Future Contingents: Dorico Runtime App


I don’t expect this feature to be forthcoming, but I think it would be great to have it in Dorico… So, here goes:

Before its seventh edition, Cycling '74’s Max used to have a thing called Max Runtime, a free app that allowed anyone to run Max patches (visual programs) without having to own Max, which is a commercial product. I think it would be great to have the same thing for Dorico, a free Dorico Runtime app that would allow anyone to preview dorico files for a given score, including duly limited versions of its modes (Setup, Write, Engrave, Play, and Print), duly limited saving features, and a mixdown of the score as originally produced.

Happy new year, everyone.

All the best,

That’s Dorico LE, which is coming soon for free, and which you can try out presently by holding down Ctrl or Cmd immediately after you double-click on the application to start it.

Antonio hello, and Happy New Year! :slight_smile:

+1 Very nice and reasonable request for such free version of Dorico, which will allow non-Dorico owners to open .dorico files,
do some limited edition and export MIDI, MusicXML and PDF. :slight_smile:
Your idea can even be expanded in the following two directions:

  1. This app could also be portable, to run without need of installation.

  2. Not long ago I did the following feature request for VST Connect in Dorico: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=176294
    And such free and portable version of Dorico will improve the collaboration between the people over VST Connect. Even this app could be used as
    VST Performer, too.
    Something should be well taken in mind here… When Dorico Pro is active over VST Connect, this Free app should unlock all scoring possibilities available in Pro! :slight_smile:

Surely such app will improve a lot the collaboration between composers and arrangers/orchestrators, and also private music lessons over internet.

I do hope that Daniel, or someone else will see both, yours and mine topics! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Well not exactly, but Dorico LE is the route that Steinberg have gone down.
It allows users to:

  • open any Dorico project (read-only)

  • playback any Dorico project (including altering levels in the mixer)

  • print any Dorico project

It won’t allow users any editing access, though, or export of other filetypes (apart from PDF), unless the project contains fewer than three players. On the other hand, there are time-limited trials of Dorico Pro and Dorico Elements.

For Dorico would be much better and smarter if they bring this Dorico LE to next level as conception, as I explained in my first comment here.
Editing of large projects is important in case of mistakes and needed correction at the very last moment.
This is how Dorico LE could become a serious hook for new users. :slight_smile:

Greetings :slight_smile:

The big difference is surely that Max (if I understand correctly) is designed for live performance (amongst other things), whereas Dorico is designed for producing tangible printed notation (again, I suppose, amongst other things). It makes a lot of sense to be able to manipulate a patch, live, in performance, and have the limitation that in a free version of Max you can’t save or begin new patches. On the other hand, are you really suggesting that there’s a benefit to being able to open a Dorico project, make some changes, print those changes and then not be able to save the project? To me, that sounds like a recipe for ruining Dorico’s reputation. I can imagine freeloaders saying to their friends “well I spent hours on tweaking this thing then I lost my work. Dorico sucks”.

pianoleo hello, and Happy New Year! :slight_smile:
Well I have no idea what Max is… and where did I mention that the saving project in Dorico LE should be disabled?! Many other things can be limited, or disabled…

  • The playback could be limited to General MIDI and NotePerformer (if the user owns it).
  • The Engraving could be limited to basic functions which may be needed in case of corrections.
  • No need of Audio Export.
  • No need of creating Frames.
  • No need of custom Expression Maps.
    Just options to make corrections of notes, expressions, techniques, dynamics, lyrics and their appearance according to the rest of the score.
    Of course, ability to create compositions and simple arrangements, which will be in version LE
    The Saving should be available, of course. :slight_smile:

Greetings :slight_smile:

Thurisaz, please re-read António’s original post. You seem to have given it a nice big +1, but the things you’re asking for are different to the things he’s asking for.

Dan, pianoleo, from what I know about it, I see Dorico LE as more of an entry-point into Dorico itself, but the purpose of the Dorico Runtime app would be to allow full-blown sharing among musicians of their Dorico projects in a professional capacity, which in many ways Dorico LE doesn’t seem to really be able to.

pianoleo, just to bring some light on what Max is… You’re right that Max is miles away from Dorico in its aims and scope, it’s also true that it is used in many live performances, but it would be wrong to assess that Max is aimed at live performance and experimentation, Max is first and foremost a general-purpose visual programming environment… E.g., you can make your own Music typesetter app, VSTs, and AUs with it, and give them any use you might envision.

