The longer I use forScore, the more invested I become in the library that I’ve built there. It’s not just the collection of PDFs that I’ve imported — which includes scores that I’ve studied, taught, and conducted from. Those files still exist on my computer, but what’s truly irreplaceable is everything I’ve created after importing them: performance markings, analytical annotations, metadata for sorting, bookmarks for quick navigation, organized libraries, and curated set lists.
In lots of ways, the data that I’ve created in forScore after importing scores is more valuable than the scores themselves. So when I upgrade to a new iPad, I want to take every piece of my forScore library with me. It’s not hard to do, but it may also not be very obvious. In this video, I’ll show you how it’s done.
Step 1: Create an archive on the old device
With forScore installed on both devices, start by making an “Archive” on the old device. Tap the Toolbox icon in the top right corner and select Backup. Tap the plus sign and select Create Archive. Unlike a Backup, your Archive will include all of your scores along with all of your metadata. Depending on the size of your library, this may take a little while. When complete, the new Archive will show up in the Backups list.
Step 2: Transfer the archive to the new device
Swipe right-to-left on the newly created Archive and select the Share icon (square with upward-pointing arrow). This will send your Archive wherever you like as a .4sb file. You can use any of the share options to get the file to your new device. I find AirDrop to be great if I have both of the iPads in front of me at the same time. Otherwise, you can use any cloud storage or even an email if your library will fit in an attachment.
Step 3: Import the archive
On your new device, open the .4sb file. If you used AirDrop, this should happen instantly as soon as the transfer completes. If you used cloud storage or something else, open it in the Files app or your mail client. The iPad knows to open it in forScore, which will give you a “Backup Saved” message. Then, you can find your Archive file in the forScore Backups list on the new device (Toolbox > Backups). Tap that Archive and select Restore Library & Settings. Then you’ll have everything on your new device just as it was on the previous one.
This is a one-way trip. I wouldn’t recommend going back and forth with this if you regularly use multiple devices. It’s also not going to save you if you loose (or destroy) your iPad, so you may want to make a habit of creating an archive on a regular basis, or after adding lots of new scores.
I’ll also note that as of this writing, forScore 12.1 has just been released, which includes the option for forScore Pro subscribers to sync their libraries across multiple devices over iCloud. This feature is labeled as “Early Access” for subscribers, to eventually roll out to all users (though the timframe on that isn’t specified). And while iCloud sync has been very smooth and reliable for me throughout the beta process, I would strongly recommend that you create a forScore Archive of your library before turning it on, just to be safe. If anything goes wrong, you can use the steps above to restore your library.
In addition to a Pro subscription, cloud sync will also require enough iCloud Drive storage space to fit your entire library, which you may or may not have available after accounting for your iCloud Photos, Messages attachments, device backups, and other things that get stored in Apple’s cloud. So for a handful of reasons I think it’s worth knowing this manual migration method.
In conclusion, always remember to backup regularly, and enjoy your new device!