Setting-Up MuseScore on the Raspberry Pi
I'm new to both Linux and MuseScore... having spent the past 18 years very happily in the company of Acorn Sibelius... and am finding the change a bit of a challenge, so please don't spare the detail, I need all the help I can get.
Setting up MuseScore 2.0.3 on a Raspberry Pi 3B (running Ubuntu-mate 16.04) I've struck a number of glitches, with stuttering playback at the top of the list.
Ubuntu appears to be operating OK, with bundled applications working as expected. I'm running MuseScore by double clicking the AppImage file.
On my RPi 3B are:
/home/pi/Documents/MuseScore2/ [a range of dirs.]
My test file is about 100 measures long consisting of 4 independent parts, although the glitches also occur when playing the music from the getting started tutorial.
The playback glitches are numerous (and are present whether sound output is to HDMI or audio plug). Crackling and popping with the play position cursor a beat or two behind the sound in continuous staves view, for example. Every 5-20 measures the playback freezes but can be un-frozen by jiggling the volume slider in Ubuntu's 'Sound Preferences' window.
In Page View playback mode the cursor can lag by a measure or even remain stationary until the pages jump forward to a new position... but can be made to follow the playback by keeping the mouse pointer constantly moving!
I noticed in Ubuntu's sound preferences that the underlying hardware is described as 'bcm2835 ALSA' and that in MuseScores Preferences I/O there is the option of using ALSA rather then PulseAudio. Changing to ALSA sound does appear to improve playback stuttering, but not totally fix the glitches. However, the instrumental sound is converted to (a rather nice) piano; and remarkably, changing the sample rate also changes the playback tempo! For example, selecting a 96K sample rate doubles the speed of playback and 24K halves it. A sample rate of 44100 appears to give the best overall results. (The other options: 'Device' = default, 'Fragments' and 'Period Size' I haven't touched as I don't know what they are.)
At first, from other forum posts it appeared that a smaller soundfont might be need. I've downloaded TimGM6mb.sf2, but haven't been able to understand the handbook instructions on how to install it. However, as time has gone on, and judging from loadings in the system monitor, it looks as if the problem may not be lack of system resources.
More generally, MuseScore often appears to be struggling 'under a burden' with windows and menus very slow to respond. For example, pointer to 'File', count to ten before it turns blue, click, count to ten before menu appears, etc. This struggling behaviour I think builds up over a session, at first things go quickly but soon slow down.
The above description is from a few days experience. Today on first loading MuseScore, no sound at all and nothing registered in Ubuntu's 'Sound Preferences -> Applications' window. I reload ms, still no sound. I test sound from Ubuntu, it works fine. I change the ALSA sample rate in MuseScore and click 'Apply'... and 'ALSA plug-in [mscore-portable]' pops up in Ubuntu's 'Sound Preferences -> Applications' window. I select the first note in the piece and click 'Play'. Nothing happens. Next I wiggle Ubuntu's volume slider and playback starts (with a little popping). Three or four freezes over 100 measures, each un-frozen by volume wiggles, and, today ALSA is doing instrumental sounds rather than piano (with rather more freezes than yesterdays piano sound).
All thoughts and help are appreciated. MuseScore looks so good, offers so much, I'm determined to get it running smoothly on the RPi if at all possible. Give me hope; has anyone succeeded? Should I download a new AppImage file and try again?
With Thanks, Philip.