GSoC 2016 - Week 9 - Call for test users

Posted 3 years ago

This was my ninth week working on note entry with MuseScore for Google Summer of Code. This week I put the finishing touches to the second pull request, which represented a significant restructuring of my work from earlier in the project.

This week’s summary:

  • Improvements to real-time metronome
    • Different volumes for stressed and unstressed beats
    • Generalised implementation works for playback and for note entry

Still to do:

  • New implementation of rhythm simplification and voice extraction
  • Test user feedback

Metronome

The metronome beat is essential to the real-time input method to help the user maintain a consistent tempo. I had some difficulties when I first tried to implement it back in Week 2 due to the way it is implemented making it inaccessible outside of playback mode. I succeeded in getting clicks to play in real-time note entry mode, but since I couldn't access the playback functions during note entry it involved repeating much of the playback code elsewhere in the program. This time around I managed to find a way to generalise the functions to make them work for both playback and note entry, and I also managed to get rid of a few bugs along the way.

The new metronome implementation is plays clicks at different volumes depending on whether they represent stressed or unstressed beats, and whether the time signature is simple or compound. There are functions to calculate the beat type at any point in the score, and these return a "sub-beat" value for parts of the score do not correspond to a beat. In real-time mode this allows the metronome to click smaller durations than specified by the time signature, and the functions could easily be extended to do the same in playback mode. People might find this useful if they are using MuseScore to learn a new piece with a difficult rhythm. For example, they could reduce the tempo and then enable an option to beat quavers (eighth-note) instead of crotchets (quarter-notes) in 4/4 for increased accuracy.

Call for test users

As well as being part of Google Summer of Code, this project also forms part of my dissertation for my Masters degree. As the project nears its conclusion I will be looking for some people to test the new note entry modes and provide a little bit of feedback. This will simply involve timing yourself entering notes for a short passage of music in the new and old note entry modes to see whether there is an improvement in speed, and then answering a few short questions. If you are interested in being one of the testers then please send me a private message. You can do this by visiting my profile and clicking the "Send a message" button. This will enable me to contact you via email with more information about the test. Please note that I am required to communicate with you via email to give you the option to remain anonymous. Unfortunately, I cannot include anyone under the age of 18 in the test, but there is nothing to stop you from downloading a nightly build and trying out the new features yourself.