Numeric Keypads for Sibelius: What I know & some Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bob-o-Link, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Bob-o-Link macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY USA
    #1
    Hi,

    I want to get a numeric keypad for my penryn MBP (with no numlock). My main reason is for use with music software - primarily Sibelius (music notaion program) and The Amazing Slow Downer (music transcribing aid) - which extensibly use the number pad for keyboard commands.

    I purchased the Interlink VP6270 with great hopes. It is the only keypad, that I can find, that has Bluetooth - no USB ports or wires to mess with. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work right on the Mac. It's fine if all you want to do is enter data (type numbers, etc.); but for software that need the specific key codes of the number pad - ie, '5' on the number pad sends a different signal than '5' on the top row of the main keyboard; and they perform different commands in these programs - the Interlink fails. It sends the "top row 5" instead of the "keypad 5" on a Mac, although it apparently works properly on a pc - weird! Interlink claims it's Mac compatable - I'll be generous and say that they're half right. Big disappointment; it goes back on Monday.

    I've found 5 other candidates:

    1) Targus USB Numeric Keypad

    One reviewer stated that even though this product was labeled for Windows only it worked fine on his MBP, but he only mentioned data entry so I suspect the same problem would occur with the key codes as with the Interlink (in which case at least the manufacturer was more honest about Mac compatability). However, I could be wrong, so let me know if that's the case.

    2) Kensington Pocket KeyPad/Calculator

    This is the one sold at the Apple Store. It seems to work, but gets mixed reviews (Check it out here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/T7340LL/A). It does have a wireless version, though not Bluetooth, so you still need to use a USB port.

    3) 18-KEY Genovation Micropad 631 USB Numeric Keypad 95/98/W2K/NT/MAC

    I read a pretty good review of this by a Sibelius user. He said it was not perfect - a couple of the key codes were wrong - but he was able create work-arounds in Sibelius without too much trouble. Still, I'd prefer a "perfect" keypad with all correct key codes.

    4) Adesso 19-Key Mobile USB Numeric Keypad with Retractable Cable ( AKP-150 )

    Good reviews by Mac/Sibelius users, but similar to Genovation (#3 above) with one reviewer saying that a couple of the keys aren't recognized but it works for MOST of what he would like it to. Again, I'd prefer a "perfect" keyboard, if one exists.

    5) Key Ovation Goldtouch Apple Compatible Numeric Keypad Hub

    This is billed as a Companion to their ergonomic keyboard (w/o keypad), so I'm not absolutely sure it will work with a laptop although I can think of no logical reason why it wouldn't (but after my experience with the interlink I can't nessarily trust my sense of logic). It seems that it may work better because it is made exclusively for Mac - no compatability issues. I also like the fact that it does *not* double as a calculator - instead it has 22 keys (some others only have 19) and can be switched to use 'home', 'end', 'page up', etc - something that I could find convenient at times. I just hope there is a light to indicate which mode it is in (unlike the Kensington - one of the complaints in those "mixed reviews").

    So, in conclusion, I hope this info helps some of you and if anyone knows more or has opinions, experiences, etc with any of these keypads or knows of any other good keypads, please post. I want to order one in the next couple of days because I'm going on a road tour starting Oct, 7 (this also makes sending back another unsatisfactory keypad difficult).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #2
    I considered a numeric keypad for Sibelius but eventually just got the Apple external keyboard. It really is very compact, considering the full set of keys, and everything works perfectly with Sibelius. It seemed better than trying various keypads that may or may not work fully.

    You may be aware that there is a new update for Sibelius 5.2.5, that includes new keyboard shortcuts for Macs that don't have a num lock, although I haven't checked out how this works.
     
  3. Bob-o-Link thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY USA
    #3
    Thanks for the idea but I really wanted something very portable for traveling on the road with a show gig I'm doing. I'll take a closer look though.

    I wasn't aware of this. I'll check it out. Currently I'm using Sibelius 1.2 - the windows version (the Mac version won't run on a new intel Mac) in Windows 98 (don't have XP) on a virtual machine in VMWare Fusion. I'm holding out for version 6 before I pay for an upgrade.
     
  4. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #4
    I'd expect that to be around mid-2009; they seem to follow a fairly precise two yearly release cycle.
     
  5. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #5
  6. grantb3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    #6
  7. Snuffy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #7
    Another sucker for the SMK - LINK VP 6270

    Aah, if only I had encountered this forum before having naively thought that the young gentleman who served me at a licensed Mac products store actually knew what he was selling. As with Bob-O-Link, I'm on the road a lot, want to be able to turn on Sibelius and get that musical idea "on paper", thus the need for a keypad to annexe to my MacBook Pro. Up to now (and it looks like it will be "until then..."), I have been using an Adesso IKP - 130 lent to me by a friend.
    It works for about 90% of all the needed functions, however it has to be connected via a USB cable. The USB portals on this particular Mac are on the left, and generally I use my right hand to manipulate the attached keypad, meaning you're wrapping a cable around the back of the computer.
    It's not the end of the world, but if you working on the computer while it is plugged into an electrical source, then your "wireless" environnement is nothing more than a Macoxymoron...

    I have yet to see or hear of a portable wireless Mac compatible keypad enabling me to enter all those 16th note runs easily, quickly (When I first attempted to enter note values with the Interlink product, I thought the problem might have been related to the fact that I use a French version of Sibelius 5.2, however the friend who lent me the Adesso used it successfully with his English version of the same program).
     
  8. ljova.com macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #8

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