory
• Record your own performances (with optional Performance Package)
• Integrated balance control for just the right mix of piano and accompaniment
• Repeat & Shuffle features let you choose how to listen to your music
• Wireless remote control
• Easy to read high-contrast backlit LCD display
• Future expandability
Important Safety Instructions
WARNING: When using electrical appliances, these basic precautions should
always be followed:
1. Read and understand all instructions before using the product.
2. Do not open the cover under any circumstances.
3. Power is supplied through a three-prong, grounded AC connector. Connect only to a
three-prong, grounded outlet.
4. Keep the power cord away from other objects. Make sure that the cord is not
twisted, placed in any lane of traffic, or trapped under the piano.
5. Locate your PianoDisc unit away from direct sunlight, water or moisture, or hot or
cold air currents.
6. If the PianoDisc unit is to remain unused for an extended period of time, the power
supply should be disconnected.
7. If repair is necessary, refer only to authorized service personnel.
8. This product, either alone or in combination with an amplifier and headphones or
speakers, may be capable of producing sound levels that could cause permanent
hearing loss. Do not operate for a long period of time at a high volume level or at a
level that is uncomfortable. If you experience any hearing loss or ringing in the ears,
you should consult an audiologist.
9. The product should be located so that its location or position does not interfere with
its proper ventilation.
10. Care should be taken so that objects do not fall onto and liquids are not spilled into
the product through the openings.
11. Care should be taken so that objects do not fall onto and liquids are not spilled into
the piano through the keys or inside the piano cabinet
12. The product should be unplugged, and serviced by qualified service personnel
when:
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• The power supply cord or plug has been damaged.
• Objects have fallen or liquid has been spilled into the product or
piano.
• The product or piano has been exposed to rain.
• The product does not appear to operate normally or exhibits a marked change in
performance.
• The product has been dropped or the enclosure is damaged.
Save These Instructions!
General Operating Notes
• When the control unit is turned off from the front panel, your piano and control unit will
continue to consume a small amount of power. Disconnecting your piano from the
power source will completely shut down the unit.
• If your piano or iQ Flash control unit fails to operate in a manner consistent with the
instructions in this manual, please disconnect it from your power source and contact
your authorized PianoDisc Dealer, certified PianoDisc technician or PianoDisc.
Technical Assistance
Technical assistance is available online at www.pianodisc.com, or by sending an email
to techsupport@pianodisc.com. Technical support is available by phone Monday
through Saturday at (00) 1.916.567.9999
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Control Unit Overview
A
Front View
C
DE
F
B
G
H
I
J
K
Rear View
L
M
N
O
L
A. SD/MMC Flash Memory Slot
Insert a SD or MMC flash memory card into this slot. Note the orientation of the card,
as seen in the picture beneath the slot.
B. Balance Control
Use balance to adjust the relative volume of the piano performance and the background
accompaniment (e.g., vocals and instrumentals). Move the wheel to the left to
emphasize the accompaniment, or to the right for piano.
C. USB Port
Connect a USB flash memory device to this port. Other USB devices, such as hard disk
drives, are not supported.
D. Power Indicator
The LED is green when the player is turned on.
E. Record Indicator
The LED is red when recording or writing to memory. Do not remove memory devices
when this light is illuminated.
F. Power Button
Push the button to turn the device on or off.
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G. Skip Back/Volume Down Button
Tap the button to skip to the beginning of the current track or to a previous track. Hold
the button down to decrease the volume.
H. Skip Forward/Volume Up Button
Tap the button to skip to the next, or subsequent tracks. Hold the button down to
increase the volume.
I. Stop/Record/Random Button
When playing or recording, tapping this button will stop playback or record. In Line
Mode, this button will also start recording. Hold this button to switch between repeat
and shuffle modes. Immediately after recording, holding this button will switch the
source and begin playing the recording.
J. Play/Pause/Mode Button
Tap this button to play or pause. In order to play, the mode must be set to a source with
music. To change to a different source, press and hold this button. The three sources
are USB, SD/MMC, and Line.
K. Remote Receiver
When playing or recording, tapping this button will stop playback or record. In line
mode, this button will also start recording. Hold this button to switch between repeat
and shuffle modes.
L. Future Use
These controls are for a wireless feature that is not yet available for sale. In the future,
it will be possible to purchase a wireless upgrade for iQ Flash.
M. Line Out
Connect Line Out to the iQ’s Line In using an RCA to 3.5mm “Y” cable.
N. Line In
This connection is optional. If a performance option is installed (with under-key
sensors), connect the iQ’s Record Output to this port using a 3.5mm to RCA “Y” cable.
