Online Editing - Musescore Web App

• Mar 21, 2013 - 19:43

Dear MuseScore team:

Please consider developing an online version of MuseScore because:

• With web apps the way we rely on our documents improves heavenly.
• No installations, no updates, no viruses corrupting files, no compatibility issues, no hardware depending docs and no need to tow your PC or suitcase wherever you go.
• Internet is all you need, and sometimes a native app for offline work.
• Have you ever tried software like Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, Spotify, Picasa, Github App, Kodingen, InVision, Sumo Paint, Harvest App, even Twitter and Facebook?
• The way you rely on web-app/native-app tandem makes a lot of sense for times like this.
• Also note that if you have one doc in your PC and other published on, what you really have is a duplicate, and if you have ever worked (I mean seriously worked) with documents you know that this is not a best practice.
• Native apps will always survive as supportive apps (for offline work for example).
• If you are a musician you probably travel a lot. You have noticed that over time your printed documents stains and tears and laggage manipulation ruins your folders and papers.
• Sometimes you lose your suitcase/papers/computer or even get stolen.
• You probably nurse your printed docs like me but either way you know how tedious is to tow your laggage everywhere you go.


And why?... why towing your worries everywhere like if internet does not exist already? Why don't we promote MuseScore as a web-app to have a universal acces to our work. Why not implementing great concepts like:

  • Multi-user Collaboration
  • Remote Acces
  • Online Editing
  • Multi-device Syncing

...which have already proven to be successful and boost productivity.

I would happily pay for a service like this. I already pay for great services like Evernote and Github, why not to pay for something as valuable as MuseScore. I will surely do!


Just look at Google, that's amazingly useful:
Please take this into account. I love MuseScore and I want to take it with me wherever I go ;)


In reply to by chen lung

Something is already moving in this direction (player for Android), but not everyone has access to the network (even in the countries of Latin Europe there is very digital divide), and in those situations, a free software still needs to be accessible for everyone.

In reply to by Shoichi

Native apps for Windows/Mac/etc. will always be part of any software service. What I'm trying to suggest is adding an online version to create a more logic WebApp-NativeApp tandem. Which is more suitable for the kind of life and technology we have at hand today.

In reply to by chen lung

It seems like Musescore would have to develop a drive application and allow collaboration [that's what drive is about]... But once it's online anywhere its easy to code to the G-Drive. So hopefully. Since i use drive so often \, this would be a great step in Musescore's development.

If you mean like one of the basic apps you get in Google Drive, then I'm not sure I would want to use it.

They are barely usable for the job in hand, not even having the features found in OpenOffice 10 years ago.

Having said that, they are useful for working on shared documents in real time.

There are also issues with development time - MuseScore 2 has still not been released as stable, and I would be against anything that would take the development team away from achieving that goal.

FWIW, this does seem like a good idea to me, but it's also something I'd see for much further down the road. Still way too much work anead in the short / medium term just getting MuseScore fully featured and rock solid for individual desktop use and then maybe overhauling the playback facility - I think that's where biggest needs are right now for the majority of users.

Also, there *are* online score editing servcues - see Noteflight for one example. They aren't very popular because so many compromises are required - most notably, performance. And I suspect it is still the case for many people that they don't necessarily have internet connections when away from their computers - especially for tablets, which is really the main use case I see for such a service. Given the choice between a web app and a native tablet app, I'd pick the latter for sure.

And yes, I'd want it to have a cloud-based storage facility (eg, through, or perhaps one of the open source Dropbox clones, or just an option to access Dropbox or the link directly) that allowed easy synchronization of scores across devices. This is a feature I value a lot in the other apps I use that have both desktop and tablet versions (like Evernote).

Even with a web app, though, the idea of implementing real time collaboration seems like an absolute nightmare to me. I mean first, really, how often is this really something one wants or needs? it seems like an absolutely enormous amount of work to provide a feature that probably won't get used much.

On the other hand, there are things ome cam already do that provide an interesting starting point for imagining a much lower-weight solution.

First, for Windows, there is the "Portable Apps" version of MuseScore - runs from a USB stick, no installation required. So you can easily work with MuseScore from any Wndows computer. Add a cloud storage option for synchronization, figure out a way to get a Mac version of this going - that could add some real value with relatively little effort.

Second, I pretty regularly access MuseScore from my iPad using Splashtop, and also using TeamViewer - both are remote desktop apps that allow you to log in to a PC with a tablet. I can't say I wholeheartedly recommend the experience, as the UI of MuseScore is not well optimized for this type of use. But all it would take is a bit of tweaking - larger icons and menus, a built-in keyboard for note entry (a version of which already coming in 2.0) - and this would actually be completely viable. Meaning anyone who had a MuseScore running on a PC could access it from anywhere using existing remote desktop apps. And from there, it would probably be a relatively shorter path to providing a server version of MuseScore (eg, on that anyone could access.

Right now I have musescore portable save on google drive so that I can edit and save online. Having to download google drive for PC every where shouldn't have to be done. An online thing would be perfect; and it should allow unlimited writing but limited sharing and allow you to download your file if it is programmed. But Yeah, we need that.

