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Sibelius software - WTF is going on?

Bonnie Shaljean 14 Aug 12 - 09:36 PM
Will Fly 15 Aug 12 - 03:30 AM
erosconpollo 15 Aug 12 - 08:52 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Aug 12 - 11:20 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Aug 12 - 11:53 AM
treewind 15 Aug 12 - 12:26 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Aug 12 - 12:53 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 12 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Aug 12 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Aug 12 - 09:33 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Aug 12 - 09:39 AM
Mark Clark 16 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM
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Subject: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 09:36 PM

Only now heard about this: The company that bought Sibelius score-writing software some years ago has just sacked its staff, closed the London office, and seems to be limiting or ending its support in some areas (like on all pre-Lion Macs). I've looked to see if there was already a Mudcat thread about it but can't find anything.

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2012/08/at-sibelius-software-the-last-sta

The latest on Wiki says:

- In August 2006, Sibelius Software Ltd. was acquired by Avid Technology, an American manufacturer of software and hardware for audio and video production. Avid has continued publishing Sibelius as a stand-alone notation product, as well as integrating it with some of its existing software products.

- In July 2012, Avid announced plans to divest its consumer businesses (not Sibelius), closed the Sibelius London office in order to move development to Kiev, and laid off some employees.[4][5][6]. Avid has claimed it is still committed to Sibelius.[7]

- A Facebook pressure group has been formed to protest against the closure of the London office.[8] A website dedicated to encouraging Avid to sell Sibelius to ensure its continued development is now live.[9]

- Sibelius 7 (July 2011), with a new ribbon-based user interface,[10] native 64-bit support, a 38GB professional sound library including specialized playing techniques, advanced text and typographic handling, enhanced graphics import/export, MusicXML export (MusicXML version 2, not fully implemented – importing MusicXML has been possible since Sibelius 5), Finale-compatible note input, and various other improvements. This version of Sibelius (and all future versions) is no longer supported on Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier, and Mac computers with PowerPC processors. The last version with support is Sibelius 6.2.[11]

There has been pressure on Avid to sell Sibelius back to the Finn brothers, or whoever will run it in its own best interests, but (surprise surprise) to no avail. Avid will probably want to milk it dry first. The protest website is:

http://www.sibeliususers.org/


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 03:30 AM

Not good news for Sibelius users - and the software is quite expensive. When I wanted a music program I was put off by the cost and plumped instead for Harmony Assistant, a piece of French software which cost, at that time, €75. It's very good and can do most of the things that Sibelius can do.

Unfortunately, I can't see the protests doing any good as far as the Avid firm is concerned. They're sitting pretty, and they obviously don't give a toss.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: erosconpollo
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 08:52 AM

Avid has been having financial difficulties and apparently decided to pull back and concentrate on their big seller, the ubiquitous Pro Tools daw. In that Sibelius has been integrated to some degree into that program, that may indicate the course of its future development.

They also sold off their consumer/pro-sumer hardware arm, M-Audio, to the Akai company.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM

Integrating into Pro Tools has NOT been an improvement to the scorewriting-facilities of the programme either, I can tell you. In making it do the things it needs to do to qualify for Pro Toolhood, some of the basic music-manuscripting aspects have actually got worse. Level-one stuff like note-spacing and intuitive stem directions in voicings and a juddery playback (which may be fixable - haven't really investigated this but it wouldn't surprise me if it got sacrificed in the name of some new fancy Avid toy or other). They'll probably run Sibelius into the ground and then sell it off.

Hadn't realised that M-Audio had gone to Akai either, but at least that's a recognisable, respectable name who, one hopes & expects, will market responsibly.

Wonder what the British ex-development team are doing? Designing something new, I hope... ? While the rest of us cry into our coffee -


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 11:20 AM

Try walking in their moccasins, Bonnie.

Maybe the market for high-cost, high-end music software has dried up. How many people are going to buy it? And haven't those who really need it already done so?

