XML Import Not Getting Good Results

I just downloaded the latest Dorico demo yesterday and tried importing in a few scores that were exported via Finale & Sibelius via XML export. If I reopen the files in Sibelius or FInale, they look pretty close to the originals (with occasional issues here and there). BUt when trying to open them up using Dorico’s import, they don’t look anything like the original what so ever. In fact, a few files, it didn’t even get the title or headings right. I tried messing around with the import preferences with no luck. I’m a long time professional Finale/Sibelius user, but this is the first time trying out Dorico, so no that familiar with the settings. I just haven’t found yet what the issue may be. Any thoughts would be helpful. Will have to mess around with it a little more when I get a chance. Hopefully the development continues on this program in the future. FInale works like crap on the Mac (for years now), and I don’t have much faith in Avid at this point.

I’ll chime in before Daniel and say that if you want help debugging, you’ll want to attach a sample xml file here for them to toy with.

Yes, except most of the scores are mine or others personal copyrighted material, so I can’t send these files. I guess I could try creating a new generic score file just for testing purposes.

You can also send a zipped version of the score (if it isn’t too long) or a sample to Daniel by e-mail. His e-mail address is d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de. You should also include a link to this message-thread so he’ll understand what you are concerned about.

Thanks for trying Dorico out.

You don’t give us a lot of information about the kinds of things you’re finding don’t import as you would expect. It’s important to understand that the goal of importing MusicXML into Dorico is not to replicate exactly the look of the original projects: firstly, neither Sibelius nor Finale encodes the exact look of the project in the MusicXML files they export, and secondly, MusicXML is not really capable of capturing every possible detail of a project, and thirdly, even if it were, Dorico’s philosophy for importing MusicXML is to get the musical information across, and let Dorico’s intelligent layout, spacing and engraving engines lay the music out automatically for you.

If is, of course, possible that your MusicXML files are exposing bugs in Dorico, but without examples it’s impossible to say. So please do try to be more specific about the nature of the problem, and if possible attach some examples of the kinds of issues you’re experiencing, so that we can help further.

Yes, I am aware that MusicXML doesn’t always get things exactly right. However, importing MusicXML files into Sibelius or Finale just seems to be much more accurate when comparing to the original than when imported into Dorico. Everything from page layout and size, to staff size and spacing, text, the look of the music, etc. I admit that I’m no expert on the technical side of MusicXML file format, but so far I just have not been able to get good results when importing into Dorico. I assumed that the MusicXML format was a standard and should work similar with most programs such as standard midi files usually do. As I mentioned, I will try when I get a moment to create some generic files to compare, since I cannot upload any of the music that I have used to test so far with.


-1 km08

I’ve exported tens of Piano/Vocal scores (so well into the hundreds of individual files) to MusicXML from Finale, and taken them into Sibelius. In Sibelius I’ve learnt that basically every single text item has to be replaced - whether lyrics, chord symbols or general staff text.
Dorico handles exactly the same MusicXML files SO much better. Yes, the layout shifts from the original but generally the original was a mess anyway, and Dorico saves me the formatting work I’d previously have had to have done manually with Sibelius.

I guess we all want different things from Dorico!

I mainly work with large orchestral scores. An average of 20 - 40 staves per system. This can include both
traditional as well as non-traditional notation. In a work this size, especially one that lasts for 5 - 10 minutes
or more, you can start to see how much work is involved in transferring these files from one program to another.
The general idea is that all notation programs are basically word processors with a musical font. They really
don’t understand music at all. In over 20 something years using these programs professionally and personally,
I can’t really say that I’ve seen much improvement in how they work. Same goes for the DAW’s on the market
today. Very little has been improved in years now. Especially when it comes to reliability and performance.
Maybe one day artificial intelligence will solve some of these issues. However, being someone who studied
artificial intelligence a bit back in college, I seriously doubt most of us will ever see this type of technology
in our lifetime, regardless of what companies like Apple and others seem to claim. When it comes down to it,
people can still only rely so much on machines to create something like music (or any art for that matter).
Music and art is about the experience, which computers will never understand.

It is true that Dorico does not import the page size and staff size from MusicXML files. It would definitely be useful to do this, and we do plan to do it.