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MuseScore Player for Android now available

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MuseScore Player for Android now available

Thomas Bonte
Administrator
We are pleased to announce the release of the MuseScore Player for Android. The app available for download in the Google Play store: http://goo.gl/3DvKQ

With this very first release of the MuseScore Player app you can open, play and download scores published on MuseScore.com. You can connect the app with your MuseScore.com account and get access to your private scores. Obviously one may expect a lot more functionality but we wished to release this app as early as possible with a minimum feature set. If you have feature requests, don't hesitate to post them at http://musescore.com/groups/musescore-android

If you followed the link to the Google Play store already, you will have seen this app costs $4.99. One may wonder how come that the MuseScore software is free, but why not this app. The answer is of an economical nature.

Since several years now, three people are full time involved with the development of MuseScore. This is lead developer Werner Schweer, Nicolas Froment and myself. If we want to keep on improving and developing the free & open source MuseScore software, then funding needs to come from somewhere. Unfortunately MuseScore has no appeal as an enterprise product which is how many open source projects get their funding, nor has it been able to capture the attention of partners which may pay the bill. Think of how Mozilla/Firefox make its money.

So by charging for this app, we ask from everyone a tiny amount of money which will then be used to directly fund the future development of the free & open source MuseScore software. It's exactly the opposite from all the other offers in the market where the player apps are $0 but the full featured music notation software can costs up to $600. We believe our reversed offer is more social and beneficial to everyone.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thomas Bonte
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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

Max Shinn
> If we want to keep on improving and
> developing the free & open source MuseScore software, then funding
> needs to come from somewhere.

I just want to clarify something... are you saying that this Android app
isn't libre software?  (Just because you are charging money for it
doesn't mean it has to be proprietary.)

-Max
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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

Thomas Bonte
Administrator
Hey Max,

The MuseScore Player app is not open source.

Having said this, 98% of the apps code is available in the MuseScore repository at https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/tree/master/libmscore
The full name of libmscore is LibMuseScore and is the core of the future MuseScore 2.0. It does many things among them reading scores, rendering them, etc.

So why isn't the app open source? We like to include proprietary libraries which does stuff we can't make ourselves and isn't available in open source world. Think of audio analyzing software for score following and more, which we need to license from third party companies. This way we can innovate faster and become a front runner in the market of notation software, and stop being a late follower which we were until today.
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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

Toby Smithe-2
Hi everyone,

On 19 November 2012 14:17, Thomas Bonte <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The MuseScore Player app is not open source.
>
> Having said this, 98% of the apps code is available in the MuseScore
> repository at https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/tree/master/libmscore
> The full name of libmscore is LibMuseScore and is the core of the future
> MuseScore 2.0. It does many things among them reading scores, rendering
> them, etc.
>
> So why isn't the app open source? We like to include proprietary libraries
> which does stuff we can't make ourselves and isn't available in open source
> world. Think of audio analyzing software for score following and more, which
> we need to license from third party companies. This way we can innovate
> faster and become a front runner in the market of notation software, and
> stop being a late follower which we were until today.

>From my fairly weightless personal perspective, I'm generally OK with
this tactic. Nonetheless, I'm only OK with it as a last resort, and I
would actively encourage everyone to be on the lookout for libre
replacements for those proprietary parts. I would be particularly keen
to see you publish a list of the proprietary modules for which you
have not been able to find open source equivalents, so that our world
knows what it lacks. I would be deeply uncomfortable with the project
if it felt unable to publish such a list.

If another reason to keep the player code closed is the ancient fear
that only closed code is commercially viable, then I would just like
to point out the fact that I have paid for many libre Android apps, at
the time both aware and unaware that said apps were in fact open
source. I am sure most, if not all, of the developers have read much
of the extensive literature regarding this point.

Naturally, this opinion does not come from that part of me which is a
minor representative of Debian project sentiment, since this player is
entirely contrary to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. (Lucky that
it is not aimed at Debian, then!)

Best wishes,

Toby

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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

Thomas Bonte
Administrator
Hey Toby,

Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. Such a module would be score following, i.e. sheet music which follows the musician.

Together with Nicolas and Werner, I traveled the world attending the so called music hackdays, looking for software developers who could help us create this solution. Hackdays are 24h hack marathons in which you collaborate with other developers and try to create something new, sometimes with great and surprising results. You can find the list of all music hackdays we have participated in as well as the results at http://musescore.org/en/developers-handbook/music-hack-day 

So for the score follower, we iterated on it over the course of two hackdays:
* New York: http://wiki.musichackday.org/index.php?title=Follow_the_Muse
* Barcelona: http://wiki.musichackday.org/index.php?title=Score_Following_Reloaded

Eventually we came up with pretty good results with the guys from SampleSumo in Barcelona. Unfortunately their solution not open source. If you know of any good open source alternatives, don't hesitate to post it.
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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

snowy7
In reply to this post by Thomas Bonte

>> Having said this, 98% of the apps code is available in the MuseScore repository at https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/tree/master/libmscore

Is the libmscore under the LGPL license (and not under GPL)?
It would be fine if libmscore use the LGPL but i find no license file at the sub directory libmscore. Therefore I think it should be the GPL.

If libmscore use the GPL then how you solve the license problem with the close souce android player app?
I think it could be only close source without a license violation if
a) you are the copyright holder of libmscore or you have an agreement with the other developers or
b) with the trick that the library is not distributed with the android app and is downloaded separate at the first use of the app

I hope you do not misunderstand me. I don't want that you must make the android app open source. I only want to now if I also can use the libmscore library without make the full application open source
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Re: MuseScore Player for Android now available

Thomas Bonte
Administrator
Hi snowy7,

The answer to your question is (a) as MuseScore has a CLA in place: https://musescore.org/cla

If you like to use libmscore, the GPLv2 license applies.

If you have other questions, don't hesitate to reply or contact me off list (support at musescore dot org).
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