This port may also be used to connect an external music player, such as a CD changer.
Connect the external player’s “Line Out” to this port using RCA cables.
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Remote Control Overview
A. Power
Push the button to turn the device on or off.
B. Mute
Mute both the piano and accompaniment, while the song continues to advance.
C. Mode
Switch between USB, SD/MMC, and Line Modes.
D. Play/Pause
Play or pause music from the current source.
E. Stop
Stop music playback.
F. Random
Switch between repeat mode and random mode.
G. Record
In Line Mode, press to start or stop recording.
H. Previous
Press to skip to the beginning of the current song or to select a previous track.
I. Next
Press to skip to the next track.
J. Numeric Entry
Use the numeric entry pad to enter a track number and skip directly to a specific song.
K. Volume Down
Decrease the master volume (piano and accompaniment).
L. Volume Up
Increase the master volume (piano and accompaniment).
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Disk Mode (SD/MMC)
Song Number
Time Counter
Master Volume Level
In disk mode, you can play music from SD or MMC flash media. Here’s an example of
how you may use Disk Mode:
1. Insert the flash media card so that the gold colored contacts are facing up. See the
illustration on the box for the correct orientation.
2. Hold the random button (or press random on the remote) to switch between “Repeat
All” and “Random” modes.
Repeat All: Continuously play all songs in sequence.
Random: Play all songs one time in random order.
3. Push play to begin playing music.
4. Adjust the master volume by holding volume down or volume up.
5. Push stop (or pause) to stop playing.
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USB Mode
Song Number
Time Counter
Master Volume Level
In USB mode, you can play music from USB flash media. Here’s an example of how
you may use USB mode:
1. Insert the flash memory stick (thumb drive) into the USB slot.
2. Hold the random button (or press random on the remote) to switch between “Repeat
All” and “Random” modes.
Repeat All: Continuously play all songs in sequence.
Random: Play all songs one time in random order.
3. Push play to begin playing music.
4. Adjust the master volume by holding volume down or volume up.
5. Push stop (or pause) to stop playing.
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Line Mode
Line mode allows you to play or record from an external audio source. Before you
begin, ensure an external source is connected. The most common uses for Line Mode
are:
Recording A Performance:
If your piano is equipped with an under-key record sensor (performance option), the
“Record Output” of the iQ should me connected to the “Line Input” of the iQ Flash. Your
performance is encoded digitally, and will play the keys of your piano. Since the
performance is digitally encoded, you cannot listen to it through headphones or
speakers. Here’s an example of how you may use Line Mode to record:
1. Verify that a flash device with sufficient
space is inserted in the USB or SD/
MMC slot.
2. Press the record button.
3. Wait until the red LED illuminates and
the timer begins counting.
4. Play a song.
5. Press stop to stop recording.
6. Hold stop on the front panel to switch
modes and begin playing your recording.
NOTE: When recording from the iQ, the audio will be muted automatically. If you unmute or adjust the volume, you will hear the encoded data as a digital noise in the
speakers.
Playing From An Alternate Source:
If you have an external music source, such as a CD changer, Airport Express, iPod, or
DVD player, you can use it to play music on your piano. Connect the “Line Out” of your
alternate source to the “Line In” on iQ Flash. You cannot control the operation of the
device through iQ Flash, but you can
adjust the volume and balance. Here’s an
example of how you may use Line Mode
to play from an external source:
1. Begin playing PianoDisc-encoded
music on the external source.
2. Adjust master volume using volume
down or volume up.
3. Use the balance wheel to control the
balance between the piano and accompaniment.
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Basic Operation
Playing Music
In order to play music, you’ll need a flash memory device. This can be either a SD (or
MMC) card, or a USB flash stick. Your flash memory needs to contain MP3 files
specifically created for the PianoDisc system.
1. Insert the flash memory device into the media player SD or USB slot.
2. If necessary, press and hold the mode button once or twice to change to the correct
source.
3. If desired, hold the random button (or press random on the remote) to switch
between “Repeat All” and “Random” modes.
Repeat All: Continuously play all songs in sequence.
Random: Play all songs one time in random order.
4. Push play to begin playback.
5. If necessary, use volume up or volume down to adjust the master volume.
6. If necessary, use the balance control to adjust the mix of the piano vs. audio
accompaniment.
7. Use the pervious button to re-start the current song, or select a previous song.
8. Use the next button to skip to the next song.
9. Use stop or pause to stop playing.
Recording A Performance
1. If necessary, press and hold the mode button once or twice to change to “Line
Mode”.
