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ION Audio PIANO APPRENTICE 25-note Lighted Keyboard for iPad, iPod and iPhone
- 25-note lighted keyboard with touch-sensitive mini-keys
- Follow the lighted keys and learn how to play piano quickly
- Free piano teaching app available via iTunes
- Compatible with-iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, 3rd gen iPod Touch, 4th gen iPad 1, iPad 2
- Powered by batteries (included) or optional AC adapter
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Piano Apprentice with Lighted Mini-Keys for iPad, iPod and iPhone is portable and so easy to use that you can learn to play piano virtually anywhere! Piano Apprentice is the ultimate piano teaching tool, providing light up mini-keys that show you where to place your hands. There's even a headphone jack for quiet practice. Simply connect your iPad, iPod or iPhone, download the free Piano Apprentice app, and start playing piano instantly! Piano Apprentice is a lightweight, highly portable 25-note keyboard and features mini-keys that respond to your touch for maximum expression. It's easy to follow along as acclaimed piano instructor Scott Houston, aka the Piano Guy, appears on the screen demonstrating how to play while the actual keys on Piano Apprentice light up. The Piano Apprentice will even teach you how to read real music notation. The built-in stereo speakers deliver a rich, authentic piano sound.
Top customer reviews
I paid $35 for this device which is worth a heck of a lot more, and I can say it's completely exceeded my expectations. After I read the reviews here, it was looking like this came with lousy software and might not work well with other software. It's partly true that the bundled software isn't great, but it's not deplorable either.
Thee good news is that you don't have to use the bundled software at all if you don't want to. There's a terrific piano teaching package called Synthesia which works almost perfectly with this keyboard and makes it the deal of the century. You have to go into it's settings page and set it up properly for the Ion Piano Apprentice (it has special settings for it), and once you do, it plays perfectly with the light up keys and everything. You have access to hundreds of songs and can learn in "guitar hero" style or by reading sheet music. This is really great software for learning songs (and lots of them).
EDIT: I have noticed a few anomalies with the way it handles the lights with synthesia. I don't think this is a major issue. A lot of it seems to be from passing through the metronome clicks to the keyboard, which I turned off. Sometimes repeat notes don't show up if you miss them the first time. This doesn't change my conclusion. At this price, the lights are really a bonus.
The combination of Synthesia's software with this keyboard makes this thing a ridiculous deal at $35. The action of the piano is quite good at that price and you won't find any other kind of keyboard with lighted keys at 3x the price. I would be happy with this purchase at $75- at $35 it's a silly deal.
If you're not an idiot who can't download some software and change some settings, you should pick this deal up while the getting's good.
I did download the additional software that another reviewer recommended, which was helpful, except for the fact that the range of some songs made it impossible to play all the notes on either the left or the right hand. This was thoroughly frustrating.
The educational videos included with purchase were generally useful.
Finally, one of the keys broke, which was very disappointing. They turn out to be of thinner plastic than I might have wished--yet playing them appears (as far I can tell) to depend on applying enough force to bend the plastic, rather than some lighter, more touch-sensitive mechanism.
I think this product needs to be a larger size and undergo a little more development to be a real pleasure to use.
For concept alone it's a nice purchase for kids.
If you were not aware, this device only operates when plugged into an Ipod/Iphone/Ipad AND you have the piano apprentice app. Nothing too absurd, just worth the mention if you think it's anything more than an extension.
The App itself would get less stars, like most products today it does have the basic piano. However, every product that you purchase these days will try to milk you for more money and that's always a bummer.
If you want the learning songs that play at full tempo then you have to pay for them.
In conclusion, product is pretty cool idea with fair execution. However, the app leaves something to be desired. Since this is just a gift for my little cousin and not for my own use I can't say that I'm too upset at that.
I'm sure if it gets more serious, then the quality of the app will impact my rating.