[OT] Last step to ditch Sibelius: suggestions to export all my .sib files


I haven’t yet upgraded to Catalina from Mojave, and I’m almost ready to go. There’s one last thing that stops me to do it, and is that Sibelius 7.5.1 is supposedly going to stop working at all. In order to ditch Sibelius once and for all, I want to export all my .sib files as .xml and .pdf files, so if I need them again, I can recover the work in Dorico. The PDFs are obviously to have the print version and to check every detail that might not come along into Dorico.
The first thing I plan to do is to clean my HD of all backup and autosave files that might be lurking over there. But now the question is, how do I export all the files in batch?
I know there’s a batch file xml and pdf plugin within Sibelius, but there’s a catch: all PDFs and XML files go to the same folder (and there might be duplicates with the same filename, e. g., when dealing with different versions in different folders). I’d like to have them in the same folder as the originals, or even better, in a subfolder within that folder.
The idea that I came up with was to somehow make a script to search for all .sib files in my HD (and in my NAS), get the folder path somehow, open them, invoke the export xml and pdf actions (assigning a shortcut to them if needed be) and point the output to a subfolder. But I don’t have a clue how to program such a script. Do you have any ideas? Using Automator, Apple script, the shell…
Has anybody done this before?

Thank you in advance

Alternatively, buy the cheapest Windows PC you can find, and install Sib 7 on it. If you aren’t interested in playback, you don’t need a high spec computer to run Sibelius. You can buy an “obsolete” refurbished Windows PC, originally sold by a big-name company like Dell, for less than $100.

The current Windows 10 will happily run applications that are 20 years old and originally written for Windows XP, and there is no reason to think the next 20 years will be different from the last 20.

Microsoft designs operating systems for backwards compatibility, because its customers think that is important for them. Apple doesn’t.

Searching and moving files with a shell script is pretty straightforward. If it’s possible (no idea if it is) to run a “headless” Sibelius (without the UI) from the command line to perform basic tasks, it’ll be very easy.

Otherwise you’d probably need Automator.

Or maybe it’s even possible to modify the plug-in so it saves the files where you want them?

Nevermind, should have checked Google first…
fkertlow, you gave me the idea. Maybe there was a Sibelius plugin already for this…

Well, kind of. There’s a plugin for PDF, not for XML. So half of the problem is solved. I’ll keep researching. Thanks!

When you install the dolet plug-in, I think there’s a batch xml export in the list of what it can do… Maybe that could help you?

I never tried the Dolet plugin. I thought it was more limited than the native XML export. Is it recommended?

In my experience, the XML produced by the Dolet plug-in is much better than Sibelius’s own built-in XML export. I’m glad I followed the advice on this forum, see e.g. https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=140048 or https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=97345&start=25#p755785. You find quite a few threads on this topic if you search for ‘dolet’.

I’ve used the Dolet plug-in to export a number of Sibelius files and my experience has also been that the Dolet plug-in produces much better XML export than the built-in Sibelius export.


OK, then is settled. I’ll give a try to the Dolet plugin and see if I can batch export while preserving the folder structure. Thanks!

How can we truly use those plugins with out being prompted all the time. I always get “Do you want to save changes to ***.sib before exiting”. I could be doing this one by one well into the next millennium!

I have never used Sibelius, but I wonder if the plugins are actually open source? Then it could be reasonably straightforward to change that.

The standard for MusicXML is going open-source, but the Dolet plug-ins are likely still owned by MakeMusic/Garritan.
(I wonder if Michael Good monitors this forum.)

I do look in on rare occasions to check out the MusicXML feedback.

The Dolet plug-in for Sibelius is indeed not open source, but I think that batch export issue was fixed in the latest Sibelius update. If you’re still seeing it with the Dolet plug-in let me know.

We haven’t been updating the Dolet plug-in since Sibelius now has native MusicXML export. Most of what Dolet can’t do is also due to limitations on plug-ins, and that hasn’t changed very much over the years.

I would be interested in hearing what things people still find better about the Dolet plug-in compared to native export. Maybe it would be worth it to update the plug-in to support MusicXML 4.0, currently under development and due next year. Feel free to PM me rather than clutter the forum with Sibelius-specific things. Though it might be better to wait until after the forum move for that; I’m not sure how PMs will transfer over.