LivePrompter is essentially a Teleprompter designed specifically for musicians. It displays lyrics and chords for a song on screen and automatically scrolls through the song, so that it always displays the current part of the song.
First and foremost: LivePrompter is free – and that is completely free, no subscriptions, no advertisements, no collecting of data, no need to “phone home” – use it and have fun with it! Essentially, I built it for my own use with bands I play with, and if other musicians enjoy using it, this makes me happy! I’m grateful that I don’t need to make my living from developing software, so no need for any licensing scheme or copy protection. Some People have asked me if I have a Patreon or buy-me-a-coffee-page so I finally gave in and created a page:
Also, if you want to send some non-financial appreciation, then send me an email and tell me about your band / project and how you are using LivePrompter – I love following LivePrompter around the globe!
Being designed for live musicians, LivePrompter incorporates some special features:
- Its file format is based on the “ChordPro” format, which allows very easy entry of chords in song lyrics. Also, there is already a large pool of ChordPro files available on the Web, which you can use with LivePrompter
- Songs can be organized in “books” (music collections) and set lists
- LivePrompter is very easy to operate – it has been rebuilt focusing on mobile devices and touch screens. Also, you can operate it via keys (e.g. a bluetooth pedal) – in live operation, you mostly need only one key (or foot switch) to control the program.
- Scrolling through songs can be controlled very precisely via timer markers within the song text
- Songs can be transposed easily via “transpose” and “capo” functions. In transposing, LivePrompter always attempts to interpret chords in a harmonically meaningful way. The mobile version of LivePrompter can actually do that “on-the-fly” temporarily, without having to change the song files.
- LivePrompter can connect via MIDI to other software or to MIDI devices in order to trigger sound changes, to set up lighting or even just to synchronize multiple LivePrompter machines.
NOTE: this feature is currently in development for the mobile version and not available in the first public release. But given that this is a highly relevant function for me, I’m making it a priority to get this done.
The input files for LivePrompter are simple textfiles (extension “.txt”) which contain lyrics, chords, and metadata – sorry, no PDF or Word documents. But you can use tab or drum notation in text format, and you can embed bitmap pictures in your songfiles to display score snippets.
I really want to point out that the focus of LivePrompter is on its text-based “teleprompter” capabilities – scrolling through songs at a precisely calculated scrolling speed, displaying lyrics and chords in nice and friendly type, handling aspects like chords transposition, capo settings, comments etc. within that text-based model. While it does allow you to incorporate snippets of graphics, its focus is clearly on its text-based capabilities, so if you are looking for something to display your PDF sheets or make free-hand annotations, there are other options far more suitable to this approach. I’m not going to try to incorporate everything into LivePrompter – it does one thing, and I think it does that pretty well, so I’ll keep optimizing it in that direction 😉 .
LivePrompter was originally developed for the Windows platform – that version is currently in use with musicians across the globe. When I started out on the LivePrompter journey, Windows-based tablets were on the rise, and there was a pretty broad offering of affordable devices to use as “prompter tablets”. Since then, the offering of affordable Windows tablets has narrowed down quite a bit, and Android is pretty much the de-facto-standard for affordable tablets.
So I sat down and started to re-think the LivePrompter concept to work on mobile devices – and for maximum compatibility with my current Windows-based LivePrompter estate, so that Android and Windows tablets can work nicely side by side within the same band. I wanted the user experience to be sufficiently similar with the “classic” LivePrompter version, so that “classic” users feel instantly at home, but also to use the more modern user experience features available on mobile operating systems.
To develop this mobile version, I decided to use a cross-platform development framework: Flutter by Google. Flutter makes developing mobile solutions pretty easy, while maintaining a “native-level” performance. And given its cross-platform-approach, it will be reasonably easy to create an iPad/iPhone version once the Android version is sufficiently stable and all features are there.
So for the moment, the mobile version of LivePrompter is available only for Android, but that may change in the future. Stay tuned!