(Incidentally I found the problem with Lilypond was a lack of help to get started; I got scared and gave up.)
Now I realise there are people out there who are terrified by written music. For them the abc allows them to hear it, it seems. But won't the dreaded tune-o-tron play off one of it's own music files, whatever they are? So you don't need the gobbledegook, you could add an attachment that is instantly readable by anyone who wants to just sight-read it straight off, or who can sing it to themselves from the notes yet can be played mechanically by the computer. Is that wrong?
I also understand that there are actually people who can play off an abc but not read music. That leaves me speechless. It takes several characters to get one note across; it's so cumbersome and (it's been said before) reading music at a basic level is EASY. I suppose if you want to humour these people that is a justification for putting up an abc even now. But they must be a very small minority relative to those of us that either read music or do everything by ear.
From my point of view I am less interested in a bare tune than an interesting arrangement. When someone puts an abc up I have to copy and paste to see the music; it's a right old performance and I usually don't bother. Offer the music as an attachment that I can see instantly and I'll always have a look at it. You may say this doesn't matter because I won't do much with it and that might be fair. You may say learn to read abc and I say 'Why?' then follow it up with 'I'm not about to learn guitar tab either.'
So when you say 'abc is universal' Pete (Tallship), I find myself wondering if this is true or whether abc has just become another 'tradition'. 'That's how you do it' in the folk world. Is it really much more use than sticking your finger in your ear as you sing? Hasn't it passed its sell-by date? Does it actually offer anything useful any more?
(ps yes I do know that on occasion blocking one ear while singing can be helpful with tuning but you know what I mean)
It's at times like this I miss M3838. I could just start this up and leave it to him...
Edited by Dirge, 14 September 2011 - 09:50 PM.