state of mscore, 1.0 TODO list?

• Sep 29, 2008 - 19:48

Hi musescore devs and users!

First thing I'd like to suggest is that a new forum be created here like 'General Musescore Discussion' or something similar as I don't feel my post belongs under 'Support and Bug reports' but it was still the most appropriate forum for it I thought.

At this point in time I can honestly say I've read more about musescore than I've actually used it, but despite reading most everything I could find that was musescore related on the internet I've still got a bunch of questions. I have probs posting to SF mailing lists so I've come here.

I work as an IT technician at a big school nr. Manchester, England. Over the summer we updated all the machines in the music computer lab from sib 4 to 5 and we've had nothing but problems ever since so I'm looking into installing musescore soon as a potential alternative. I realise musescore isn't even 1.0 yet so it will still have bugs and I'm not expecting it to be a complete replacement for sibelius 5 and of course the interface will also work differently too but all these are only to be expected from beta software.

Is there a list of features expected to make it for 1.0 ie a 1.0 TODO list? Any target date/period set for a 1.0 release?

How good is musescore's MusicXML 2.0 import/export? Has anyone here tried exporting some moderately complex pieces out of Sib 5 using the Dolet 4 plug-in and importing them into musescore and vice versa?

What are the current known major or significant limitations preventing most Sibelius or Finale users from switching? I'm not talking about super-fancy stuff, just important functionality required for serious use. Again this comes back to a 1.0 wishlist I suppose.

Some probs I've read about that may have been dealt with already include:

Problems with copy and paste/ inability to copy groups of notes, just whole bars

No MIDI input support under Windows

Expression markings not affecting audio (a remark on Mr Boltons blog on a previous version mind)

Incomplete percussion editor

Are all these problems still present in svn? Are there any more major flaws or missing features I need to know about?

Thanks for your help!

Dan


Comments

Thanks to the admin who made this new forum! I'm very happy to unexpectedly be the first poster to this new General Discussion forum!

Its pretty funny actually as I'd just come back here to see if there'd already been a reply. When I saw my message missing from the Support forum I couldn't believe it at first as I thought it'd been deleted- like I'd asked too many or the wrong questions but then I remembered my first request and lo it was granted! :)

I asked above 'what feature(s) is/are missing that are stopping most Sibelius/Finale users switching?' when the answer to that may not be a 'feature' at all, it could be lack of testing/stability or something else like lack of familiarity or just the fact that they probably don't even know mscore exists.

If there is no date set for 1.0 then what about 0.9.4?

OK I'll shut up and give someone a chance to answer now! :D

In reply to by danboid

Hi danboid,
The most honest answer is that for an open source project, it is rather hard to set a date on when there will be a new release. MuseScore relies mostly on its users to submit bugs or feature requests and of course on free time of developers to fix them. Besides this there are lots of technical challenges like trying to get MuseScore compiled for Mac. All issues which one can't set a deadline on.

One word about Sibelius & Finale: I don't think you may consider MuseScore as a substitute for one of these programs. MuseScore might try to aim at different use cases than the established score writers. Of course, don't hesitate to create an extensive comparison so it is easier for users to define whether MuseScore might fit their needs.

I hope this may answer some of your questions.

Since the MuseScore development team is very small and volunteer we do not have a timetable for releases. To give you a rough estimate: the previous two releases represent about 4-5 months of development. Earlier releases have been more frequent. The prerelease builds are released every few days and are usually as stable as the official releases (sometimes more so).

For orchestral/band work you can extract parts but the parts are not linked like they are in the recent versions of Sibelius and Finale. Also MuseScore 0.9.3 lacks support for notation of multi-measure rests.

I would not advise replacing Sibelius 4 or 5 with MuseScore in the immediate future, but it can make a good supplement. Its main advantage is students can work on assignments at home without expensive licensing fees. It is also a good candidate for schools with limited funds.

In reply to by David Bolton

Hi David!

I understand there is a MusicXML export plugin for Finale- have you not tried this and then importing into musescore?

I don't actually use Sibelius/Finale myself so I don't understand what this linking or parts is all about- could you explain this please? What is it used for and why is it so important?

I can't see lack of multi-measure rests or even MIDI IN being showstoppers but if entering percussion is tricky that could be a put off. On paper musescore certainly sounds like it would be a valid lightweight Sibelius alternative if it produced quality output reliably and consistently without crashing. This we can only tell by playing/working with it so we'll get back to you on that.

There is no 'List of planned features for 1.0' then?

In reply to by David Bolton

David Bolton> I would not advise replacing Sibelius 4 or 5 with MuseScore in the immediate future, but it can make a good supplement...

I agree. MuseScore is a wonderful way to save some musical ideas when a full-scale (no pun intended) notation program isn't available. (I don't know about Finale, but Sibelius won't let you install it on your portable as well as your desktop---so hooray for MuseScore!)