In reply to by speedmeteor101

This is exacted what is about: "unlimited writing but limited sharing". Except it's not free :) But any subscription there helps the development of MuseScore and there are lot more features on than on Gdrive.

In reply to by speedmeteor101

Now that Musescore 2.0 is out and I have had a chance to really enjoy it (having spent lots of time reporting bugs on the nightly builds), I would like to say Great Job!

I do most of the arranging for a 12-14 piece (depending on the week) swing ensemble. I do the VAST majority of the editing, but I do collaborate with a couple of the folks in the group. I use a shared DropBox folder that the other folks can access. HOWEVER, this is a minimal solution for collaboration since if I provide read and write access, we occasionally run into a configuration management problem: someone saves an older version of the file on top of a newer version that has freshly made changes. Some sort of workflow option would be really cool, but at the very least being able to prevent overwrites by having a check-out/check-in concept would be great.

If someone is collaborating with you over the phone, if the person holding the check-out makes an edit and saves, it would also be awesome to propagate the change to everyone with the Musescore editor open. Right now the other person has to close and reopen the file to pick up the changes.

Finally, I look forward to the day where paper parts are history - that everyone's "music stand" is really a read only version of their part displayed on a portable screen (like a tablet). Even better if it could be somehow synched with the music so that it would autoscroll (I can dream, can't I?) and that the score could be edited in real time and reflected on the parts...which by the way Harry Connick Jr developed just such a system (for which he owns a patent).

But to address the original post, while a web version of the software MIGHT be nice, it seems to me it would have to be a pretty "fat" web app in order to support all of Musescore's features. Which means having a pretty high bandwidth connection. At that point, what are you really buying with a web app?

If they do develop on online web app, it should only be a basic editor, nothing as advanced as the desktop version. Like a simple editor for changing a note in the player. It would be amazing

In reply to by musescore1999

It seems there was some effort to port libmscore to javascript….

I can see how collaborative editing ala google docs would be nice. Also quick edits for scores saved online.

FYI, you can already use the MuseScore desktop app inside your browser via (Although seems that version number is still 2.0.0...hopefully someone can update that to 2.0.3 when released).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've tried it out (you can test drive it, but can't save scores in test drive). Big caveat: sound doesn't work :).

Although I don't know how exactly it works, I do notice some visual compression artifacts, so I presume that it is running musescore inside a server, and then using some remote desktop-to-browser mechanism over a compressed channel. Resonds slightly slower than native, probably due to the round-trip latency plus compression & decompression.

I think it is a great proof-of-concept. I would imagine there are some open-source remote desktop to browser things out there.

In reply to by ericfontainejazz

I tried the rollapp process, not all the functions work. A big problem is that there is no sound/playback capability. I also was unable to use the chord creation shortkey process. In addition, you must pay to $6.99/mo to be able to save your documents. Personally, I would rather give my money to Musescore developers directly..

As a string teacher, I'd love to have an online app/musescore system because most schools don't let you download your browser of choice let alone a notation system and I prefer musescore to Finale/Sibelius!

In reply to by Amelia Joy Parris

Indee,d the portable version works great, I've used it a number of times one school computers for exactly this reason. Better than a web-based version, for this particular purpose anyhow, because it is far faster. Not that a web-based app wouldn't be nice for *other* reasons (able to access from tablets or Chromebooks, the possibility of collaboration, etc).

Ok guys so I love musescore, but there is a guy who has already done this. I dont like his editing software quite as much as musescore, I think this program is better, but the live-editing with multiple people and syncing with google drive is fantastic. Check it out
Musescore: Please listen to us and give us live editing if possible.

In reply to by asian-muso

hmm...I've just tried this and I have to give them seems very easy to use. Doesn't have nearly as many features as musescore...although I am able to use their download button to get a MusicXML file which imports into MuseScore just fine. It seems that these people have done a good job at solving this basic need. I would never want to edit a large score in this, for sure, but I can imagine this being useful, especially for people not experienced with writing scores who don't want to get overwhelmed with features, to quickly get together on google hangouts and write out some melodies together. Then ideally one of them would download the xml and make a nice full score with musescore out of it.

Although I agree with web app and collaboration there is no need to have real-time collaboration. Maybe something git-like with pulls and pushes? This seems better to me, because if you push, you hopefully push only when one part is finished. There may be a problem caused by two people pushing the same part(especially when composing for solo instrument), but this problem could be prevented if coworkers had laid out their work.

In reply to by AdamJenca112358

I have my doubts that such a limited form of the feature would be appreciated by enough people to be wort the effort. But you never know. Anyhow, just in case it isn't obvious - what you describe is basically already possible, just use a shared folder file on Google Drive or Dropbox or whatever. No separate "push" step required, but you do need to ask everyone to "pull" manually (close and reopen the file) after anyone saves. So hardly ideal, but it seems likely some form of manual communication and synchronization would be needed no matter what.

If there were an online-only version, with LTI integration (e.g. Canvas etc.), MuseScore would OWN the education side of things.

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