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Author Topic: file formats for attachments  (Read 5061 times)

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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2015, 04:32:09 PM »


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.

They export to MuxsicXML, though, and there is an xml2abc converter that will turn into ABC which is then acceptable to everyone here .

Never mind which system may be regarded as ' best' I would rather not have to start from scratch with another system such as ABC.
But you seems to be proposing that, instead, everyone else on Melnet should learn a new system (or acquire conversion software) so you can post MusicXML or Musescore.
If you post in any other format, I'm willing to bet that you'll usefully reach fewer Melnet users than if you used ABC.

To be fair, I don't see why XML formats (preferably compressed to save space, because XML boils down like spinach with ZIP compression) shouldn't actually be allowed here, then we'd see how many people would actually use them.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 04:34:17 PM »

.
Because you're a sensible guy.

    Begging the same question about the rest of us   :o
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Clive Williams

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 04:44:04 PM »

To be fair, I don't see why XML formats (preferably compressed to save space, because XML boils down like spinach with ZIP compression) shouldn't actually be allowed here, then we'd see how many people would actually use them.

XML's banned because it's also used for things like config files, data files, and things that could conceivably alter the function of the site. If you allow download of Music XML, you allow download of XML for any of the other parts of the site, which could conceivably compromise the site by exposing more sensitive parts that could be used for exploits. Worse, by allowing uploads of .xml files, a suitable attack vector allows for system .xml files to be overwritten allowing all manner of happy possibilities. MuseScore .mscx files... fine, Music XML .xml files, nope. Been burned on this on wordpress recently, which was quite unpleasant to sort out.


 

Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 05:50:20 PM »

Quote
But you seems to be proposing that, instead, everyone else on Melnet should learn a new system (or acquire conversion software) so you can post MusicXML or Musescore.

Well I was hoping that most ABC users would be able to read XML somehow, as it's a standard.

We seem to be back to square one again (maybe 1.1) now however, following Clive's post.

It's actually small comfort to me that .mscz may now be allowed, because I take your point, Anahata - we still don't have complete cross-transfer, and I had begun to see bigger horizons with XML.

Can I comment on the point that few people would use the facility anyway?:  May well be true, initially at least.  We are looking to future directions here, and towards opening up musical possibilities.  Bigger platforms are always likely in due course to overtake smaller ones, because they have more development resources to hand, and will be likely to offer more features.  The development of melodeons in recent years towards much more complex and varied layouts has undoubtedly expanded musical possibilities, and therefore the need for more complex musical notation systems, particularly in terms of harmonies and accompaniments.  Nobody needs to argue in advance about whether a given piece of software will prevail over its competitors, because that will all come out in the wash, once users have an opportunity to try them all.  I found it useful to change to MuseScore from Finale several years ago because at the time it was more user-friendly, offered better presentational functions, and crashed less.  A particular feature I have found invaluable is the ability to stretch or compress lines so that the repeats come at the end of a line, because that was far easier for me and my band colleagues to use when playing at dances.  Finale used to keep crashing if you tried to do that.  Other band members take my data files and amend them for their own needs.  But that's just our needs.  Others will have very different priorities, and having the foresight to accommodate the ability for future change is I would have the main aim at the moment.  We do need to allow the integration of our systems with the needs and experiences of other musicians, I believe.


 

 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 05:52:03 PM by Chris Brimley »
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Theo

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2015, 06:30:22 PM »

Ok if mscx files are safe, how many of us would like them added as an upload able file type?
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2015, 07:02:50 PM »

1 vote from me. (But you may have perhaps guessed that already!)

Incidentally, do you mean .mscx only, or .mscz?  .mscz files are the compressed format which it tends to default to, and I believe .mscx are uncompressed.  They may also be older format files, I'm not sure - they started off calling them .msc, but they found there was a clash with a Microsoft extension format.
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Theo

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2015, 07:05:09 PM »

The compressed format would make more sense.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2015, 07:17:09 PM »

Well I was hoping that most ABC users would be able to read XML somehow, as it's a standard.
I'm not sure what you mean by "be able to read" because MusicXML is a far more complex and verbose notation to read directly. If you mean ABC software being able to import it, less likely to happen because ABC inhabits a world of free software where many programs are quite simple and single-purposed. I've already mentioned that a converter exists though.