2. Verify that a flash device with sufficient space is inserted in the USB or SD/MMC
slot.
3. Press the record button.
4. Wait until the red LED illuminates and the timer begins counting.
5. Play a song.
6. Press stop to stop recording.
7. Hold stop on the front panel to switch modes and begin playing your recording.
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About the Music
iQ Flash can play any MP3 file, but not every MP3 file will play the piano. For the piano
to play, the MP3 file needs to be in a special PianoDisc format. Because digital
performance data is embedded in PianoDisc music, you will hear digital noise (squeal) if
you listen to PianoDisc music directly.
Buying Music
PianoDisc has one of the industry’s largest music libraries, encompassing many types
and styles of music. To purchase additional music for your piano, visit your dealer or
the PianoDisc website, at www.pianodisc.com.
When you purchase music from PianoDisc, you can choose to download the music and
copy it to flash memory yourself, or simply buy flash media pre-loaded with your music.
If you choose to download the music and
copy it yourself, you’ll need to use PianoDisc’s
free MusiConnect utility. MusiConnect loads
your music directly into iTunes, and
automatically handles naming, album artwork,
and volume levels.
MusiConnect is available for Mac or PC, and
is available at www.pianodisc.com/support/
musiconnect.html. Full instructions are
available on the site, and in the MusiConnect
help menu.
If you plan to only
purchase pre-loaded
f l as h m ed i a f r o m
Pi an oDi s c, t h e re ’s n o
need to continue
reading this section.
Just buy your music
and enjoy!
Standard MIDI Files
A seemingly endless number of MIDI files are available both online and from third-party
music sellers. When professionally produced for piano, MIDI sources can be an
excellent addition to your player piano music library. MusiConnect can convert MIDI
files to PianoDisc format, and load them into iTunes.
It should be noted that MIDI files are sometimes produced for specific instruments--or
by amateurs--so not all MIDI music is at the same quality level. You may have to try
several versions of a song before you find one that works well on a player piano.
MIDI files contain musical performances, but unlike MP3 files, do not contain audio.
Instead, a MIDI file instructs a real musical instrument what, and how, to play.
Since a player piano is a real instrument, it has physical limitations not found on a
synthesizer. For example, it takes a short amount of time for a piano’s hammer to
physically strike a string and return to rest. A synthesizer has no such limitation, and
plays (and stops) all notes instantly.
A MIDI “sequencer” can be used to modify a musical performance, and to adjust
parameters such as note timing and trills. Sequencers are available for both Mac and
Windows, but do require more advanced musical knowledge.
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Managing Music With iTunes
iTunes is a very popular free music management application available for the Mac or
PC. You can download it from Apple by visiting www.apple.com/itunes/download/.
If you want to download music or
convert MIDI files, you’ll need to use
MusiConnect and iTunes to manage
your music. MusiConnect relies on
iTunes to encode music in MP3
format, add accompaniment tracks,
and organize music. It’s very
important that iTune’s “Import
Settings” be configured as follows:
• MP3 Encoder
• Custom Quality, 256 kbps stereo
• Normal Stereo Mode
• No Smart Encoding Adjustments
Copying Music to SD/MMC or USB
Once your music is loaded into iTunes, it’s easy to copy onto your flash memory device.
Follow these steps:
1. Insert the flash memory into your computer.
2. Select the MP3 songs in iTunes that you wish to copy.
3. Drag them onto your flash device.
4. Eject the flash device before removing it from your computer.
Troubleshooting Compressed Music
MP3 files are inherently “lossy”. That is to say, some information is eliminated from the
audio in order to reduce the overall size of the file. If too much information is removed,
that data track that controls piano performance may suffer.
If you hear incorrect (or missing) notes, one possible cause is that the music is overly
compressed. For best results, we recommend compressing encoding MP3 files at 256
kbps. If you need to save more disk space, 192 kbps is the lowest recommended
setting. At 192 kbps, you may experience an occasional missed or incorrect note. At
256 kbps, you should not have any.
To avoid this issue entirely, it is also possible to encode music in a lossless format such
as WAV. The main drawback of lossless files is that they are much bigger, so fewer will
fit on a flash device.
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Specifications
Power
5 VDC, 1 A
Display
1.75” (44mm) blue LED backlit
Line In
Stereo RCA
Line Out
Stereo RCA
Media Types
USB Flash, SD/MMC Flash
File Formats
MP3 (256 kbps recommended)
Remote Control
IR credit-card style
Future Expansion
Wireless audio option
Dimensions
36mm (1.4”) tall, 180mm (7.1”) wide, 143mm (5.6”) deep
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