Update on Playback and Installation for MuseScore 4
In previous posts, I’ve briefly described the playback library Muse has been developing, which we intend to offer as a free external plugin for MuseScore 4. Although we are not quite ready to provide teaser examples of how this library will sound, I thought I’d quickly describe how we are designing the downloading and installation process. This process will not be in place for the upcoming alpha release but will be fully testable for beta.
The two challenges we faced were:
- How to reliably download and install the library, given that it is going to be around 7GB in size
- How to ensure that it ‘just works’ upon installation
We’ve gone through quite a few iterations on the ideal experience and have landed on the following.
On our download page, there will be two options: for those who want to install MuseScore without the external library, the experience will be unchanged. For those who do want the library, the link will first download a Hub application that can securely and quickly manage the download of both the library and MuseScore itself.
At this point you might be thinking: "Hold on, I thought you said this was going to be simple? You've added another installation step!" Well, yes. As a person who is generally not a fan of download managers and hub applications, I was also sceptical of this option at first but am now confident that it will provide the ideal experience. Read on!
The hub application will be very small in size and will download very quickly. Once opened, it will display two options (see the draft sketch below):
The user can now immediately install both options without any complications: no sign-in requirements or verification process. It's worth also mentioning that there will be no tracking systems or advertising either.
To handle the millions of downloads we are expecting, we are utilising P2P sharing to speed up download time and reducing server load. If you would prefer to switch off P2P sharing, we will provide clear controls to do so, although this may slow down your download speed significantly
Once the library is installed, MuseScore will automatically prompt you to activate it, like this.
The hub application is being designed to handle both library and MuseScore updates as well. Should the library be updated, it would only download the necessary files rather than the entire library all over again. And when a new release of MuseScore is available, updating it would take just a single click.
We’re really excited about the possibilities of the new playback engine and hope that, with the new hub app, we can streamline the end-to-end experience of installing MuseScore and our external library. In turn, we hope it will encourage many new composers to try out and enjoy working with MuseScore.
Please let us know your thoughts on this plan.
The MuseScore team