Questions regarding Muse Hub's status

• Dec 26, 2022 - 15:56

Hi everyone!

I have a few questions regarding Muse Hub which is now the default way of getting MuseScore.

How is Muse Hub related to the MuseScore project?

There is very little direct official information about Muse Hub:

  • Neither the MuseScore FAQ nor the Muse Hub FAQ provide informations about one another, which makes it look like they are unrelated aside from Muse Hub allowing to download MuseScore along other softwares
  • The Muse Hub website provides no information about who is running it. The EULA doesn't help either, speaking only of Musescore Limited which I cannot find elsewhere.
  • MuseScore provides direct downloads of Muse Hub, which makes it look like Muse Hub is very closely related to MuseScore

There is little information about Muse Hub on various MuseScore's servers:

  • These forums have a few anouncements making it look like Muse Hub is is closely related to MuseScore, e.g. this announcement
  • MuseScore's Github has quite a few issues related to Muse Hub and even has a board dedicated to it, which make it look like Muse Hub is made by the MuseScore's team
  • In the MuseScore issue tracker, this comment by Marc Sabatella makes it look like Muse Hub is developped by another team with their own bug tracker, which makes the previous GitHub issues and board very weird.
  • This comment by jeetee makes it clear Muse Hub is under the Muse Group banner, which according to their website is the editor(?) for both MuseScore and Muse Hub. That feels weird, since I could find no mention of Muse Group from either MuseScore or Muse Hub website, especially the FAQs.
  • This other comment by jeetee makes it look like it's definitly different teams
  • But many comments by MuseScore devs actually explain how to use Muse Hub, e.g. this comment by Marc Sabatella which make it looks like it's not fully independent.

So, how is Muse Hub related to MuseScore ? Is it the same team ? Different ones ? Are they fully independent?

Right now this feels fairly opaque, which makes my next question even more important to me:

Why is Muse Hub closed-source ?

After seeing multiples comments on this forum it is clear Muse Hub is closed source.

My question is, why ? After searching everywhere, I cannot find an announcement explaining the reason behind it being closed source.

It seems to work purely as an installer/updater by the looks of it and this comment by Marc Sabatella seems to corroborate that (at least for the service part of Muse Hub).
Also, this quote from Muse Hub website: "Muse Hub simplifies the process of getting some of the world’s most popular creative apps, quickly and securely. Get MuseScore, Audacity and others with just one click." seems to confirm that as well.

We also know it's probably not closed source to protect Muse Sounds because the installation page clearly show they are plugins and it looks like Muse Sounds have their own licence according to this comment by tentacrul making it look like they are a separate product entirely.

Maybe it is closed source to try to enforce an exclusivity as Muse Hub website says: "[...] these [...] instrument packs are available exclusively in Muse Hub [...]". But I can still use them in MuseScore 4 after deleting Muse Hub and disabling its service, so Muse Hub offers no protection for exclusivity: people could probably share the files online and install them manually, it would probably work.

Since there is no documentation aside from sparse comments on these forums, it looks like there is actually no way telling what it does aside from managing downloads and updates.

So if it is purely an installer/updater and not a required component to run or protect Muse Sounds, why is not not open-source? It doesn't look like it would have high-level technology to protect like Muse Sound may have. Even if a part of it should not be reused elsewhere, why not have that part open-source but proprietary?

Muse Hub being closed-source really doesn't help if you take into account the fairly opaque ecosystem and the security concerns this software brings like these two issues about Muse Hub's service : on Linux and Mac and on Windows 10.

Because if I can't know what a piece of software does because it is closed source and it leaves over-priviledged services that run even after uninstallation, unfortunately my brain screams one things: security issues. And these are things that would be most likely solved by it being open source: we could check why it behaves so and maybe provide alternative solutions or fixes.

So my question is: is Muse Hub purely an updater/installer and what was the reasoning beind it being closed-source unlike MuseScore?

I think it would really help everyone and clear up confusion to have more information regarding Muse Hub and its relationship to MuseScore.

If this forum is not the right place for the second question, then I am sorry for the annoyance and I'll repost it on Muse Hub's zendesk.


I can't speak in any official capacity, but I can certainly summarize the things that are public knowledge as has been discussed here extensively:

Muse Hub is the name of a program used to install Muse Sounds. Both are free, but either are open source. These tools are provided by the Muse Group, which is the company that produces MuseScore, Audacity, and various other music production tools. So, it's the same company, but indeed, different teams of people working on each of these. Just as the people working on iPhones are on a different team from the people working on Mac, and they maintain different bug tracking systems, but they all work for Apple. It's really not an unusual setup at all, nothing to be concerned about.

As a convenience, you can also install MuseScore itself from Muse Hub on Windows or macOS if you like, but it remains available via other channels as well.

As for why not open source, I don't know that there is one specific reason, but presumably it relates to the fact that Muse Sounds is intended to work across a variety of applications - including, potentially, third-party programs - some of which are themselves open and others are not. Most likely it also takes advantages of third party libraries that are no open source. I'm not privy to those sorts of details. Anyhow, things need to be set up in a way that is compatible with all of these from a licensing perspective.

I have been asking myself many of the same questions and trying to understand the connection between the open-source MuseScore software and proprietary MuseHub software.

I found a lot of information at the Muse Group web site

Muse Group is headquartered in Cypress. Their web-site has a Swedish domain name. It is a commercial venture and they are out to make money to support their business and employees. They are leveraging a large customer base of existing commercial and open-source products.

The line between free and open vs. commercial is a bit blurry. I suggest that you read Terms of Use and Privacy Policies. You don't have to use MuseHub and Muse Sounds. You can read those documents on MuseHub's web-site.

I think it would be helpful to include links to MuseHub policies on the MuseScore download page and make it more clear the nature of MuseHub.

I still have a lot of questions. It would be great if project leaders of MuseScore would post a roadmap of where the program is heading.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. Although I didn't find a specific announcement like you mention, I did look around more on the Forum here and on GitHub. I will be watching future announcements.

Also, I cloned the code base so I could build locally and study the code. I'm a retired software engineer with 50 years of programming experience. I started using Qt about 15 years ago when I worked for a startup EDA company. I spent the last 10 years of my career at Garmin working on automotive OEM navigation software (at least 3 million lines of code in the code base). Maybe I'll be able to contribute at some point in the future.

I always worked with QtWidgets so QML and QtQuick are new to me. Looks like I have some learning to do.

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