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Poll

Should we implement an alternative format for Musescore users?

Yes
- 5 (27.8%)
No
- 13 (72.2%)

Total Members Voted: 18


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Author Topic: We should expand submissions to include an alternative Musescore format.  (Read 387 times)

PlayfulPiano

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We all understand how Finale Notepad, the only free version people have access of the software, is very limited with what it can do, and requires outside help from people who own the full version to implement things they cannot do. Musescore, on the other hand, has features and customization that matches the full priced version of Finale, and it's also free. Not to mention that for some people, it's easier to use than Finale's software library.

Now, I get that the format system we have has been around for years, and I agree that previous formats shouldn't be changed. I just think that for those who don't have the means to get Finale or want to deal with the limits of Notepad, there should be an alternative formatting thread made for submissions that allow people to submit Musescore renditions.

Musescore has the ability to basically do most, if not all of the "guidelines" that the current format requires. Title with a subtitle for the game, listing the arranger and composer, having the copyright while including the site's URL, this can all be done with Musescore, maybe with a little more effort involved, but it would still be possible for basically the same format.

Now for submissions, we could replace the .musx format option with Musescore's .mscz format, or alternatively add a  .xml or .mxl format (which both finale and musescore can access and create), in which the .mus format can become optional.

We do have a bunch of ways where this possibility can work, I believe, so that is why I'm making this thread here. It would make submittor's lives easier, it would make it easier for updaters to not deal with recreating people's submissions or basically do the writing for them during their free time, and it would make this site more accessible for arrangers.

Hope this could be considered, -PlayfulPiano
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Trasdegi

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You have thought of this arranger-wise, but not player-wise. For someone browsing the site and wanting to play something on another instrument, having the same file format for all sheets is far easier than having to download multiple programs depending of which sheet they want. Plus, software and file format consistency plays a big part in nsm's quality, and that's why nsm isn't a mess like other sheet music sites.

Now, that was what will probably be rises against you. I agree with all these points, but these don't make finale essential. For the players point: having musescore, the program most amateur players that want to make/edit sheet music nowadays use, is far better than finale, something too expansive that no one but the professionals use (and pros aren't the target audiences of nsm at all.) And for the consistency point: well, altissimo once suggested making a group of MuseScore NSMers to help people converting their sheets. I like this idea, but I think it could have a different purpose: having a group to convert ALL the currently on-site sheets to MuseScore. That would seem to be a very big task, but the sooner we do it, the easier it is. We would probably need to do it anyways once finale NotePad (which already isn't available on mac anymore, I think?) will become too outdated (6 years is already a lot for trial programs without any updates.) Also, we could use this occasion to fix the poorest sheets on-site, and fix other formatting errors/differences that are in earlier sheets.

Altissimo

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I will fight for musescore to be accepted but iit's a losing battle and i Hate It
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Latios212

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You guys bring up fair points, but don't really touch upon the drawbacks. It's not as easy as just allowing more file types...

Requiring MuseScore files in addition to Finale files
The idea of converting all of the on-site sheets into MuseScore format is (excuse my bluntness) insane, and realistically speaking will not happen. Aside from the sheer number of sheets we have on site, trying to keep MuseScore and Finale files in sync is unrealistic. XML files don't transfer over everything between the file types perfectly - far from it - and as such you wouldn't be able to keep everything synchronous. The reason we can offer PDF, MIDI, and MUS files consistently is because we have the Finale file as a master file and can instantly generate the other file types from it.

Allowing MuseScore files as an alternative to Finale files
More realistic than the above suggestion, but I'm still opposed to it. Trasdegi above mentioned one of my main points, which is consistency.
For someone browsing the site and wanting to play something on another instrument, having the same file format for all sheets is far easier than having to download multiple programs depending of which sheet they want. Plus, software and file format consistency plays a big part in nsm's quality, and that's why nsm isn't a mess like other sheet music sites.
In addition, you fail to take into account how these changes would affect quality control and maintenance. This site is built upon Finale files and all of the updaters are Finale experts, and part of the reason we have such consistently good sheets is that we're able to offer help and technical advice with Finale software.

So what can we do?
As Alti has brought up some time ago, we can step up efforts in terms of having people help convert non-Finale files into Finale format.
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PlayfulPiano

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You guys bring up fair points, but don't really touch upon the drawbacks. It's not as easy as just allowing more file types...

Requiring MuseScore files in addition to Finale files
The idea of converting all of the on-site sheets into MuseScore format is (excuse my bluntness) insane, and realistically speaking will not happen. Aside from the sheer number of sheets we have on site, trying to keep MuseScore and Finale files in sync is unrealistic. XML files don't transfer over everything between the file types perfectly - far from it - and as such you wouldn't be able to keep everything synchronous. The reason we can offer PDF, MIDI, and MUS files consistently is because we have the Finale file as a master file and can instantly generate the other file types from it.

Allowing MuseScore files as an alternative to Finale files
More realistic than the above suggestion, but I'm still opposed to it. Trasdegi above mentioned one of my main points, which is consistency.In addition, you fail to take into account how these changes would affect quality control and maintenance. This site is built upon Finale files and all of the updaters are Finale experts, and part of the reason we have such consistently good sheets is that we're able to offer help and technical advice with Finale software.

