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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!