Scan printed music with OCR to new file

Home Forums Encore Feature Request and Wish List Scan printed music with OCR to new file

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    Avatar photoJamesMcKenzie

    I recall a friend saying they could scan music into their notation software and generate a new document they could edit. My guess is that is no small feat for the software, but it sure would be handy.

    Avatar photoMike Halloran

    I tried posting a reply with links but this forum doesn’t like that. Trying again. You’ll have to Google the apps that I mention.

    There are many 3rd party apps that do this now. Even when Finale and Sibelius did it, they partnered with other companies; Finale used SmartScore Lite and Sibelius used PhotoScore Lite for scanning. Finale dropped this with 25.

    Since Overture has MusicXML 3.0 import, we can expect Encore 6 to have it also.

    The good news is that there are now many apps with different functionality at all price levels. The good ones can scan a tiff or pdf file and export as MusicXML 3.0. works on your iOS or Android smartphone.

    Because scans are never perfect, the best ones scan and let you edit in the app before you export the xml. I use SmartScore 64 Professional Edition.
    One thing nice about MUSITEK is that if you buy their MUSIC-to-XML app and later decide you should have bought SmartScore 64, there is an upgrade path.

    Avid’s stand-alone products, PhotoScore and NotateMe, are SmartScore’s competition.

    There are a ton of others apps, some ok and a lot of crapware.

    There’s talk of MuseScore offering scanning. Well, yes and no. They have a web service that generates a .mcsz file that you open in MuseScore with varying results when the web service processes your files. (Google it) If you’re lucky and the scan is any good, it can be exported via MusicXML 3.0 for import into Encore 6.

    The above is an overview only.

    Avatar photoMike Halloran

    Encore owners are eligible for Competitive Upgrade pricing for SmartScore64 Pro. That’s $100 off. Finale PrintMusic, Sibelius & Dorico owners also qualify.

    Again, I like it because can edit the file before I export the MusicXML 3.0 file. Encore 5 can import these files but a lot of the information such as lyrics and dynamics will not import—need to wait till Encore 6 for that.

    If you happen to own the full version of Finale, you can a 50% discount instead through the same link.

    Avatar photoJamesMcKenzie

    Mike H.,

    Thanks for the insights into scanning music. I’m not familiar with MusicXML but, it guess, it’s high time I became familiar.

    Avatar photoMario2

    Good music scanning programs are not cheap but a good thing if you have printed sheet music only.
    This is also the reason why I keep an old 486 computer with Windows 3.11 alive. It still runs the old Musitek music recognition software Midiscan V 2.5.1 to my satisfaction. An old flatbed scanner with interface card completes the setup.
    Nevertheless, an up-to-date music XML protocol is a very good idea.

    Avatar photoMike Halloran

    MIDIScan — there’s a blast from the past. Musitek still offers it as SmartScore MIDI Edition 64 for $49/$39 upgrade. I can’t imagine anyone buying it anymore:

    “Limits: Scan & play to MIDI. Saves to MIDI files only. Processes music with a maximum of 4 staves per system. No printing, TAB, Text or Lyric Recognition, chord symbols or MusicXML export.”

    It may be possible that owning MIDIScan qualifies you for upgrade pricing to one of the other products that does support MusicXML 3.0. It never hurts to write Musitek and ask.

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