So what can we do?
As Alti has brought up some time ago, we can step up efforts in terms of having people help convert non-Finale files into Finale format.
From what some people have said here and over discord, there is a group of people/updaters who have a lot of background in Musescore besides Finale, so it might be possible to have two groups (where some overlap), Finale updaters and Musescore updaters, both being experts in the programs they use. And with consistency, well, both Finale Notepad & Musescore are free and the requirement to download one more program honestly doesn't seem that big of a deal. And between both of them, their mechanics are not too varied, outside of one being a lot more limiting than the other.

I can see why people are against opening NSM to musescore, I mean, it's something that is new to the website and it will have some short term issues, but I can honestly see a huge potential in the long term to expand the site to a lot more people who have that background in musescore. The musescore website has so many amazing arrangers, and the people here especially know how many times this question gets asked, so just think if those questions didn't have to be asked in the first place later down the line, if that makes sense.

Anyways, thanks for the response Latios.
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Latios212

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I do not want to hire a separate group of updaters just for this reason. Downloading another program is not a big deal, but having to deal with multiple file types is. Yes, both programs make sheet music, but not in the same way.

Yes, I'm aware of what would happen if we were to open the floodgates and allow MuseScore files. I just do not think it's a good idea at this time.

Also, forgot to respond to this before:
finale, something too expansive that no one but the professionals use
...but the majority of arrangers around here do use Finale and aren't professionals?



Just another thought. This isn't entirely related and probably contains some bias from my end, but many arrangers like myself were "raised on" Finale and taught to make good sheets while learning how to use the program. It's something Maelstrom has brought up with me before. It's not to say that people can't make good sheets using MuseScore, but oftentimes the arrangers looking to use MuseScore are new or less experienced arrangers who make some pretty... questionable stuff because MuseScore has no support network where people can improve their sheets. The vast majority of the time, NSM isn't simply a place for people to submit their sheets - it's also a place where people can learn how to arrange and engrave well due to our community's extensive knowledge, expertise, and willingness to help. And I believe Finale is the better program for that.
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WaluigiTime64

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Honestly, I'd be fine with being asked to format people's sheets if they needed it. There's not many people that do, and it's not hard at all to do. If people actually just used the formatting thread, maybe about two people would be all we need to get people's sheets formatted.

The obvious problem then is that it slows down arranger development (trust me, I know), and unless it's regulated in a particular way, those arrangers who ask for formatting aren't going to develop formatting abilities. That's the main issue with this idea, and a main issue in the whole problem of using certain filetypes and programs.

Also Latios212, to say that Finale is a better program for developing arrangement skills: No. That's not true at all. It's a terrible program for developing that stuff, given its ancient code and just how annoying it is to use. If anything, it'd deter arrangers. The thing that makes our current system effective in that aspect is not to do with Finale at all. It's effective because of the community aspect and the submissions system, NOT because we force people to use an annoying, old program. Finale is not better for that. The only reason MuseScore doesn't have a good rep with you people is because the MuseScore website is hot garbage.

I'm not giving any good solutions here lol, but I just didn't agree with some bits.
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Latios212

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To clarify I guess: I didn't mean that Finale was better for learning. Just that that's the way the most experienced arrangers around here do know and have learned. And that Finale's the professional standard, or so I've heard from those of us who are in the music business.

Anyway, yes it's not that I don't want to open it up. It's just that there don't seem to be any good solutions.
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Maelstrom

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A quick summary of the reasons:
1. Consistency
2. That's what the veteran members have experience in
3. If you go into music, having experience in finale will mean 10x more than experience in musescore
4. Keeps the updaters from getting headaches
5. We have adequate resources for musescore users as it is
6. The benefits of switching do not outweigh the costs, even if the site miraculously gained .msz files overnight

WaluigiTime64

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I'm not necessarily for a change right now (believe it or not). I think those with MuseScore should care enough about formatting to format their MuseScore sheets, then ask someone to format an xml to look (mostly) like it, excluding a few errors and such (which would be a learning experience for the arranger). The whole system just can't handle any one good solution, but we can attempt minor things, and it's good if each arranger finds their own workaround too.

Just make sure that as a non-Finale user you really try to push your formatting abilities.



Also what Maelstrom said is mostly correct, surprisingly including Reason 5 (for the most part).
not really a huge fan of Reason 3 though
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Latios212

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Basically, yeah. Maelstrom summed it up well and you're a prime example of how we're able to make things work.
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Altissimo

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finale is fucking unusable now, it runs like absolute shit on my windows laptop and notepad has been discontinued for mac, but w/e if that's what makes the most sense then cool i guess

(im going to make passive aggressive posts forever :^))
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Trasdegi

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Psst

[ZIP]

Needs fixing & missing some but already a good start
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 05:31:57 PM by Trasdegi »
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Dudeman

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Tras what on earth is this

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR TIME, MAN
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Winter

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Took us months to convert all to PDF, Damn.

Have fun naming and sorting them XD
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