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If you want to go the ABC way, which I would recommend because;
  • thousands of tunes already encoded
  • does not clog up your machine with big files
  • can be played directly from ABC (I can't sight read manuscript but can easily read ABC!)
  • Its FREE

There is another reason why I prefer to use abc. Longevity.

 

If it is important to you that the files you create now will still be usable in 10 or 15 years, abc provides the best likelihood, due to its simplicity, ASCII format, and wide compatibility (many applications that can work with it).

 

I began creating music files on a Macintosh in 1986 using a program called "ConcertWare" from a company called Great Wave Software. Throughout the following decade, "ConcertWare" became "ConcertWare Pro" with added MIDI compatibility. Great Wave disappeared and the product was taken over by a company called Jump! Software. The upgrades kept coming, and I was very happy with the notation I could produce and the recordings I could make with the software driving a pair of inexpensive synthesizers.

 

By the mid 90s, however, Jump! had disappeared and the upgrades stopped coming. There is currently no software available that will access the files that I spent thousands of hours creating in the 80s and 90s on a modern Macintosh. The latest version of ConcertWare (v1.5.7, 1994) runs poorly in MAC OS 9 and not at all in OSX. The new Intel Macs cannot run OS 9. Amazing, you can run Windows on the new macs but not MAC OS 6. :angry:

 

Anyway, I don't know what will be available or what my needs will be in another ten years, but I expect that many the software products mentioned above will be as obsolete as ConcertWare is now. Even the software that I currently use with abc files will probably be long gone. But unlike the proprietary files from ConcertWare and many of the others that will be unopenable, I will still be able to open my abc files in any application that can open ascii text files (any word processor, for instance), and it should not be difficult to come up with software that can take them from there into more current formats.

 

Thanks for all this David - it's certainly something worth thinking about - and something I hadn't worked out for myself - good point!

 

Am still thinking about the various things I've learned - I've now had a go at NoteWorthy and Harmony Note Pad, which is a bit annoying as it only allows you to do short pieces. I daresay I'll have to look carefully at ABC, but strangely enough, I couldn't find the website I found before with all ABC tunes - teh ones I found now have tunes both in midi, ABC and 'proper' music, so it doesn't seem to matter any more unless I want to have a go at some accompaniments, which is what started this whole thing off in the first place - not sure I'd be proficient enough in ABC within the next YEAR to be able to do that. Thanks very much anyway, Helen

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