I've used MuseScore only a few times now, so I'm sure there's a lot about it I haven't learned. My reactions may still be valuable, though, because they may reflect the kinds of experiences other new MS users are having. I'll paste them below (my reactions, that is, not the users). Keep up the great work!

Cheers, Andy

MuseScore 0.9.3 -- first reactions

_ Consider adding an Eraser tool that users could click on notes/symbols to delete them. It's not the most efficient way to delete, but it would be very intuitive for new users.

_ Can the Backspace undo the last action? This would be especially intuitive to erase the last note that was entered.

_ It would be good to be able to hold Shift or Ctrl, then press L or R arrow, to select a passage.

_ Instead of Index entries for "Enter Chords", "Enter Notes", etc., how about just "Chords", "Notes", etc.? It would also be very convenient for the Index to have a Keyboard Shortcuts entry so you could quickly find the shortcut for any command. (I'd rename the "Keys" entry to something more specific: "Key Signatures".)

_ The shortcuts for note-entry could be more intuitive, with Alt+1 for whole note, then 2-7 for the other time values---in other words, the way they appear on the toolbar.

_ When a tied note is selected, Shift+S (the "tie" command) should remove the tie, too. Similarly, I think you should be able to remove a tie by selecting a note where a tie begins, and clicking the + button (or pressing + ).
(Because those two obvious methods, haven't worked, I still don't know out how to remove a tie. The Index's "Ties" entry doesn't explain it either... I'm still deleting both tied notes and re-entering them. No doubt there's an easier way...)

_ When you delete a selected note, that rest should stay selected, rather than just returning you to the note-entry cursor. (The cursor could still appear, but this would give the user a choice whether to continue with the mouse or the keyboard.)

_ When you delete a note, the note-entry cursor appears---but clicking it on the staff has no effect. (?)

_ When you select a note by pressing the arrow keys and moving the selection, then you press the shortcut for a time value (Alt+1-7), the selected rest or note should change to that time value. (I don't know why it doesn't.)

_ You should be able to select an Articulation symbol, then type a letter (A-G) to make a note appear with that symbol. (I also don't understand why it's necessary to click a symbol several times to make it appear on the selected note---wouldn't one click be sufficient?)

_ Dragging the page shouldn't cancel the selection.

_ Copy and Paste don't seem to work. At least they didn't work for me, when I selected a range of measures; copied them; selected a new location, then pasted. (I tried the menu commands as well as the Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V shortcuts.)

_ When you select a note, then hold Shift and select another note, those notes and everything between them should be selected, like selecting files in a file window. (When people are trying to learn a new app, it's most discouraging when it doesn't respond to standard, intuitive operations.)

_ The first menu, which is about file operations, should be called "File", not "Score". (After 10 years of PC use, I don't think I can train myself to stop pressing Alt+F!)

In reply to by NotationGuy

Work is currently underway to implement copy-paste of partial measures and improve selection methods. In the mean-time you can use the method outlined in the handbook (see copy and paste )

We have made several improvements to the online documentation which already address the index naming issues (see handbook . The documentation for the next release of MuseScore will incorporate these changes.

In reply to by NotationGuy

Work is currently underway to implement copy-paste of partial measures and improve selection methods. In the mean-time you can use the method outlined in the handbook (see copy and paste )

We have made several improvements to the online documentation which already address the index naming issues (see handbook ). The documentation for the next release of MuseScore will incorporate these changes.

In reply to by NotationGuy

Thanks for your detailed reactions. I'll respond to a few of these.

_ The shortcuts for note-entry could be more intuitive, with Alt+1 for whole note, then 2-7 for the other time values---in other words, the way they appear on the toolbar.

Personally, I redefined my shortcuts to be this way, however, some people might disagree. I'll shoot an email to the list about this.

_ When you select a note by pressing the arrow keys and moving the selection, then you press the shortcut for a time value (Alt+1-7), the selected rest or note should change to that time value. (I don't know why it doesn't.)

This works for me in the latest revision.

_ Dragging the page shouldn't cancel the selection.

This is now fixed in r1160.

_ Copy and Paste don't seem to work. At least they didn't work for me, when I selected a range of measures; copied them; selected a new location, then pasted. (I tried the menu commands as well as the Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V shortcuts.)

This one has probably been fixed in SVN.

_ When you select a note, then hold Shift and select another note, those notes and everything between them should be selected, like selecting files in a file window. (When people are trying to learn a new app, it's most discouraging when it doesn't respond to standard, intuitive operations.)

The way selection works now is as you described. Werner is working on it. It will also support partial-measure copy/paste.

I guess "linked parts" is Finale's name for it. Here's Sibelius' explanation of dynamic parts . It can save time and hassle if you make formatting changes to individual parts after extraction and later notice mistakes.

There is no official list of planned features for 1.0. But you can see the latest changes to SVN as recorded on the ChangeLog .

I have only worked with MusicXML a couple times so I would not be the best person to answer that question.

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