Advice on migrating from Sibelius

Hi all,

I’ve done some research and realize that Dorico wont open Sibelius files natively. I finally upgraded my computer and Sibelius wont run on the new one unless I buy a new subscription from Avid. So I’m considering moving to Dorico.

My question is whats the best way to migrate my Sibelius files. I have 15 years of scores/parts/teaching materials etc. Is there a way to batch process these files into MusicXML or do I need to open each individually and export them one by one? What have others done that made the switch?

Thanks for any ideas/advice

You need to export the files from Sibelius via MusicXML (the full-featured Dolet plug-in for Sibelius is available for free download from - it’s better than the built-in MusicXML export from the File/Export menu in Sibelius) and then you can open the MusicXML files in Dorico.

I believe you can run the dolet plug-in for Sibelius on a whole folder of files at once, which will make life easier.

MusicXML is about the best way these days to get music files from one notation program to another. It contains a lot more information than using MIDI export/import. But even MusicXML still isn’t 100% perfect, so you will need to go over the files carefully once you import them into Dorico. But you can do that on a file-by-file basis as you need/want to get at those files. My advice is to print all those files to PDF files from Sibelius so that you will have “real” copies of the output and won’t have to burden yourself with thousands of pages of paper. That way, if you have a large enough monitor you can open the PDF of a file on one side of the screen and open Dorico on the other side (or even another screen if you have two monitors hooked up to your computer) and compare the files side by side.

I’m one of those people making the move from Sibelius to Dorico which I’m particularly happy about since they’ve changed their anti-piracy mechanism which makes life so much easier for us honest users. However, I will continue my Sibelius license for at least another year (or pay to switch it to a perpetual license when it’s time to renew) so that I don’t have to feel rushed to convert all my Sibelius files.

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Welcome to the forum! Yes, Sibelius has a batch-convert command (or at least it did the last time I looked) that will do a whole folder of files at once.

You may want to read up in this forum on XML conversion issues. There are many threads discussing specific notations, what converts and what doesn’t. If your scores are simple, with standard notation, you may have good results. The more special notations you have, the more you will need to pay attention to them and even need to redo some things in Dorico.

The other issue is, of course, that the way the programs work is thoroughly different, and you will have a learning curve. But maybe you are prepared for that.

What? Do they not have any mechanism for transferring the licence between machines? Sounds pretty outrageous.

I imagine he was using an older pre-subscription version (as I still am) and doesn’t want to go down that road.

Even so…

Yes, Sibelius has a mechanism for transferring older licenses. The problem is that the older version of Sibelius won’t work on the newer version of his Operating System. I’m guessing he’s on a Mac, since that’s usually not a problem with Windows. It’s a MacOS issue.

I’m in the same boat, using Dolet 8 and PDFs to transfer my sores, but I saw somewhere that Sibelius Demo can export PDFs and export MusciXML though Dolet 8.
Can someone confirm or refute these possibilities of a demo of Sibelius please?

Best regards,

I agree its outrageous. I’m on a Mac. My trusty 2012 macbook ran Sib 7.5 (ive been a user since Sib 2). I recently upgraded to one of the new M1 macs and when I contacted Avid about they told me my version of Sib was not qualified to run on macOS 12.12.1

They gave me the option of purchasing a new version of Sib, crossgrade to a subscription or roll back to an OS that will work with my current version.

All reasons I’d like to leave Sibelius!

Thanks for the info about Dolet. I was pretty worried about the musicXML exports i was getting using Sibelius as they were a mess. Dolet is much improved.