Quote
A particular feature I have found invaluable is the ability to stretch or compress lines so that the repeats come at the end of a line
I don't know how closely you have looked at ABC, but that is a complete non-issue with most ABC renderers. You put the line breaks where you want them, and unless the result would be hideously squashed, that's where you'll get them, with the the contents of each line automatically spaced to fit the width of the page. You can even tell it (abcm2ps anyway) how much squashing you can tolerate, and whether or not to stretch the last line to full width or finish the last bar in the middle of the page if the alternative would be absurdly stretched.
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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2015, 07:36:32 PM »

Accept Clive's wisdom on XML, I also failed in the NHS, despite it being the Uk government's preferred vector for info exchange. Shame that this also excludes musicXML
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Howard Jones

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2015, 07:45:26 PM »

Well I was hoping that most ABC users would be able to read XML somehow, as it's a standard.

Yes, ABC users should be able to read XML, and vice versa, albeit with perhaps a bit of tinkering and intermediate format conversions

Quote
We are looking to future directions here, and towards opening up musical possibilities... we do need to allow the integration of our systems with the needs and experiences of other musicians, I believe.

That's a valid point.  However people have a large investment in ABC and it will take a long time for this to be overcome.  For anyone with an interest in folk and traditional music the vast number of tunes available in ABC is a huge incentive to adopt that format rather than others.  Perhaps when ABCs and XMLs can be used seamlessly in any software without any further intervention more people might be tempted to switch.  For the time being, for most of them ABC is fully capable of meeting their needs, and they simply don't need the more advanced features that other software can offer.

ABC may be a niche product (a bit like melodeons then  (:)) but it is a significant niche and I think it is unlikely to be superseded any time soon.  The vast and growing resource of tunes will see to that.  For this particular community it is too useful.  ABC files allow these music to be organised and additional information recorded in ways which are of particular benefit to this genre.  People who have wider interests and who wish to share music with a different community will have different needs and will find different solutions.  There is nothing to prevent either group from using the other format when the need arises, although I agree it would help if this could be more seamless.  However that is a matter for the software developers rather than this forum.

You're also assuming that eventually MusicXML will come to dominate everything, but if there is a security issue with .xml files can you be sure that this format is sustainable in the long term?
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Jack Campin

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2015, 08:16:26 PM »

BarFly has been able to import MusicXML since a few years before its development was stopped. That must make about ten years I've been able to do it, and in all that time nobody's ever pointed me to a single MusicXML file with content I wanted to look at.

Where is there a public archive containing melodeon-playable MusicXML or MuseScore files?
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Chris Brimley

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2015, 08:20:14 PM »

Quote
You're also assuming that eventually MusicXML will come to dominate everything, but if there is a security issue with .xml files can you be sure that this format is sustainable in the long term?

My thoughts too, Howard - and even in the short term?  Having no acceptable standard format is a considerable setback, I imagine.  So whichever way you look at it, we're all left in a bit of a mess, with a large number of competing programs around.  It would be a mammoth task to sort out which ones are acceptable to a forum such as ours, I suppose.  And I imagine it's no 'black and white' matter between different formats, there's an awful lot of unknowns.

Is there possibly an alternative way of looking at this whole issue, using third party caches, a bit like soundcloud or youtube, but with music data?  Everybody could then perhaps just post links.  Do the big music software people offer any such services, do we know?

(Edited - I think Jack's just asked the same question.)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 08:30:31 PM by Chris Brimley »
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Theo

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2015, 08:37:38 PM »

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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2015, 08:44:52 PM »

Added mscz as a permitted file type for attachments.
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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2015, 09:03:24 PM »

Amazing! You are all talking about the music xml files as if they were necessarily to be posted to melnet in attachment.

At least those who have opened a music xml file in a brower should have realized that it's plain text. Then you can use with the standard abc past, post, copy and past elsewhere routine.

OK, there is a little (!) difference – an abc file is usually a few lines long, a music xml file can be hundreds if not thousands lines long. This mean that if the limitations for a message to the forum will not be rised from 20.000 to (at least) 50.000 characters, there will be no chance to post the music xml content pasted as text in the messages.

For the record, I've made a test a few months ago. The mxl file I obtained after posting myself the xml text content in a mail displayed correctly once reimported into Harmony Assistant, and the melody displayed correctly in Lime (that doesn't support the chords notation when importing). If you've never heard about Lime, it's not a problem – it's an excellent software if you really wish to graphically tune your score with a dot precision, but probably a niche program. I wouldn't have quoted it, but as someone told about the needs of blind people it's worth a mention that a version of Lime is used by Dancing Dots, a company producing software for blind and visually impaired people.

