Have you ever thought of buying a music scanning package? I mean a program that turns printed music into sound and real notation? These programs often go by the name of good OMR (Optical Music Recognition). You feed in the music and they do the magic of turning it into notation.
If you have then you might have been put off by the cost. There are a few different ones on the market (although they mostly use the same engine) but they all cost at least a hundred dollars, and usually more. These are complex applications and developing them took years, even decades. However most were written many years ago and computer science has come a long way in that time.
Well at last there is a new OMR technology out there. Developed recently using new techniques Dolphin Computing has released their first offering in the form of an app. This is PlayScore, and don’t be put off that it’s an app. The OMR engine in PlayScore is totally new and extremely powerful. In fact the OMR engine behind it, ReadScoreLib is now also available as a library that developers can build into their apps, opening the way to a whole generation of powerful low cost OMR applications. With applications in music publishing, musical instruments, performance management as well as the more traditional uses in arrangement and education, ReadScoreLib opens out some pretty exciting possibilities
But going back to cost, for those who find traditional OMR apps just that bit too expensive, PlayScore changes everything. You can now turn any page of music into sound, MIDI and MusicXML just by taking a picture. Not only that: PlayScore lets you import JPG images so you can convert images from an external source too. And expensive? Well free actually, at least the playback-only version. And the full Pro app costs just a few dollars. This is surely a big step forward. And there is more coming. Expect to see full-featured PC and Mac apps using PlayScore technology before long.