feature of the week

Music: Settings

| feature of the week

As we’ve seen over the past several weeks, forScore allows you to combine sheet music and audio tracks to great effect. You can automatically queue up the right song, control playback without leaving the app, loop a specific section, and even adjust the playback pitch and speed as needed. There are a few other use cases, however, that require forScore to behave differently, and for those situations we complete our series with a look at two options in forScore’s settings panel.

By default, when you open forScore it asserts control over the device’s audio playback resources and stops any audio that’s currently playing (so it can queue up the right song, if you’ve set one up). If you prefer, forScore can defer to other audio sources and only assert control over the device’s audio system when you press the play button for a linked track. In some cases, depending on how the other app plays audio, forScore may be able to display that track’s artwork, metadata, and allow you to control playback. In this situation, you’ll see a round “x” button in the top right-hand corner of the media box that lets you interrupt playback and turn control back over to forScore.

Another option in forScore’s settings panel lets you choose to use the system’s audio engine. In order to provide advanced features like pitch and granular speed adjustments, forScore uses its own audio engine built using advanced iOS frameworks. A simpler, but less powerful way to play music works by letting iOS handle playback instead (using the “Music” app). Although the first option is more powerful, forScore’s audio engine relies on the limited resources that iOS provides the app, whereas the system engine gets priority status. In short, if you experience stuttering or audio glitches during periods of heavy activity and you don’t need the advanced adjustments provided by the in-app engine, this setting may help.

Audio playback is an essential part of the forScore experience for many people, and there’s a lot of variation in how musicians prefer to work. With these settings and all of the powerful tools available in forScore’s media box, there’s a lot of flexibility available to each customer to find their most natural way of working, listening, and playing.