opening old .mus musictime deluxe files in encore – where to buy a copy?

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    Avatar photojlogan

    I have taken on a part time worship music coordinator position at a church. One of the previous music pastors who was a great musician did a lot of his own piano arrangements 15 years ago and used musictime deluxe, which saved all of the files in .mus format.

    I have spent HOURS trying to find software that would open these files. I installed demo copies of sibelius, finale and others with no luck. Doing more research, I discovered that encore was the bigger brother of musictime deluxe, but couldn’t find a way to download or purchase it. Finally I found a ‘demo download’ of encore which I installed just to see if it would open the files, and it would! And it had the option to save in more compatible formats.

    When I clicked to purchase the program, it can’t find the website, or it times out. Then I found this website but can’t find a way to purchase even the old version of encore.

    How can I purchase or register a copy of encore? or is there any other way to import or convert all the old musictime files. He literally has 1500 .mus hymn and worship files in the computer directory, but I think probably 50 are ones he really modified and edited.

    Avatar photoAndre Baeck

    Indeed, Encore will read and handle MusicTime files. However, the owning company PassportMusic has stopped business, then be reacquired, but the owner is working on a new Encore 5 and does not market the former versions. Perhaps a local dealer would still sell it, but this might not be too legal.

    Here in the forum, participants can help each other with copies of the installation files for those who have lost them. But we would infringe the T&C’s by sharing the registration key.

    There is another piece of software which can read MusicTime/Encore files, particularly the old ones (MTD3,EncoreV4), it is Harmony Assistant, which can be found on .
    Extract quality is very variable, and depends on the style and complexity introduced by the score’s author. You could download it from the site, and use it freely in demo mode – again without the ability to save/print, but one can see if the results are satisfactory.

    Avatar photojlogan

    I appreciate such a quick reply, my goodness. I downloaded the demo of harmony assistant, and it indeed shows that it can import musictime deluxe .mus files.
    But when I import one, it gives a warning that the file may not be compatible, and the option to proceed yes/no. If I force a yes, it gives an error “warning #00008: header not conform. The result can be undefined Bar#1” and it locks up. I have to open task manager and kill the program. I’ve tried this with about 10 .mus files, all the same.

    I wonder if I should seek to find an older version of harmony assistant just to see if that works better with importing.

    I have a old registered copy of musictime deluxe and have opened these same files and they show up just fine in that, with all their editing. I know MTD can export them as midi files, but you lose all the nuance. And I didn’t see other export options.

    I’ll keep my eyes open for anyone selling a registered version of encore. That seems like my best bet.

    Thanks again for your help!


    Avatar photoAndre Baeck

    Hello Jim,

    If a file does not open well with the demo version, I’d be surprized if the full/registered version would do it any better. But an earlier version might.

    Would you send me such a .mus file – to andre(dot)baeck(at)gmail(dot)com ? I would see what to advise.

    Avatar photoMike Halloran

    As many times as people have banged the drum for Harmony Assistant, I have yet to open a MTD or Encore file in it where the result was useable. Not once, not ever and I’ve revisited this a few times over the last 15 years or so.

    Encore 5 will open MTD 4 files. Since I no longer own a Mac that can run Encore 4.5.5 or earlier, I don’t know what is required to open those old files. I converted my MTD 1 & 2 files to Encore nearly 20 years ago, then to Encore 5 about a decade ago.

    “I’ll keep my eyes open for anyone selling a registered version of encore.”

    The company that sold Encore 5 is gone. No one should be selling it. There are some demo copies online but you can’t Print or Save with those.

    We have been told that the new company developing Encore 6 may have a release by November this year. It will open Encore 5 and MTD 4 files. Whether it opens earlier files remains to be seen. There will be a demo available so that you can try before you buy.

    Avatar photoBernard Rey

    I do have a version 4.5.6 of Encore running in a High Sierra virtual machine. If it may help, I can try and convert older MusicTime files. But only if I can get one of these files – I’ve converted mine years and years and years ago 😉

    If needed, you can join me at bernard(dot)rey(at)free(dot)fr…

    Avatar photoMario2

    Maybe it helps:
    I could open my old Music-Time-Deluxe 2.0 files with Encore for Windows without any problems.
    Even headings and lyrics were taken into account.

    Avatar photoMike Halloran

    “I do have a version 4.5.6 of Encore running in a High Sierra virtual machine.”

    and it works?!?!?

    4.5.6 was a free beta best described as horrible and caused a lot of problems with 5. Encore 5.0.7 works over High Sierra but much better over Mojave (after every trace of 4.5.6 is gone from the system).

    Avatar photoBernard Rey

    😉 Well it runs, but of course I don’t use it (and haven’t been using it ever since Encore 5 came out). I kept it “just in case”. My bad: in fact, it’s within a Snow Leopard (and not High Sierra) Virtual Machine.

    Unfortunately(?), I didn’t keep any MusicTime file (I suppose that in those long gone days I stored them on floppy disks…) but certainly would give it a try and open such files if I had the opportunity to put my mouse on some.

    Avatar photoDave P

    This may be helpful to those who want to install Music Time Deluxe (which I have been using for many years) on a new computer. I don’t know if it will work for Encore.
    Last spring, my Lenovo laptop’s internal power system failed (dead computer) so I replaced it with a new Lenovo Windows 11 notebook. Like many of you, I lost my MTD program. I recently discovered that by accessing my old SSD hard drive from the dead notebook, I could find the MTD program files in the sub-directory C:\Program Files (x86)\MusicTimeDeluxe-4.0.4. I simply copied the complete sub-directory and pasted it into the new notebook’s same subdirectory. Much to my surprise, it seems to be working. By using my most recent registration key, I can now use the program as before.
    Here’s what I had to do to access the old SSD. After an internet search on how to get at and physically remove the SSD card, I pulled the card from my old notebook. It was relatively easy. Next, I purchased a USB SSD hard drive enclosure which is basically a USB adapter for a SSD hard drive (about $20 on Amazon). The old SSD card plugs into the enclosure/adapter via USB as an external drive and your old computer’s complete files are available, including system files. I am now happily using my MTD program once again! A bonus is that the old SSD can be used as an external backup drive! Hope this helps.

    Avatar photoAndre Baeck

    Running the installation file of a product will create and fill the program directories, but also generate a few system files – what a simple copy of the program directory will not do.

    Now, these system files in Encore and MusicTime are, that I know, only some musical fonts such as Stoccata.

    If the program works (including displaying scores, of course) on a new computer, that means that these files were installed by another program: that can be a demo version of either program, or some other music editors which also use the same fonts.

    A good system specialist might also recover the font files from the hard disk of a dead system, or from a backup files of it, and reinject them in a new computer.

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