feature of the week

Text File Autoconversion

| feature of the week

With iOS 9 right around the corner, we’re busy putting the final touches on updates to forScore and forScore mini. So today, a very quick feature of the week:

PDFs are great for a lot of things, but your music might come from a lot of different sources and it can be a pain to convert everything to the right file format before adding it to your music library (especially when you’re in a hurry). One cool feature of forScore is its ability to turn most text files into PDFs automatically. Just add the .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file to your forScore library using any of the many different ways available and… that’s it. It’ll turn into a PDF file and be available in your forScore library just like any other file. See, we said it’d be quick!

Page Offsets

| feature of the week

Lots of things that make sense about paper don’t necessarily make sense once you transition to a digital sheet music collection. Margins, for instance, are an especially big nuisance on a device with a smaller screen than a standard sheet of paper. Page numbers are another good example: not all physical copies start on page “1”, and blank pages or introductions can throw everything off. Your digital copy may not even include those pages at all.

For these situations, the metadata panel includes a field called “page number” that allows you to change how forScore refers to each page in the title bar along the top of the screen and when using the seek bar along the bottom. Set this value to 3 for a particular score, for instance, and forScore will call the first page of that score page “3”. Now, you’ll always be on the same page as your less savvy colleagues.

First Page Caching

| feature of the week

Some features are flashy and immediately obvious, but others work in the background to make your overall experience better. New this week in forScore 9 is a smarter page rendering system that saves you time by caching the first page of your most commonly and recently viewed scores.

When you open a score from the menu or flip to it from another song (in a setlist, for instance), you’ll be starting with the first page. The amount of time it takes forScore to render that page depends a lot on how big or complex your PDF files are and how powerful your iPad is, but when you’re working with lots of files that waiting time can really add up.

Now, after forScore renders your page the first time, it’ll save it and keep it as long as it can without taking up too much of your device’s free space. Each time you reopen that file, forScore will check a few things to see if the cached page is still valid and use it if possible, potentially turning seconds of delay into a virtually instantaneous process. It’s efficient, self-monitoring, and totally transparent so you can simply focus on playing and let the technology do what it does best.

Rearrange & Bookmarks

| feature of the week

The Rearrange tool is a powerful part of the forScore toolbox, allowing you to move, duplicate, and rotate pages of a score. You can even split a large score up into smaller chunks, great for compilation files that can get out of hand.

Splitting up large files into many different pieces is one thing, but when you’re working with a bookmark you may want to simply create a new PDF of those pages and leave the rest of the source file alone. Fortunately, if you’re viewing a bookmark and you open the Rearrange tool, it’ll only load that bookmark’s pages so you can immediately tap the “Save as” button to turn that bookmark into its own file. So the next time you find yourself emailing a bookmark to yourself, remember to use the Rearrange tool instead.

Setlist Item Replacement

| feature of the week

Setlists are a great way for musicians to group songs arbitrarily and play through all of them in a row without returning to the menu after each piece. No matter how well you plan for your next show, however, at some point you’ll need to make last-minute adjustments.

The setlist editor shows your setlist’s contents on the left and your music library on the right. Tap a song on the right, and it’ll be added to the end of your setlist on the left. But if you tap one of your setlist’s items on the left instead, that item will start pulsating with a gray background. Now when you tap an item on the right it’ll replace that pulsating item in your setlist. So instead of deleting the old item, adding the new one, and dragging it into place, you can do all of that in just a few seconds. It’s a small convenience when you’re working with short setlists, and a life-saver when you’ve got dozens of items in your list.

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