We (I and my son) are using Sibelius for almost 10 years now and for several reasons we are interested in giving Dorico a try. The first impression is good but currently there are 2 things that put us off:

  1. Sibelius allows us to use the software on 2 computers. We have 3. One iMac and two MacBook laptops. Normally we are not using the notation software on two computers at the same time. So we have the software on the iMac and on one laptop. If we need it on the other laptop we simply deactivate Sibelius on one laptop and activate it on the other one.

As far as I understand that would not be possible with Dorico. If we buy it that does not allow us two use it on two machines at the same time. This would double the price for us. So it would cost 1120 EUR instead of 560 EUR (but maybe at least my son who is still in school could get an “academic” cross license?). And even if we would buy two licenses that would not allow us to use one alternatively on the iMac and the second laptop. For this we would have to buy a third license or an USB Dongle. Which leads us to:

  1. I couldn’t find an USB-C Dongle. We have MacBooks with USB-C ports and an iMac with an USB-A port. Are there USB-C Dongles available? If not, are the current (type A?) USB Dongles compatible with MacBooks using an USB-A to USB-C adapter? If yes, that would add another 96 EUR to the price (2 dongles and 2 adapters).

With two USB-A Dongles, could we use Dorico on the iMac and the two MacBooks? Or would it not be possible to use both Dongles for using Dorico on the iMac? I think basically the question is: could we use two different dongles for Dorico on the same computer? But maybe I just don’t understand how this works.

I just want to make sure, that I understand correctly what I am getting into. I know that Sibelius works and fulfils our needs for the most part. Investing in new software that is at least twice as expensive (and I am not taking the subscription option into account because that is one reason for me to switch) and needs additional hardware (which might easily get lost or broken and is uncomfortable to use) is a not inconsiderable risk. If my assessment is right. I hope I am wrong.

Thanks for your help,

To me it sounds, as if you have a family license for Sibelius. A regular license is bound to one person, as far as I know. If your son is still at school or college (Universität), he should be able to get an educational license. I think probably the same applies to dorico licenses.

Hi, HoTell.

  1. You are correct. You can either use the eLicenser on one of your computers, or you can transfer the license to the USB licenser, which gives you the flexibility to use Dorico on whatever computer the USB dongle is plugged in. Of course this option also lets you run Dorico only on one computer at the same time.

  2. I can’t say much about USB-C dongles, but the paragraph starting with “With two USB-A Dongles” does not take into account that you can’t have the same one license on two USB dongles. Once you transfer it from the eLicenser to the USB dongle, it sits there.

One thing you seem to have missed, though: Being a Sibelius user you should not need to pay the full 560 EUR for Dorico. The crossgrade license that goes for about 280 EUR should be available to you. :slight_smile:
If your son really can get an educational license, you could get both licenses for under 560 and be home free?

Greetings, E.

Steinberg’s USB eLicenser is only type A, so yes, an adaptor to type C is necessary, but there is no compatibility issue then.

If you have a Dorico license on a USB eLicenser then you can connect that “dongle” to any computer, be it a Windows or Mac PC and it will work.
So you can install the software on multiple machines (Win or Mac) and then move the dongle around between these PCs.
The only constraint is, the USB eLicenser must be connected as long as Dorico is running.
So you can’t plug in the dongle start Dorico and let it run, disconnect the dongle and carry it to another PC and start another Dorico there.

Even if you decide not to buy Dorico for these licensing issues, please check back from time to time, since we are currently in the process of rethinking the whole thing, and we will get some new licensing scheme in the future. Can’t tell though when this will be available and how it actually will look like.

Hi Ulf,

thank you for your quick reply.

That sounds good. Could I also put the USB-A dongle into an USB hub connected to my laptop?

Ok, thanks. What I don’t understand: if I have Dorico installed on my iMac, can it be used with two different dongles?


  1. yes, it can.

Hi Estigy,

thanks for your clarifications!

Crossgrade and educational sounds good. But I guess I would have to buy a non educational crossgrade because only my son is in school. Right?



Ok, thanks. What I don’t understand: if I have Dorico installed on my iMac, can it be used with two different dongles?

Yes, you can juggle with the dongles, e.g. today you connect one dongle to your iMac and the next day the other dongle and Dorico will work exactly same.

…given that each dongle has a separate license on it.
(You cannot have the same license on multiple dongles simultaneously.)

I don’t know what country you’re in, but I would think the cheapest way of doing it would be:

1 x standalone Dorico EDU license (NOT crossgrade) - €324 from Thomann
1 x crossgrade Dorico license (NOT EDU) - €276 from Thomann

You need to double-check with Thomann directly, but I’m pretty sure if you buy here (or the appropriate page for your country) then these are boxed retail copies that come with included dongles.

Then two USB-C adaptors, available here for €6.29

So €606.29 all in for two licenses, two dongles and two adaptors - really not bad given you thought you were going to be spending €560 on ONE license.

Of course, if you want to TRY Dorico there’s a free 30-day trial that doesn’t need a dongle, and there’s nothing to stop both you and your son from downloading a 30-day trial to your two (or even three) computers.

Thanks for all the answers and help!

I am working with the trial version of Dorico and I have to say I am really impressed! The user interface and the way to input note are great and the result looks very pleasing so far. I am trying to import an almost finished composition for piano trio from Sibelius and finish it with Dorico and that seems to work without major problems. Amazing, awesome, incredible, genius! (Yes, I am on macOS).