Sibelius 6 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard


Apple have announced that Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard will ship on Friday 28 August 2009.

Sibelius 6.0 and Sibelius 6.0.1 are not yet fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and users may experience the following issues when running Sibelius 6 on the latest version of Mac OS X:

  • Crash on start-up if Sibelius is not registered.
  • Crash if you show the Mixer window.
  • Hang if you change the sample rate in Audio Engine Options, accessed via Play > Playback Devices.

An update that fixes the above problem is now available.

Sibelius 5, Sibelius First and Sibelius Student have only two known problems:

  • First-time entry of your serial number can fail on some Snow Leopard systems.
  • The application can crash when displaying the Mixer window.

An update that fixes the Mixer crash is now available, and details of how to solve the serial number and registration issue can be found here.

Sibelius 5 and earlier versions are not officially supported on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, though no other serious problems are known. Please keep an eye on the official page on the Sibelius web site for more information as it becomes available.

Update 2009-08-28:

An update for Sibelius 6 is now available that provides Snow Leopard compatibility. More details here.

Update 2009-09-10:

Updates for Sibelius 5, Sibelius First and Sibelius Student are now available that fix a problem whereby the application can crash when displaying the Mixer window. More details here.


  1. Ben A

    I have been a Sibelius user for the past 6 years, but because of the lack of support for Sibelius 5.x for Snow Leopard, I am considering switching notation software. When I upgraded to Leopard, I had to update to Sibelius 5. Being told that I will no longer be supported unless I upgrade again after just having upgraded this piece of professional software a year ago makes me mad. I wonder whether other Sibelius users are as disappointed in this lack of customer service as I am. Not supporting a piece of software that only became outdated a few months ago is not acceptable.

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      When we say that Sibelius 5 will not be supported on Snow Leopard, we mean that we have no current plans to issue any further patches or updates for Sibelius 5 resulting from any issues that are found specific to Snow Leopard. Sibelius is on Apple’s “must not break” list of applications, and they let us know whenever they encounter any problems in their testing labs; likewise, we have tested Sibelius on Snow Leopard with the various development builds we have received, and we have not encountered any serious problems running Sibelius 5 on Snow Leopard.

      So to clarify: you don’t need to upgrade to Sibelius 6 in order to run Sibelius on Snow Leopard; Sibelius 5 should run just fine, and we are not aware of any significant problems specific to Sibelius 5 and Snow Leopard.

      I hope this helps!

  2. Wade

    I was just about to order a copy of the Snow Leopard upgrade (the Chinese language feature is worth a thousand bucks to me!) but I’m glad I’ve subscribed to your great blog, Daniel. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Sibelius has always been a million times better regarding backward capability when compared to Finale, and the latter’s insistence on pressuring users (and therefore all the people you collaborate with!) to upgrade for minuscule improvement should be a good enough reason to stick with Sibelius, Ben A … I bought Sib 6 only 2 weeks ago, and I take delight in opening and ‘updating’ my old sib4 files, knowing that I can export them back to v5, 4 etc if sharing with friends/colleagues etc. Finale doesn’t let me do that…

    So my question is (sorry for being long-winded!), if Sibelius has such great compatibility capabilities, and if Apple developed OS X 10.6 with Sibelius on its “must-not-break” list, why is there now a problem?? I don’t mind waiting several weeks for an upgrade patch, but Sibelius and Apple users normally don’t have these issues: only Finale and Windows users!! :-P

    PS MAGNETIC LAYOUT IS AMAZING!! Thankyou so much!!!
    PPS disclamer: I don’t work for Sibelius or Avid or anything – I’m just a passionate and enthusiastic Sib user :-)

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      The problem exists because Sibelius 6.0 was completed before Mac OS X 10.6 was completed, and it was not clear until very late on which issues were going to be fixed by Apple and which we would have to fix. We could not delay the release of Sibelius 6 in order to ensure Mac OS X 10.6 compatibility, since Apple didn’t tell anybody (even software developers like us) exactly when the new operating system would become available.

      We have all of the issues I mentioned above in hand, and we will be testing on the final production release of Snow Leopard as soon as it is available. We will then make a compatibility update available as soon as possible.

      I’m delighted you’re enjoying Magnetic Layout. It’s been our best-received feature to date!

  3. Steve Currington

    I am always happy that Sibelius is up front and on the ball with such releases and is willing to warn of compatibility problems. I am also always thrilled that they react very quickly with fixes etc. and so do not make the user base wait that long for a fix.

    I also agree the Sib v6 enhancement/features are great (especially Magnetic Layout) and worth the upgrade.

    I look have ordered Snow Leopard but will wait until the fix is available before installing. Waiting a few weeks will not kill me ;-)


  4. aedm

    I was very happy to find this page today. My mac is on its last legs and I need to replace it; previously snow leopard was slated for sometime in September, so my plan was to get a new mac before it comes out, probably soon after labour day. Now it looks like I don’t have a choice… so it’s good to know the bugs are fairly easy to work around. But one question for Daniel, since I’ll be starting from a new machine, any idea if Sib v.6 will install on 10.6?

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      Yes, Sibelius 6 will install on Snow Leopard, but until an update is available that resolves the issues I mention in my post, I would not recommend trying to run Sibelius 6 on Mac OS X 10.6.

  5. TJ

    I only hope users of Sibelius 6 get the message. Last time, I got screwed out of an entire day’s work when Sibelius 5 was phantom saving my documents, then I lost quite a bit of income waiting for a patch. I reloaded from my backup, but that caused Sibelius to get deregistered – on a Friday night, so I couldn’t do anything until the tech support people got in the next week.

  6. Peter McAleer

    I’m always cautious when using an application on a new OS – I learned that pretty quick. This isn’t a Sibelius thing. First thing: Check the software manufacturers website whether it’s safe to do so – the good ones will have this info ready for you (as Sibelius does).

    I would limp along on my old machine until the fixes come.

  7. Sandra

    I am a very happy user of Sibelius First and I have updated to OSX 10.6 last week.
    Unfortunately I have discovered the same problem as mentioned above with Sibelius 6: crash if mixer is shown. Sometimes I hit the wrong key (m instead of n for quitting notes) and the score crashes. You have said that there wouldn’t be any update for Sibelius 5, what about Sibelius First (same environment as Sib 5)? When I bought it it said compatible with OSX 10.4 and above, so it should work with Snow Leopard. I need the mixer sometimes, too. Will there be an update to fix this issue? I am unable to spend 700,- € to buy Sibelius 6 just for that reason.
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    1. Daniel Spreadbury

      At the moment I can’t say whether or not we will be able to produce a patch for the current version of Sibelius First to provide compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Please keep an eye on this blog and on the main Sibelius web site for more information in due course.

  8. Sandra

    Thank you. Is there a chance that a new version of Sibelius First (like Sibelius First 6) will come out this year or next year. Or was Sibelius First (5) a unique thing?

  9. Daniel Spreadbury

    We haven’t announced a new version of Sibelius First yet, but it’s certainly not intended to be a unique thing.

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