Agile Partners have come up with a great little application for the iPhone. Tab Toolkit offers guitar players a useful tool for storing guitar tab files, viewing them, and playing them through the iPhone speaker or headphones for reference.
Tab Toolkit allows you to load tab files, include Power Tab, Guitar Pro, PDF and text based tabs. Only the Power Tab and Guitar Pro files can be played back through the audio system in Tab Toolkit. The others are available just as references to read.
Version 1 of Tab Toolkit was only capable of playing one instrument at a time. Agile Partners have rectified this though with version 1.1. If you held back from purchasing Tab Toolkit because of this worry no longer.
The tab listing part of Tab Toolkit is nicely done, with three different modes. You can have alphabetical lists by artist, and when you click on the artist it takes you to all of the tabs in your repository. You can view all tabs alphabetically, or tabs listed by artist, with every tab listed underneath the artist heading. The later is my favourite view.
There are two ways of downloading your tab repository to Tab Toolkit. You can load them from your PC using your iPhones IP address, or you can download them from the web using the inbuilt web browser. Each are nice and easy to use, particularly the nice web based interface.
One thing I felt was missing is the capability to print tabs off over WiFi to printer. This would make Tab Toolkit a very powerful application. I teach guitar, and if I was showing my repository of tabs to students, and they wanted a copy of one of them I’d love to just tell them to fire up their printer so I could print it off for them. I have sent through a suggestion to Agile Partners to see if they could add this capability to a future release.
Overall Tab Toolkit is a handy application for guitar players. It is a great tool, giving you access to your tab collection anywhere, plus allowing you to find and be able to read tab files on the go. I’d love to see what Agile Partners do with Tab Toolkit when the iPad is released. An expanded version with a page per screen tabs would be amazing!