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 Post subject: Encore Transition.....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:34 pm 
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For many years, I've used Encore and created many piano songs. From various music software dicsussions, I'm sensing that Encore may not be updated and/or supported in the future. So I may switch to Overture/Score Writer and welcome any thoughts/responses to a few questions:

I exported an .enc file from Encore as XML and then opened the exported XML in Encore and the chords weren't there; do chords show up when you open an xml in Sonic Score?

Does Score Writer let you specify "Measures per System"? (I don't think Finale has that wonderful feature.)

Encore has 8 "Voices" which I describe as sets of beats. Score Writer has the same feature, correct?

Does Score Writer have the Colors options? (I found that very helpful when in the process of creating piano music with many Voices.)

I'd welcome any feedback from Overture/Score Writer users who made the transition from Encore.

Thanks everybody!

Linda :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:31 am 
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ex1895 wrote:
For many years, I've used Encore and created many piano songs. From various music software discussions, I'm sensing that Encore may not be updated and/or supported in the future.
Hi Linda,

Overture is surely the best alternative to Encore notation software. Overture's interface is quite similar to Encore's and its feature set goes far beyond. I certainly expect and hope to see lots of Encore users turning to Overture, especially now that Encore has installer issues, its 32 bit code base anchors it to obsolescence, and because it would take many years of serious development before Encore could attain a level approaching Overture.

Encore was great (back in the day) but it's fallen far behind over the last decade. Sadly there has been virtually no development or bug fixes in the seven years since Encore has been under Passport Music. And with 32 bit apps no longer viable under Mac OS Catalina (v10.15) I see no hope in sight for Encore on the Macintosh.

And while Passport Music hasn't improved Encore in years it manages to update its website with empty promises; and it floats pleas that users dwell in the past with Encore, as evidenced by a link on Passport Music’s home page, leading to this statement:

    Encore and MusicTime Deluxe for Mac are not “Catalina” compatible at the moment. Please do not upgrade to OS 10.15, Catalina, if you would like to continue to use these Mac software products. We are continuing to develop our products to meet Apple’s new operating system.

ex1895 wrote:
So I may switch to Overture/Score Writer and welcome any thoughts/responses to a few questions

Overture's interface and UX are the closest thing to Encore's. Initially you'll encounter some disorienting differences but ultimately you'll find Overture is quite elegant, and it certainly the few areas where Encore was ackward, silly, lacking or non-funtional.

In terms of features and functions Overture is at least ten times better than Encore. That said, you can expect to encounter issues and side effects in Overture: one action will trigger automatic changes in objects one would assume to be stable); there are bugs, lots of bugs; and its layout controls (once nearly inscrutable) are slowly but finally improving. Aside from working around such things, Overture is a delight to use. I can't say that for any notation application I've used other than Encore.

ex1895 wrote:
I exported an .enc file from Encore as XML and then opened the exported XML in Encore and the chords weren't there; do chords show up when you open an xml in Sonic Score?

Yes, Overture conveys chords symbols, lyrics and tablature into its MusicXML exports. Unfortunately Encore does not.

Smart of you to export from Encore and re-import the result back into Encore. Like most notation applications Encore fails to write great MusicXML code; it also fails to read MusicXML well. Thus "roundtrip" tests do not usually recreate an impeccable version of an original score. As mentioned, Encore simply doesn't write chords out to MusicXM which is why you saw no chords on re-import.

ex1895 wrote:
Does Score Writer let you specify "Measures per System"? (I don't think Finale has that wonderful feature.)

I used ScoreWriter 3.0 for a short while. Some years later I adopted Overture 5. Thus I don't know the current feature set of ScoreWriter 5 ... nor how much it parallels Overture's.

That said, in Overture you can set Measures per System globally and you can override that "rule" with system breaks.

ex1895 wrote:
Encore has 8 "Voices" which I describe as sets of beats. Score Writer has the same feature, correct?

I don't know about ScoreWriter, but Overture supports 8 voices per track.

ex1895 wrote:
Does Score Writer have the Colors options? (I found that very helpful when in the process of creating piano music with many Voices.)

Overture will automatically color voices if you have Show>Symbols in Color enabled. And it has options for coloring most other symbols.

ex1895 wrote:
I'd welcome any feedback from Overture/Score Writer users who made the transition from Encore.

I hope you get the information you need to make the transition, Linda.

Sonic Scores has a free trial version of both ScoreWriter and Overture, and the trial versions allow you to save files for 30 days, so you really get a chance to try it out!

scorster

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Last edited by scorster on Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:51 pm 
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Thanks for a very informative response! 8)

One follow-up question:
Overture's interface and UX are the closest thing to Encore's.
What is UX?

Linda


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:08 pm 
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ex1895 wrote:
Overture's interface and UX are the closest thing to Encore's.
What is UX?

Linda

Hi Linda,

UX is User eXperience and that can mean a number of things. In the context of this conversation I was referring to Overture's overall behavior and user interface. Specifically that Overture will feel familiar to Encore users, far more so than other music notation applications.

scorster

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:22 am 
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OK, why doesn't someone do a survey of Encore users (not on this site) and see how many would switch if Overture could read the files directly.
I know I can read up to Encore 4 but I did that in Overture 3, but would take a little work to read beyond Encore 4.
I think, but do not know, that they changed the format so that Overture could not read the file directly.
If enough users want it, then I'll look doing a direct conversion.

Also can someone send Encore version 2, version 3, version 4 files with all the common symbols in the score.
If so I'll add Encore importing code to Overture 5.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:17 am 
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Hello,

I registered moments ago. And moments before that, I did a search on: "music notation closest to encore". And here I am.

Backing up - why did I enter that search? Once upon a time ... Actually, last Wednesday I fired up Encore to do some quick copy work for myself. I had a chart I "lost" the Encore .ENC file for and needed to change the key. No problem, I had a PDF of the tune so all of the "hard" choices were already made in terms of measures per line, repeats, general form, coda, etc. I use Encore because I'm familiar with it and can get through a job like this fast. Faster than, I perceive, using other more complex software. And it was quick. I finished the task at hand before needing to leave for practice. Great. I was done but had not saved. And wouldn't you know it, I ran into one of Encore's worst features. One that I can manage if I remember how flawed it is. A feature I tend to forget about if I haven't been using Encore for a while. And this was one of those times. Less gigs due to "you know what" - I focused on other things during the downturn. Back to Encore and before saving what was essentially done I encounter a lockup. A lockup too familiar. One that cannot be recovered from and the kind that throws your work into the virtual waste bin. No, shredder. Then fire.

The only "good" thing about the lockup is that Encore doesn't close completely. So, if you're lucky - and I was, enough of the score will be left on the screen so a print-screen can "save" your work. I mean, at least I could still print out a screen capture which had everything except a couple lines of the score and run to practice. I can transpose two lines in my head and switch to the paint that just dried.

I've been living with this issue for decades. I've had Encore from the "original" Passport (pre-GVOX) era.

Franky, I'm sick of this thing (Encore) crashing. It's great when it works. But it breaks frequently in a scorched-Earth manner.

So here I am - poking around seeing if there's something of value here. I'd actually prefer something open source I could massage to adopt Encore's shortcuts and features. I can handle that. I know that's not what's offered here.


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