Avid today announced Sibelius | Cloud Sharing as the primary new feature in Sibelius 8.7, the next update to Sibelius. Still in development, Sibelius 8.7 users will be able to publish Sibelius scores online in a format that can be displayed in any browser on a modern device, regardless of whether or not the person viewing the score owns Sibelius. No extra plug-ins are necessary.
Cloud Sharing uses the same viewer that is being used on many online sheet music stores that offer Sibelius-generated scores for sale, a service known as Sibelius | Cloud Publishing. The viewer can be embedded into a web page using standard iframe code. It is intended in time to totally replace Scorch, the browser plug-in that is no longer supported by many browsers and required users to download it and install it.
We first spoke with Sibelius senior product manager Sam Butler and product designer Joe Pearson about the technology behind Sibelius | Cloud Publishing at the 2015 NAMM show. At that time, the service was aimed at commercial publishers, but Sam said that “We will hopefully have features in Sibelius that allow individuals or educators to share a score, using the viewer… we could have another button that just gives people a link that goes to a page that has a viewer with your music.”
Now, more than two years later, the feature is being prepared for widespread release to all Sibelius users. In the Home tab of the Ribbon, there will be a new Cloud Sharing section. Pressing Share will send the score to a Avid MediaCentral Platform account (free for Sibelius users with an unlimited number of scores totaling up to 1GB in space; Sibelius First users will get to share up to 20 scores).
When the score is shared, behind the scenes it gets processed by a “headless” version of Sibelius that churns out the component media assets: individual SVGs for the pages of music, an MP3 for playback, and metadata. Those components get assembled and turned into the score that is ultimately viewed and heard. The creator of the score will get a URL that can be shared.
Further options will exist to copy the link again, get embed code or stop sharing the score, while clicking Push will update the existing score at the same URL:
Initially, scores will be available for viewing and playback only. In time, transposing and printing capabilities are expected, although these options are not planned for 8.7.
Here is an embedded score using Sibelius | Cloud Sharing:
The sounds used are “an optimized version of the Sibelius Sounds library,” Sam said, “with stripped down velocity layers and samples spread across multiple notes” so that the sound library can be quickly loaded in the cloud.
Users will have a dashboard within Sibelius to manage scores online.
Scores shared online will remain available regardless of whether or not a user’s subscription or upgrade plan has lapsed, although lapsed users will not be able share any new scores until their plan is renewed.
No release date has been set yet for Sibelius 8.7, although we expect that Avid will be allowing beta testers to share scores online publicly in advance of the release as part of its testing.