Also, I posted the text to a friend that uses professionally both Finale and Sibelus, and it posted me back two pdf files showing the conversion was correct (even if Sibelius when loading it said it wasn't a proper  xml file). I also posted a copy to a friend that uses Tabledit – fine for the melody, but there no chord.

I have had some minor problems with the beaming in MuseScore, but I wasn't using version 2.

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Howard Jones

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2015, 09:17:44 PM »

Is there possibly an alternative way of looking at this whole issue, using third party caches, a bit like soundcloud or youtube, but with music data?  Everybody could then perhaps just post links. 

I'm sure that's possible, but I still don't understand why it is such an issue.  The preferred format on melnet is ABC.  This isn't because of a diktat from on high but because (1) most melodeon players have a folk background and ABC is a natural choice, (2) it is very easy to copy and paste it into a post, and (3) there are good reasons for not permitting some types of attachment, which ABC gets around

Any ABC which is posted on here you should be able to open in Musescore (and many other similar programs).  Similarly, if you wish to post something yourself there are ways of converting MusicXML and MIDI into ABC.  Admittedly this could be made clearer and perhaps we should have a pinned post to explain how to convert between ABC and other formats (in both directions)

Why is this such a problem that we should want to go to the trouble of uploading files to the cloud and creating and copying links to them?

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GBbox

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2015, 10:11:34 PM »


I'm sure that's possible, but I still don't understand why it is such an issue.  The preferred format on melnet is ABC.  This isn't because of a diktat from on high but because (1) most melodeon players have a folk background and ABC is a natural choice, (2) it is very easy to copy and paste it into a post, and (3) there are good reasons for not permitting some types of attachment, which ABC gets around


Let me replay to your points starting from the last.

3. As I have shown, the problem to permit attachments doesn't exist. There is only the problem to allow longer messages.

2. If you can copy and past abc, you can copy and past xml, or even midi.  Yes, even midi files can be converted into text, pasted into mails, and then reconverted. I can rember I stepped by chance into a forum that dealt with folk songs and ballads some 15 years ago, and they used this system to exchange the melodies. You'll find that the utilities they used for the conversions are still available, and you can even use them an on line.

1. The abc might be a chance for English native speakers who have a folk background, either they play the melodeon or any other instrument. This is not the case in a number of other countries where English is not the natiove Language. And, even if you can't see them, there are sound reasons for it.

I've joined the melnet communty because of my interest in English music, and I can cope with the use of the abc notation,  but I think everybody could benefit if there were more foreign members available to share their experience here. And to reach this goal, among Others  - I agree with Chis' issue - we should consider the opportunity to broaden the communication as much as we can. Fullstop.
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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2015, 10:28:29 PM »

The developer of the most used ABC renderer is French. A Brazilian is developing ABC to handle microtonal music from the Middle East. It has installed support on a forum run by a native speaker of Croatian. On another forum I read I've seen ABC from native speakers of Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Your idea that there is anything restrictively English about the notation is sheer fantasy.
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Anahata

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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2015, 10:40:48 PM »

And the author of my favourite ABC Plus manual is Italian...
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Re: file formats for attachments
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2015, 10:52:41 PM »

Why is this such a problem that we should want to go to the trouble of uploading files to the cloud and creating and copying links to them?

Not a problem Howard, a cure to a few ills. I started a thread today in the Tunes forum about an ABC transcription of an 18th century Belgian book. In order share this with everyone I created a PDF from the ABC file, uploaded both the ABC and the PDF to my Box in the cloud and posted links to both files in the thread. Some notation software can import ABC as it is, more software can import a PDF created by another music software package (ie not a scan!) into its' native format, so this served both well.

ABC software will be the loser to other file formats that it can't handle as far is sharing on melnet is concerned, but actually I no longer care because I'm self sufficient in transcription skills and can look after my own appetite for new music from material widely available on the internet.  :||:

I've joined the melnet communty because of my interest in English music, and I can cope with the use of the abc notation,  but I think everybody could benefit if there were more foreign members available to share their experience here. And to reach this goal, among Others  - I agree with Chis' issue - we should consider the opportunity to broaden the communication as much as we can. Fullstop.

Your contribution here and your interest in English (and hopefully other British) music is most welcome and we are keen to learn about your traditional tunes too. Requests to present music in any format will always be listened to and I'm sure if we can do it we will. We're all (or at least mostly) amateurs here and we can only do so much!

And the author of my favourite ABC Plus manual is Italian...

Ah, Guido! I'm not sure Jack is a fan though!
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