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Author Topic: file formats for attachments  (Read 6085 times)

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TomBom

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file formats for attachments
« on: June 17, 2015, 11:43:30 AM »

I just noticed that nwc is as supported file format on melnet - Noteworthy Composer I believe.
I never saw a post with a noteworthy file. Don't know about security issues, but would it be possible to change that to accepting musescore files?
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 11:56:31 AM »

Or, better still I now believe, to the more general format, MusicXML, which would at a stroke expand opportunities for lots of different stave notation software users? 

(I regret I am not all that hopeful.)
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Theo

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 01:09:25 PM »

I've asked Clive to comment on any security implications.   We also need to see if there is a general feeling that this would be a useful change.
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Clive Williams

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 01:24:12 PM »

All I need to know is the file suffix  (:) Assuming it's not a large format likely to use our disk quota, or likely to cause security issues (i.e. .xml/.php/etc) I don't expect it will be an issue.

Jack Campin

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 01:24:46 PM »

Is there actually a significant amount of music out there

- in MusicXML (or which could be in MusicXML)
- relevant to this group
- using the features of MusicXML to express something relevant to this group which couldn't be expressed in ABC?

I suspect there isn't, and won't be any time soon.  There isn't a community of users out there sharing MusicXML, despite it being technically possible.  I don't even know of any free public renderer apart from Noteflight.

Formats that I'd see as more urgent to support: MIDI and SVG (both of which are normally used for small files) and Ogg Vorbis (not small, but often smaller than equivalent MP3, which is allowed).  None of those have malware/trojan problems.
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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 01:50:48 PM »

If you're going to depart from MP3 to an open, patent-free and better alternative, why not go straight past Ogg Vorbis to Opus

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Mike Hirst

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 01:55:57 PM »

If you're going to depart from MP3 to an open, patent-free and better alternative, why not go straight past Ogg Vorbis to Opus
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 02:07:47 PM »

Very heartened by your comment, Clive!

For me, this question is one of plurality - does melnet want to allow musicians all over the world who currently use stave notation (and there must be millions of them) the ability to communicate music data directly via melnet?  As I understand it from Wikipedia, MusicXML is a standard format which hundreds of music notation software programs can import to and export from (Sibelius, Finale and MuseScore certainly can for example, and I would imagine ABC software too.)  I believe the file extension is simply .xml.  (I checked Pete Dunk's score 'Le Coucoo' for size: - .mscz filesize 46.1kb, .xml 309kb - Most files used in practice would be a lot smaller, I would imagine.)

Once that authority has been given, I would anticipate that most users of their own favourite software could quickly export to or import from all the formats Jack has mentioned, so that's the one main thing that melnet would need to do to free the whole thing up?

We already know from the Learning thread survey that many people use stave notation software sometimes, at least.  I would have thought that's all we need to know - it's not about the benefits of one platform over another - anyone can then use their favourite (or perhaps I should say the one they happened to have learned) and talk to everybody else directly, provided of course it's one of the several hundred systems mentioned above.

However, my slight worry is that there is actually an elephant in the room - a suspicion that a large number of melnetters reject stave notation and all its trappings, on principle.  If the decision is to be based on such narrow and isolationist views, I would really worry for the future of the melodeon.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 02:16:13 PM by Chris Brimley »
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Jack Campin

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 02:14:03 PM »

Opus looks good but at the moment I don't have a prayer of doing anything with it!  (I'm not going to stand in the way of anybody who can and wants to use it, though).
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malcolmbebb

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 02:16:00 PM »

If you're going to depart from MP3 to an open, patent-free and better alternative, why not go straight past Ogg Vorbis to Opus
This feels like a parallel discussion to the last one building up. I suspect for most people, openness, technical superiority etc is less important than ease of access, support, and lots of software that can use it.
For the likes of me, mp3 is pretty much the abc of sound files. Does everything I need, I can play it on anything, not too big.
As before, better options are available for those who need them but mp3 suits the common man.
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Jack Campin

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 02:23:33 PM »

Quote
many people use stave notation software sometimes

Yes.  But most of us use ABC to get it, since that give us both the staff notation and a lot of extra capabilities.

