NEW Feature: Auto-converting images and PDFs to the MuseScore format directly in MuseScore

• Feb 13, 2020 - 09:54

Are you ready to see some magic :-) ?

Try new feature now! Download the build and open any score in PDF format:

And PDF score can be opened as a usual .mscz file. Magic, yeah? =)

Should you have any feedback (both suggestions and applauses) please let us know in the comments.

Сolor designation:
- Black color - recognized and editable elements on score
- Blue color - recognized elements on image (image layout is different from Musescore smart layout, so coordinates may not match)
- Purple color - unrecognised elements on image

P.S. Technically, it works like a deep cloud integration with Audiveris. You can check source code in this branch.

*If any Mac user meets some problems (e.g. Your Mac ask you to move MuseScore to trash) when you are launching this unstable version of MuseScore, consider to take the methods below:
1. Open Finder, go to "Applications" folder, find "MuseScore".
2. Open, copy sudo xattr -cr /Applications/MuseScore\ and paste into your terminal.


What is that counter in the dialog while working on the recognition, is is percentage (and if so, could that get changed to a progress bar instead)?
Edit: OK, it isn't percentage... but what else, Measure?

Edit 2: just got it to crash on a larger and scanned PDF, one that BTW did get processed by the converter on

Edit 3: on an earlier import, of a score exported to PDF by MuseScore, the recognition went pretty well. No lyrics, nor any other text though, but that's the same as the PDF Import on

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

It's seconds from finish uploading and start recognition. We don't know when recognition finished (it's depends of file size and quality). To show that the process isn't hanging and you have to wait yet.

The most important thing is that you can compare what happened to be recognized with the source file and correct the flaws right there. This should be user friendly enough.

In reply to by Ximich

Maybe you could make that more clear in the dialog, like appending "seconds". Or just make it a spinning wheel or some such. But this is really a minor detail currently.

Yes, indeed alone that comparison is very worth it, esp. vs. the service on

Possible enhancement might be some way to tweak Audivers' options?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Recently I start working with @Tantacrul to make recognition process more clearly and user-friendly. Hope we can do it better. Right now It's just first prototype. After receiving feedback, we can improve process according to user reviews.

Yes, I continue to experiment with settings and options. This is not first week. But only now there are results that are not ashamed to show :-)

P.S. Update Audiveris on happened after my experiments.

In reply to by OsmelCruz

@OsmelCruz :
You can try to strip the "quarantine" attribute to the application (with which Mac automatically flags this file downloaded from Internet):
from terminal, navigate to the folder where the application resides (e.g. cd /Applications) and then use:
xattr -d 'MuseScore 3'
(where 'MuseScore 3' is the name of the application)

This looks very exciting! Thanks to everyone for their efforts.

If I'm not mistaken, Audiveris may not yet be able to handle non-standard notation such as drumsets or tablature yet (often found in band scores); this would be very useful when realised, hence my hope that more resources can be invested into that project somehow, as I think it would be of tremendous benefit to both. I think one of the most important aspects is improving MusicXML import/export.

To any of the developers (here or there): if there's interest what I've mentioned, please contact me and I will provide samples (both PDF and mscz).

I'm so happy this feature is finally implemented. Will the accuracy of scanned PDF files be improved? I tried importing something from IMSLP and everything was wrong...

> P.S. Technically, it works like a deep cloud integration with Audiveris.

This is great. However, I'm leery of having my work uploaded to an unknown location, and I'm sure others will feel the same way. Is there any way to implement this as a purely local feature?

In reply to by Spire42

A remark that makes me think that PDFs are not automatically destroyed after conversion :
If you reload the same PDf a second time the conversion is almost immediate, the counter doesn't even have time to start up.
Having said that, I am not worried about that and I would prefer to discuss here the desired performance and improvements: There is really a lot to be done but almost no suggestions, remarks, proposals in this sense.

In reply to by mirabilos

Using Audiveris with all default options and not interacting with the UI at all to make improvements to the conversion is indeed not going to do any better. But it's actually quite sophisticated in what you can do with it if you spend some time tweaking things after the initial attempt at conversion.

In reply to by Spire42

If we enable local recognition, this is:
- increase size of final distribution by 30%
- will require Java 1.8 installation

We haven't yet decided how recognition should work best. Perhaps for final release we will find a better solution. So far, this is first alpha version that gives you the opportunity to try this feature.

If any Mac user meets some problems (e.g. Your Mac ask you to move MuseScore to trash) when you are launching this unstable version of MuseScore, consider to take the methods below:
1. Open Finder, go to "Applications" folder, find "MuseScore".
2. Open, copy xattr -cr /Applications/MuseScore\ and paste into your terminal.

