Enable choice of audio file to use for MuseScore.com playback

• Jul 19, 2015 - 20:05
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

People often come to the forums asking why their scores aren't playing back correctly on MuseScore.com. The answer is almost always "you can't use other SoundFonts and expect the website player to use the same sound." This isn't very nice, and can cause particularly big problems when the person is using marching percussion or, worst of all, Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra.

Here is my proposed solution:

1. When using the menu command File -> Save Online…, if the currently loaded Synthesizer settings are other than the default or if there are non-default Synthesizer settings saved to the score, a warning dialog should appear: "You are not using the default Synthesizer settings. Your score may sound different when played on MuseScore.com, unless you specify an audio file to use for online playback. To create an audio file, go to File -> Export."

2. This dialog should have three buttons: "Cancel", "Ignore" (to continue to the main "Save Online" dialog), and "Locate Audio File…"

3. When choosing "Locate Audio File…", a file picker dialog opens (by default to the Scores directory). It might be a good idea to only allow a file to be selected if it has the same name as the current score.

4. The crux of the issue, obviously, is to allow an audio file (what formats should be accepted is up for debate) to be uploaded along with the score, and used instead of the server-generated audio file for playback and MP3 download on MuseScore.com.

So, developers, what do you think? Is this practical? Should it be added to the roadmap for 2.1 (https://musescore.org/en/developers-handbook/references/musescore-roadm…) which Marc Sabatella has just put together?


We have this on our internal bug tracker on MuseScore.com for quite some time. The UI in MuseScore is of course not a big problem. Now,

* What if the score is a Beethoven Sonata but the selected audio is a rendition of a Haydn string quartet?
* What if it's the same work but at a different tempo?

Currently the playback on MuseScore.com might be different than what one can hear in MuseScore but at least it's the same for all scores and it's nicely in sync with all scores.

How about simply checking for the length of the audio track? If it's off by more than a second or two from what the default would be, "Error! This audio file does not seem to match this score."

I think it's worth making clear that in my vision for this, this is not an option for direct upload, only "Save Online…" from within MuseScore—and only then if there are non-default Synthesizer settings. And a combination of only accepting an audio file if it has the exact same name as the score and only if it's the same length (allow perhaps a one-second margin of error) should help safeguard against the wrong audio file being used.

Yes, that makes sense. I don't think we'd need to allow selection of arbitrary audio files. If it were limited to "Save Online", then MuseScore could just generate the MP3 locally and upload it along with the MSCZ. Then there should be no synchronization issues.

Actually, if the initial dialog has a button for "Generate and Upload Audio File" instead of "Locate Audio File…", so much the better.

Actually, after some more thought, I'd prefer "Locate Audio File." This would allow for an audio file from an "unrolled" version of the score to be used, in the case of a score where there are supposed to be differences on repeats (e.g., Tacet 2x).

That's a lot more work for the more common case, though. I think a "generate and upload" upload would be much simpler for the majority of cases. On the other hand, adding a "locate audio file" option to the web site seems like a decent idea, although it comes with the same caveats - randomly bad results if you provide bad audio.

Status (old) active fixed

As of today, MuseScore.com pro accounts can:

1) Generate a video and send it to YouTube;
2) Choose to upload an MP3 to serve as that video's audio;
2) Set that YouTube video as the default audio source when playing the score.

Seems a little convoluted to have to go via YouTube! I think I preferred the "generate and upload" option Marc came up with. If the "Save online" is an automatic process within MuseScore then there can be no issues with sync or wrong audio.

You don't actually have to go to YouTube yourself—the point is, MuseScore.com does it for you automatically. It's a bit of a workaround on the MuseScore team's part, but the end result is indistinguishable.

Hmm, what if you don't want it on YouTube or don't have a YouTube account? I would consider this a workaround rather than a fix. It's no big deal for me personally because I'm perfectly happy with the default soundfont (I actually think it's pretty amazing apart from one or two instruments for which the tuning is off!), but I think that other people would probably prefer a proper fix.

There are a lot of aspects to making a fully self contained solution. Building on YouTube's API allows us to offer a minimal solution with the least effort.