Like sharing notation in editable form with blind people.  Are there players for MusicXML that don't require a visual user interface?  Most of Melnet is accessible to the blind at present, ABC quotes and attachments included.  The only way I can find to get from MusicXML to MIDI without using a graphical interface detours through ABC.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 02:34:50 PM »


However, my slight worry is that there is actually an elephant in the room - a suspicion that a large number of melnetters reject stave notation and all its trappings, on principle.  If the decision is to be based on such narrow and isolationist views, I would really worry for the future of the melodeon.
Can't quite see where this came from, nor am I clear about its scope. Is it aimed at people who solely read directly from abc (quite a small minority, IMO), or those who solely play by ear? (This whole discussion is irrelevant to the latter group, I would have thought.)

 
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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 02:38:36 PM »

If you're going to depart from MP3 to an open, patent-free and better alternative, why not go straight past Ogg Vorbis to Opus
This feels like a parallel discussion to the last one building up. I suspect for most people, openness, technical superiority etc is less important than ease of access, support, and lots of software that can use it.

Actually I agree - I'm not going to put up a defence!
I was simply picking up on Jack's suggestion with an even better alternative following the same principles.

There was a time when I was cautious about using MP3 because it was/is so encumbered with patent and royalty issues, but I think its use has become so universal that nobody's going to stop anyone from using it now.
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Theo

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 02:50:11 PM »

This is getting very confusing now.  Chris asked a specific question about file formats for music notation.  Unfortunately it's the way with melnet that we've now move onto sound files which really needs to be considered separately.  The current file size limits mean that mo3 sound files are rarely posted.  Instead members post their sound samples on their choice of hosting sites, and then post links here.  That seems to work well and has numerous advantages.

So can we please keep this topic to discussion of file formats for notation, than we have some chance of reaching a consensus.
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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 02:54:27 PM »

a suspicion that a large number of melnetters reject stave notation and all its trappings, on principle.
Can't quite see where this came from, nor am I clear about its scope.

Me neither. I think (and recent discussions haven't persuaded me otherwise) it's taken for granted by most of us that ABC posted to melnet is done for the purpose of copying and pasting into a text editor or program like ABC Explorer, for displaying as staff notation if you read music or playing though the speakers if you don't. We all know what to do with it and it takes seconds.

And if anyone actually wants to add harmony, chords, bass lines, lyrics, expression marks or whatever, they can, but there's less often the need for that.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 02:57:17 PM by Anahata »
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Chris Ryall

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2015, 02:55:01 PM »

I've not used musicXML specifically but if its files are to be passed into a musicXML interpretter either as .xml or mxl compressed files, I guess that would check validity (it's all text anyway)

Tossing one of these files directly at a browser would be a strange thing to do -  it might do something if it had a link to a style sheet. You could check no such link … or ensure that it had the correct XSD schema link in there. but that's more work for Clive? The email attachment people don't seem to see XML as dangerous however

I think sound files would bust our bandwidth budget pretty quickly
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2015, 03:06:51 PM »

Malcolm my comment was certainly not against ABC'ers, most of whom it seems translate into staves anyway, nor specifically against either of the two groups you mention.  It is just a feeling from many views I've read over the years on this forum that there are quite a few members who seem in principle opposed to music notation and/or theory of any form, believing it to be academic or unnecessary.  In fact I'm not even against people holding those opinions, provided they don't have the effect of blocking progress for the rest of us (even if they turn out to be in the majority).  That was my worry.  This is all part of the box being treated as a 'proper' musical instrument by other musicians - IMO it already is one, but if we as a group were to reject the use of scores in principle, all our credibility as equal musicians to the players of other instruments would immediately be lost.  This change is an important step for our instrument (reflecting its development over the years), and I think that is perhaps why it has caused such a lot of discussion in one way or other.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 03:08:38 PM by Chris Brimley »
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2015, 03:34:51 PM »

Quote
We all know what to do with it and it takes seconds.

Anahata, remember that it still doesn't work backwards, though - the big players in the stave notation field, Finale, as far as I can tell Sibelius, (and MuseScore, if you call that a big player) don't export to ABC.  Maybe they should recognise it, but the point is they don't.  I started using MuseScore following recommendations from this forum a few years ago, transferring from Finale, and have certainly not yet regretted it.  Never mind which system may be regarded as ' best' I would rather not have to start from scratch with another system such as ABC.  Many other musicians (both inside and outside this forum) will be familiar with other platforms, and will be in the same boat.  We need to allow engagement with them in principle, I would have thought.  This one change to allow .xml seems to achieve all this at a stroke.
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TomBom

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 03:47:39 PM »

OMG, why did I start this thread ... ?
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2015, 03:51:10 PM »

Because you're a sensible guy.
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