Thurisaz, I’m generally on board with your added proposals for such an app, and generally agree that it would be great for musicians to have them available.

Sorry, but what would be “professional” about users that want free software to create a quality product? Ain’t no such thing. Development costs money, so professionals pay.

And if professionals wish to collaborate on Dorico projects, they’ll both have the Pro version already. I’ve collaborated with maybe two dozen other professionals using Dorico, and we all use the same software. That we paid for.

The first thing that I noted about Max Runtime is that it’s no longer developed. My (arguably cynical) guess is that Cycling '74 realised that a) they could make more money and b) it would simplify development if they developed only one version of Max, and restricted it so that non-paying users couldn’t Save files.

Dan, I already mentioned Max Runtime in my original post… And it’s most definitely a thing, and quite successful too.

pianoleo, since its seventh edition Cycling '74 has changed it, they didn’t eliminate the ability to freely share and run Max patches, it just works differently now… Besides, you can always turn any of your Max patches into an app and share it freely…

Thurisaz, I was writing my last response to you before you posted your reply to pianoleo. I actually think you’re asking a bit too much in your third post, in your reply to pianoleo… Dorico can’t be expected to become shareware, the abilites of an end-user of a Dorico Runtime app should be somewhat more limited in my view than you seem to be implying in your third post.

To sum up, I think that Max Runtime is a good model for such an app, it’s both highly commercially viable and also allows for musicians to share their Dorico projects in a professional capacity.

The fact that Cycling '74 have moved on from Max Runtime would indicate to me that it’s not “highly commercially viable”, or why would they have moved to the current model?

For reference, the current model appears to be:

  1. Fully-fledged unrestricted 30-day trial (akin to the Dorico Pro 30 day trial).
  2. Usable but no saving after 30 days are up.

I have already responded to that, pianoleo, in my last reply to you… Like I explained before it works differently now in Max, but it’s still available as a feature. Besides, Max was already extremely successful back in their Max Runtime days.

I think we’re at cross purposes here. I understand that Max Runtime is still available, but it’s obviously not being actively developed, and Max Runtime users presumably can’t take advantage of the upgrades that come with Max 7 or 8.

No, pianoleo, what I meant is that since its seventh edition, Max becomes runtime-only (a Max Runtime, if you will) after the fully featured 30-day trial. There are no separate apps any longer… But that’s all there is to it.

As of Max 7, after the fully featured 30-day trial, it is not possible to Save unless you buy the full Max licence. That’s what the website says. Are you saying that that’s not the case?

pianoleo, Max Runtime allows anyone to run Max patches (visual programs built with Max) without a Max license, that’s it… It’s not a shareware version of Max. It’s sill available, but now it’s just Max after a fully featured 30-day trial run that becomes a Max Runtime.

Yep. It allows anyone to run Max patches, and alter them, but not save them.
In post #6, I said:

In response, in post #9, you replied:

…except that now, if you want to run Max 7 or 8, you can’t actually save your work unless you pay for the licence.

pianoleo, just to bring some light on what > Max > is… You’re right that > Max > is miles away from > Dorico > in its aims and scope, it’s also true that it is used in many live performances, but it would be wrong to assess that > Max > is aimed at live performance and experimentation, > Max > is first and foremost a general-purpose visual programming environment… E.g., you can make your own Music typesetter app, VSTs, and AUs with it, and give them any use you might envision.

…and again, you can’t do those things in Max 7 or 8 (unless you do them all in one editing session, I guess) - and you can’t share them with other people - unless you pay for the licence.

At some point (in ~2014?) Cycling '74 decided that it wasn’t viable to keep developing Max Runtime as a separate app. I can only speculate, but my guess would be that
a) not enough people were paying for Max and
b) implementing limitations in Max Runtime was detracting from development time of the paid Max (and thus the paying users).

It’s Cycling '74’s change to developing one program with one limitation (saving) that leads me to think that developing a Dorico Runtime is a bad idea . I can’t possily know how similar Dorico or Max are in terms of structures, or how their developers differ, but Dorico at least looks modular. With that in mind, I guess that disabling entire modules (such as Engrave mode) and implementing a few other limitations (such as number of players) is quicker and easier than implementing lots of little individual limitations. I’ve already said why I don’t believe the “editing but not saving” limitation to be a problem in Max, but I do see it to be a problem in Dorico.

I’m not sure how I can be clearer - maybe we just need to agree to disagree - but if there’s something I’ve misunderstood then please do pull me up on it.