Allow non-YouTube audio sources for online scores

• Apr 23, 2021 - 17:21
S5 - Suggestion
won't fix

The current website allows a custom YouTube audio source to be imported into an uploaded score. The score's tempo can then be manually synchronized with the YouTube video. If this audio source is selected during playback (or by default for scores uploaded by Pro users) then the YouTube video will appear above the score and play alongside the scrolling sheet music.

This is a GREAT feature. However, by A) forcing the audio source to come from YouTube, and B) requiring that the YouTube video play above the score, the feature becomes largely inaccessible and/or undesirable for many users. There are various reasons for this.

  1. The uploader may not have a YouTube account.
  2. The uploader may have a YouTube account, but does not wish to upload MuseScore-specific audio "videos" to the account (uploading unlisted videos is a poor workaround).
  3. The uploader does not know how to make videos.
  4. The uploader is concerned that the YouTube video (but not its audio) distracts from the presentation of their sheet music.

To solve this issue, custom audio sources should be uploadable with a score. This uploaded audio should then be synchronizable by the same manual process that is available for YouTube audio.

There are a number of benefits to implementing this feature:

  1. More users will take advantage of the existing audio synchronization toolsets.
  2. Online score audio will be improved, making the site a more desirable stopping point for browsing sheet music.
  3. Users will have more incentive to become Pro subscribers (so they can make the custom audio source the default).
  4. User experience will be improved because the video playback will not distract from the presentation of the scrolling sheet music.
  5. User experience will be improved because video playback will not unnecessarily take up valuable screen real estate.

An interim improvement can be made that allows uploaders to hide the YouTube video (by default) for their custom audio source without removing the audio entirely. However, such a change would not constitute a complete fulfillment of this issue, but rather a partial workaround.