Synthesia 2013 Roadmap

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Alright, the store is effectively finished and ready to go, so here is a peek at what I'm hoping to accomplish inside the actual app in the near term. I've hinted at most of this stuff in other posts, but here is the list:

Synthesia 9
  • (complete) A proper resizable window. No more full-screen nonsense, no weird software mouse cursors, and the config tool gets simpler.
  • (complete) Internationalization! Seven languages total: en-US, es-ES, fr-FR, de, ru, pt-BR, and zh-TW.
Synthesia 10
  • (complete) Free Play.
  • (complete) Many quality of life improvements.
  • (complete) In-app hand/track splitting.
Synthesia 11
  • MusicXML support! Load it like a MIDI file that happens to have tremendously better quality notation.
As always, there are lots of tiny things hiding in the cracks. Those are the major features though.
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jimhenry
Posts: 1821

Post by jimhenry »

Did you consider supporting MusicXML without the sheet view in 9 as a stepping stone? (MusicXML behaves the same as MIDI.) I think it would be helpful for content creators to be able to start making MusicXML files available before they are fully supported by Synthesia.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Synthesia 9 is going to be a very short (< 1 month?) development cycle.

Including a stepping stone worried me: if you announce MusicXML support on the front page, would users be disappointed when the notation wasn't improved at all and virtually all of the additional content in their MusicXML files was ignored?

For all practical purposes, I'm not sure there will be a difference: forum users will have that earliest stepping-stone version in the form of a dev preview in the same time it would take to tack that onto the end of Synthesia 9. And I'm happier including the bulk of it in one cycle. Certainly refinements/additions will be added for many releases to come, but core functionality deserves to arrive all at once.
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

The full screen 'll be functional ? i don't use window mode .
slash8789
Posts: 90

Post by slash8789 »

I sure hope full screen will be functional. I teach my kids using a big screen monitor. It just makes it seem so nice and professional. I'm actually still using the 8.4 version. I know another teacher who still uses the 8.4 version and has the same setup I do.

Currently, I only use Synthesia as a teaching tool for a fast way to teach and learn the mechanics of a piece. I'm not even sure what MusicXML does. I won't make the upgrade until some of the features like finger substitution and pedal markings are hopefully implemented some time in the future. I use another program for track splitting but having it within Synthesia sure would be a nice feature to have.

Can someone point me in the right direction towards a simple tutorial regarding MusicXML and how I can use it as a teaching/learning tool?
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

There is not a lot to say about MusicXML as a teaching tool. Just think of it like a combination of a MIDI file and a PDF of the sheet music rolled into one. (For the geeks--yes, I know that is not what it really is.) If you have a MusicXML file, Synthesia will be able to display much better sheet music to play from. If you prepare your own files for teaching, the tool you use (e.g. MuseScore) might have an option to create a MusicXML file. You won't need to do anything special except tell the program to create the MusicXML. However, you might want to pay more attention to producing good looking sheet music since that will now be something that can be seen in Synthesia. This is just the same things you do when you care about how the printed sheet music looks.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

@Slash8789 Why did you use the 8.4 version and not the 8.6?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

kiwi wrote:The full screen 'll be functional ? i don't use window mode.
slash8789 wrote:I sure hope full screen will be functional. I teach my kids using a big screen monitor.
When you maximize the new window it will behave remarkably closely to the old full-screen mode (I expect it will continue to cover up the Windows task bar), so you won't be missing out on anything. I'm also experimenting with a custom window frame like you find in programs like Chrome or iTunes, so Synthesia will be drawn right up to the window boundary.

Outside of a few new buttons in the top-right corner (minimize/maximize/close) the experience should be indistinguishable.
slash8789 wrote:I know another teacher who still uses the 8.4 version and has the same setup I do.
Yeah, is there any reason you haven't downloaded the free updates? Sticking with 8.4 means there are quite a few bugs you might run into. For the most part 8.5 and 8.6 were just cleaning up a lot of the rough edges still left on 8.4.
slash8789 wrote:Can someone point me in the right direction towards a simple tutorial regarding MusicXML...
Jim's analogy is close to the one I like to use. That is, MusicXML is like a MIDI file that also contains much more information about how to properly display the sheet music notation. Virtually all of the major notation editors (Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, etc.) can load and save MusicXML files. It's the best way to interchange music between programs today because so much more of the musical intent is retained.

