SoundFont list omits critical platform-specific details

• Jan 23, 2019 - 05:36

The handbook's list of SoundFonts available for download ( includes Don Allen's "Timbres of Heaven". The download uses 7-Zip compression, which is a Windows-only format. MuseScore, by contrast, is available for all major platforms (and a few minor ones); likewise, all of the other general SoundFonts listed are in formats that can be used on multiple platforms. Ideally, Mr. Allen would provide a version of his file that can be decompressed on multiple platforms, but until he does so, the handbook -- which includes platform-specific differences and limitations elsewhere -- should note that it is available only for Windows users. Users of non-Windows platforms should not be obliged to waste their time downloading the file and trying to figure out what's wrong with it. (The same should be done for any of the more specific SoundFonts that have similar issues, if there are any -- I haven't checked.)


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I stand corrected, but ... gaak. I'm a bit cross-eyed from staring at a Terminal window, but I have personally verified that neither xz or Gnu Tar are included in MacOS 10.14.2, the current ... well it was current when I checked two days ago; 10.14.3 is out now, but I doubt it's changed. Also, let's be honest: most Mac users won't want -- or even know how -- to use Terminal, so any suggestion that requires it is of minimal utility. Fortunately, it turns out there are several free utilities which can open 7z files. For the benefit of any future Mac users that may come across this later, they can be found by searching for "7z" in the App Store ... something which, somewhat to my embarrassment, hadn't occurred to me. It should have, because I remember the pre-OS X era when StuffIt was pretty much the only option we had, but apparently 18 years of built-in support for the most common compression formats has made me a bit spoiled in that respect. I'll see if I can get Don to add a note that third-party software is needed for Mac users.

In reply to by nhampton

For OSX you can also download unarchiver or keka on the appstore which works perfectly well with 7z. To be honest, I hardly consider 7zip a windows only format. Most linux distributions support it out of the gate, and I think those tools mentioned above are a good download for anyone on OSX wether they use 7zip or not.

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