I, for one, meet my music needs with a program that cost $50.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 11:53 AM

The relative costs of other programmes are not the issue for those of us who already have - and professionally use - Sibelius, which I've done since the mid 1990's, so I have decades of work invested in it. That's not just money but my time and energy too. I run a small publishing company which depends on it, and the Sibelius programme handles a lot of fairly complicated and unusual things which I need and which are not generally in mainstream use. I don't consider myself less virtuous for having an expensive programme to do what I require. Which is the whiff I'm getting.

And as for feeling sorry for Avid: they are pursuing an unnecessarily destructive practice. They could sell Sibelius back to the Finns if the market has really dried up (which I don't believe it has). Sib is/was the industry standard. That does *not* make it a Bad Guy.

My concern in starting this thread is to try to learn and gather as much information as possible as to what is actually happening, and if possible to rally some support among interested parties - i.e. existing users - in case that action-group website can actually focus itself to accomplish something. Hearing about all the cheap programmes out there which are perfectly satisfactory to many people's requirements is really neither here nor there.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 12:26 PM

There's not much hope for a commercial software product if the makers have given up on it, unless they decide to open-source it, which has happened on rare occasions.

The story illustrates one of the advantages of free software, and especially of open standard for file formats - if the file formats for Sibelius were documented and available, someone else could write software to use them, and "decades of work invested in it" wouldn't be a problem.

Can Sibelius export to a different format (ABC, MusicXML, Lilypond) which can be used by other software? If so, that might be an escape route.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 12:53 PM

Good point, Tree - yes it can. I'm also hoping that the original development team will pick the ball up and run somewhere with it - if their legs aren't chained together with legal fetters. If anybody could write compatible software to .sib files, they could. The current owners are not the ones who designed the programme, so perhaps that's a ray of light - though of course I don't know what restrictions are in place.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 01:03 PM

On one computer I still use a version of Sibelius 3 I got from a Jolly man called Roger. On Another PC I have a version of Sibelius 5. They both do everything I want perfectly well. I suspect that a lot of revisions are just to get people spending money when they don't really need to.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 06:00 PM

I am not an owner of Sib, but I know that it was the vendors' policy not to encourage exporting. Nevertheless, as Bonnie knows, there is a commercial product by whatsitsname-ex-Recordare, the inventors of MusicXML, that can export Sibelius files to that format. It costs real money, but will be worth it for pros like Bonnie. His problem is that he uses features of Sib that are not available in other programmes, or are not supported by MusicXML, so he may be out of luck.

I guess she or he wrote tons of "macros" - little user-programmed tools that only work inside Sib. The macro language offered there is so rotten (according to my friends) that hardly anyone would like to reconstruct it in another environment such as Finale. Unless, possibly, if enough users offer some more real money for it, as they did with that MusicXML tool. IIRC that ex-Recordare is now owned by the same people as Finale - wink, wink.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 09:33 AM

It's a business. The execs are not just under pressure to show a profit, they are under pressure to show the most profit they can. If they have to close the London office to do that, they will.

Bonnie, you are a long-term customer, and they will be inclined to listen to you. But first, lose the "WTF". Lose the attitude. Lose the whining, know-it-all Wiki article. Explain your problem in courteous terms and see if it can be fixed.


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 09:39 AM

How about you lose the finger-wagging head-mistress attitude?


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Subject: RE: Sibelius software - WTF is going on?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM

I own Sibelius but confess I don't use it a great deal. Even though I paid money for Sibelius, the first score editor I usually turn to is MuseScore. MuseScore has many of the Sibelius features and the way one enters notes works better for me. MuseScore also is free and under active development.

My understanding of the Avid situation is that they still expect to actively market Sibelius as it's a money maker for them. What they've done is sack the development team and close the Sibelius headquarters. Some observers feel this means there will be no more software fixes and updates, others think Avid is simply outsourcing software support for Sibelius. In either case, I don't think Sibelius is going to suddenly disappear.

      - Mark


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