MIDI is great for representing how a song should sound. Anything beyond that and software has to start guessing. MusicXML contains the rest of the missing information so you can display it beautifully, too.
kiwi
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Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

"When you maximize the new window it will behave remarkably closely to the old full-screen mode (I expect it will continue to cover up the Windows task bar), so you won't be missing out on anything."
Well if the new buttons use a space it 'll loose some space (or maybe they 'll just appear when i move the mouse?)
Last edited by kiwi on 09-09-13 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

kiwi wrote:...or maybe they 'll just appear when i move the mouse?
That one. :D The keyword here is "unobtrusive".
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

Ah oh well so you can touch our lovely fullscreen now :D
and by the way what about the chords dictionnary ?
Does we can expect it in the 2013?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

This is sort of interesting: if you set up "ui.xml" (following the instructions in the modding forum) and change the "0" on line 153 to a "1", there is already a (sort of) chord library inside Synthesia 8.6! After that change you can access it from the title screen.

It's really early, rough around the edges, incomplete, the chord names still need to be smoothed out a lot, and the whole thing is generally not ready for prime time... but there is some code in there. ;)

As for the real release, I was thinking of listing it for Synthesia 10 with an "if there is time" caveat. But I'm pretty sure there won't be time. It is definitely a thing that is still happening. It's just kind of a side-project for now. I'm willing to guarantee it for 2014 though.
kiwi
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Post by kiwi »

cool i 'll try ;)
slash8789
Posts: 90

Post by slash8789 »

@Kiwi. I am still using the 8.4 version because it is working fine for me with the setup that I have. The only thing that bugs me is when you hit a wrong note you can't press it again because the song won't continue. I thought the 8.5 version would take care of that for me but, it didn't. Of course , I never asked for help regarding it so it must not bug me that much.

@Nicholas. I haven't found any bugs yet with my current OS and hookups. The only issue I had was when I initially set everything up and I posted about was the MIDI cable issue but all that got fixed when I bought the genuine Yamaha cable. Thats the main reason I haven't downloaded the upgrades. Like I said, I'll probably only download a new version if you ever implement the feature requests I've made. So far 8.4 is working great for me with my current setup. I kinda live by that old motto "if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :D
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Regarding the "pressing the note again stops the song" problem, try this:
  • Start Synthesia and head to the Settings screen.
  • Go to the Gameplay section. There should be three settings under a "Melody Practice" heading at the bottom of the list.
  • Change the "Incorrect Notes" setting from "Stop the Song" to "Are Ignored".
Hopefully that helps! :D
slash8789
Posts: 90

Post by slash8789 »

You see what I mean? Why would I want to upgrade if I don't play with the settings in my current version? LOL Too funny.

But seriously, I read on the forum that this was a bug that 8.4 had. Should have checked it out for myself. It works now! Thank you!
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

yep i use 8.4 version installed and i haven't bugs too ;)
But I use the new version too in fact i only use the 8.4 for the "view insynthesia" menu (cause i had used an installer)
So i strongly suggest you to try the new versions they are many usefull options and it's work very well use the zip version so no need to install just unzip ,test,and forgot the 8.4 ^^
slash8789
Posts: 90

Post by slash8789 »

@Kiwi. Like I said, I use Synthesia to learn/help with the mechanics of learning a piece and nothing else. Since the features of the finger mechanics/hints aren't complete yet (finger substitution, slides, crossovers, just to name a few) or might not ever be included and, no features of feet/pedal mechanics/hints are currently available, what features are available in 8.5 or 8.6 that I might incorporate as a teaching/learning tool?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

kiwi wrote:Ah oh well so you can touch our lovely fullscreen now :D
I just finished the resize feature. (The first Synthesia 9 dev preview should happen in the next day or so.)

Instead of custom window frames, I stuck with the tried-and-true Alt-Enter shortcut to toggle between full/windowed on Windows. (In OS 10.7+ you use the full-screen button in the corner.) Going with Alt-Enter was a much shorter path and it's less change for people worried about their full-screen view changing. So in the end, the only difference for everyone is that instead of using the configuration tool, you can change everything on demand. (The Windows 7 shortcut of dragging window titles to/from the top of a screen is really slick. You can snap it from one monitor to the next.)

It even remembers the window state from the last time you ran: windowed, maximized, or full-screen. So the total impact to you in Synthesia 9 is that you'll have to hit Alt-Enter exactly one time. ;)

The only real casualties were:
  • Full-screen in OS 10.5/10.6: that was before the full-screen button was added.
  • Custom (non-native) video modes.
The first one is a problem that only affects 2.8% of Synthesia users, will go away on its own over time, and isn't that bad to begin with if you just maximize the window. The second problem still has the workaround of changing your display's resolution ahead of time. For any use-case that needed a custom resolution (projectors? TVs?) that solution shouldn't be too onerous.
Raymond
Posts: 528

Post by Raymond »

When you say:
Nicholas wrote:changing your display's resolution ahead of time.
you mean in the Config, not changing the whole desktop resolution. right?
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