In reply to by ndy

Hello ndy
On Windows 10 64bits also I had no problem to install this nightly which cohabits very well with my version 3.4.2.
Did you extract all the compressed files in a new folder and click on the Nightly.exe of this new folder ?

Bravo Ximich: That's a great improvement!
I've been testing it for two days on Windows 10.
Here are my remarks:
- I really appreciate using the "Open" menu to start PDF recognition.
- I also appreciate the counter that appears to show that the process is in progress. Moreover it is relatively fast: For an IMSLP PDF of 5 pages of medium quality, the counter is up to 550 which represents 4mn.
-Good surprise also, the music regognition integrates the staves to come by introducing empty staves from the beginning. This is one of the major difficulties of all Music OCR programs (I am a big user of PhotoScore Ultimate 8).
- The vast majority of the notes are in place and the result is better on this point than by going through the "Import PDF" menu.
- With the purple elements, one can understand from the start what Audiveris has not been able to transcribe and therefore what remains to be corrected manually.
On the other hand, I don't really understand what the elements in blue bring, which are like an offset shadow and never in place of good notes.
I made some tests from an IMSLP version of the introductory chorus of Hoffmann's Tales which is in 3/8. Unfortunately if the time signature is not recognized (which it was), the 4/4 is apparently set by default which makes museScore say it's a corrupted file. I ignore it and open it anyway, but I can't put the time signature in 3/8. The program systematically bugs. Although I can act normally on everything else.
Here are my first findings. Congratulations again for your research in this field
CteHoff p56789.mscz
CteHoff p56789.pdf

In reply to by Howard-C

It seems to me that the numbers are scrolling much faster than the seconds since in my example above the process took 4 minutes i.e. 240 seconds and the counter was showing 550.
But that doesn't seem very important to me since in my opinion, it only serves to show that the process is moving forward.

In reply to by Howard-C

I agree with you but I am more optimistic and I think that sooner or later this way of doing things will prevail. And, as a result, I think that the music publishing programs that have not integrated it will be ignored.
That's why I'm glad that MuseScore is taking a closer look at it.

Would love to try this, but I'm paralyzed due to the latest install not working. "“MuseScore 3” can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software." Please fix ASAP.

In reply to by Miguel Vicente…

Yes, I had that yesterday, too, but it's operational again. That said, there are still a lot of improvements to be made.
Here is a test on an excerpt from "La traviata" including 52 measurements with 12 staves per system. The original PDF is from the ISMLP site and is of medium quality. MuseScore converts it in 2 minutes but is repeatedly mistaken about the time signature:
In this example, 3/4 is recognized at the beginning but afterwards, about 80% of the measurements are read in 7/8. It is necessary to put them back in 3/4 one by one.
Here is the starting PDF and what MuseScore offers (without corrections on my part)
TRA 33-38.pdf
TRA 33-38Audiv.mscz

When I click on the windows link it takes me to a google drive. Sorry if I am being dense, but what do I do then? So is this no longer available?

In reply to by gpermant

Why is this Announcement "NEW Feature: Auto-converting images and PDFs to the MuseScore" still online if the development has been discontinued?
Your are grossly misleading music lovers the world over, and waking false hopes.
The entire thread should be taken offline.

In reply to by gpermant

Forums are an ongoing record of everything that has transpired, not a snapshot of a single point in time. it's the nature of a forum that a post from a year ago talks about how things were then, and a post from 10 years ago talks about how things were back them. It's not really cool to go back and try to change history, it's much better to keep the record.

In reply to by Craigditz

I'm guessing you weren't using the experimental test version of MuseScore being discussed here, but instead the ordinary web service provided by musescore,com using Audiveris. Indeed, it's not that magical, but what was being proposed here was something completely different was definitely pretty promising - it just never really panned out, so the project as far as I know was abandoned. See the original message to understand how vastly different it was going to be.

After download, the program runs and sees the pdf files, but can not open them... :( Usually it failes to open any pdf file... Did I do something wrong or the program is still incomplete?
Pls help!

Attachment Size
error.jpg 42.69 KB

In reply to by Piotr Barcz

Getting even the systems aligned would be tricky and the notes and text even more difficult given the wide range of styles that scores come in. And having the notes in the pdf right where you want to enter them in Musescore (even if it could be achieved) would be rather irritating. Much better to have the pdf in a separate window above, below or to the side.

In reply to by SteveBlower

that's actually how I typeset scores often and it's worse because I get confused as to which measure I'm working on and then I have to go back and insert measures and do other nasty stuff to correct the mistakes. At least having the systems right above or below the stave being typeset would make things easier.

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