Playback in Karaoke mode

• Jun 25, 2017 - 08:06
Graphical (UI)
S5 - Suggestion
needs info

In the current MS, if you want to play songs for Karaoke at home with friends, you need to do something like this:

1) open the kar file
2) hide all staves, except the one with the lyrics
3) set the lyrics font to a big size (say 40px) and the staff to small
4) move the lyrics above the staff, so that they are always visible while playing (and singing) and the singers can get a glimpse of the next words in the row below the current one.
5) consider transposing to make it easier to sing for common people (it depends on the song)
6) hide palette, toolbars, inspector, midi import window and all the rest that takes up valuable space
7) show fullscreen
8) start playback and sing
9) undo steps 6 and 7 to restore the previous state
10) close the file without saving and go back to 1 for the next song

That's a lot of things to do for each song. I know, MS is not meant to be a karaoke player, but I think it happens to be the best free-as-in-speech karaoke player out there nevertheless, that is easy to install and that has transpose capabilites and that is cross platform and then a lot of other good things.

The needed functions are already there except number 2, which has to automatically hide all staves without lyrics (I bet it's a no brainer to implement).

This new feature could be a new "Start playback" button, maybe in the MIDI import window, that does steps 2 to 9 above, and in step 5 would simply show the traspose dialog, letting the user decide what to do, if anything.

This feature would not turn MS into a professional karaoke player, but it would make it dramatically easier to use and good enough for the above scenario, e.g. at home with friends.


By the same reasoning, there are also other music notation programs, from Rosegarden to LilyPond and Denemo, why develop MuseScore?
I propose this feature because
1) MS almost has it already, it's just a matter of gluing things together under a new button
2) existing karaoke players lack some feature MS already has (pykaraoke can't transpose, importing kar files into Performous is a nightmare, others are not cross platform, and so on).

I'm not a MS dev and I'm not sure I have time to learn the basics of MS code to develop that button myself, but, just in case, would a patch for that feature be accepted if I were to make one?
In other words, assuming the patch were already there, would you feel more inclined to add that feature?

The purpose of MuseScore is to print a sheet of paper that the musician will read. What to do in this case of a karaoke option?
Like Lasconic I do not think the idea is relevant. There are still many features to improve or implement more useful for a partition editor. Developers have work and this is certainly not considered a priority.
Moreover, it is already possible to simulate this mode by making the instrumental staves invisible keeping only the range "voice" rendered mute.
see this :


Speaking only for myself, I probably would not favor the introduction of such a feature even if someone else implemented it. Sure, it saves some trouble up front if someone else does the initial development work, but still, unless they are also committing to maintain that code forever - fixing all bugs, updating it as other MuseScore internals change over time, providing all necessary documentation, translating that documentation into all supported languages, and so on - ultimately adding a new feature has a non-zero support cost over time. Also the cost to users in terms of a program that is now that much larger on their disk, that many more controls to clutter the UI, that much more documentation to read, etc. I know, you are probably thinking, "oh, but it's only one feature, how much complexity could it add". But considering it is a feature outside the core area of the program, and there are potentially hundreds of such non-relevant features each championed by one or two people but of little interest to anyone else, this would tend to get out of hand if there wasn't some sort of guiding policy. There is value in keeping features focused to ones that the majority of users would actually find valuable and not solved better by some other program.

That said, it's not like that means we would *never* consider new features outside the core area of the program. But I think it does not need to be seen in the context of the bigger picture.

Realistically, MuseScore already supports the ability to create scores for karaoke. That is, you can set the font size however you like, hide whatever staves you don't want to see, etc. If it really is the case that MuseScore is the best tool for the job, then presumably there will be a pool of people eager to create scores in this format, so you don't even have to do the editing yourself. I'd be focusing my efforts on making that happen, personally.

Again, all of this just speaking for me as one of many people who works on MuseScore.

I also use MuseScore for Karaoke, but I don't think a dedicated "Karaoke mode" is needed. However, I would support the creation of a generic macro facility to quickly apply score settings such as change mixer volumes, hide non-vocal instruments, adjust font sizes, set zoom level, etc. Applying a macro would be a bit like loading a style, but it would have control over more than just the appearance of the score, and would have logic along the lines of "if a staff has lyrics then style it like this, if it doesn't then style it a different way".

Interesting idea! Of course, we do have a plugin facility, and that's work to maintain as it is, but if there were some way to combine these two, so much the better...

Reported version 2.2  
Regression No
Workaround No

I get that I'm using the tool "off-label" as the medical professionals might say. But it was actually the first tool I found that came close to what I wanted.

As someone who's rather dyslexic when it comes to sheet music, I've been using MuseScore to painstakingly transcribe printed music into a computerized format and then using the playback feature to "follow the bouncing ball". For architectures or screen sizes that have trouble with all that Musescore 3 can do, t'would be nice to have a means of exporting the lyrics with timing info that could then be displayed by some other tool, along with the exported MP3 or WAV or what have you. I'd lose the notes, but it would still be nice to practice the vocals with "piano" and / or "ooo chorus" (or whatever else I might throw in there) accompaniment.

In my case, I have a Raspberry Pi connected to a big screen, and had to export to MusicXML before importing on the Pi. Even then, the playback was a bit rough. And attempts at exporting to Lilypond, which I barely know, have proven disastrous. (Works great on the small-screen Arch Linux laptop I've got. I was just looking for bigger and a tad louder, without resorting to headphones.)

I'm just sayin'...

P.S. I'm open to alternatives that run on Raspbian..