I've got the only music writing program I've known, Encore 4.0, on an old computer (Compaq Presario with Windows 95). Every piece of music I've written since 1995 is on it (still works fine, same glitches it had in 1995), but I'd like to get them to my new laptop (Dell Latitude 830), and hopefully get some on .pdf so I can share them.
Anyone out there with knowledge of freeware or cheapware that could do this, and a little how-to?
I am not familiar with Encore. What extension does it use for the music files?
Finale has a free NOTEPAD program for writing and it is pretty good
I had a thought. If you can export the files to MIDI you should be able to bring them into almost any other notation software.
I will try it! Thanks.
Encore uses .enc.
The latest Encore, 5.0, costs $399 (same price as the 4.0 back in 1995); you can get an upgrade from earlier models for $129, but the computer it's on barely handles the 4.0 and Windows 95 together. The features on the 5.0 are essentially the same as 4.0, though I'd imagine they've fixed certain irritating features, like a slur tool that crashes when you extended it over bar lines. It uses individual measures as the primary unit. It has splendid auto-justify, which you can turn on and off (though you have to do the justify every single time you edit if you want to see your work correctly in progress). It handles eight (8) voices -- even on one staff, and is excellent for polyphonic music. Wikipedia describes it as "extremely easy to use." Well... I bought my first computer in 1995, got the program six months later from a church which generously bought it for me. First effort was "Amazing Grace." It took me three hours to make a primitive words pasted-on lead sheet. But now I can make a lead sheet in 15-30 min., and did Handel's Hallelujah Chorus in a single afternoon. I told a friend about 4.0, thinking he's laugh, but he said, "I've heard those are awesome! I'd like to see it." It's loaded with icons to facilitate every purpose, and though its whole program came on two floppies, I can do rallentando and accelerando on the playback as short as one measure, to any speed. Staff names and all info can be placed in any font and size. Its grace-note feature is horrible, and while the triplet-maker will do any combination of integers, it takes three steps to engage, making it clumsy, say on music with intermittent triplets or odd-numbered runs. The only truly dislikeable feature is that on the note-pallette, the dot is placed at the bottom of the pallette, and the most commonly used note-durations at the top. The second least likeable thing is that slurs are not conjoined to the notes you slur, so when you justify, they move (you avoid going crazy by slurring only just before final save). It has a nice tool to stand notes correctly when you transpose; but if they're tied or slurred you've got work to do. It will even create music as-you-play through the MIDI in real time, but you have to play like a robot or the most tasteless player in the world to avoid creating lots of messy tied notes that are the tiniest bit off the timing (clicker tone is adjustable, but if you look at the moving cursor, your visual reaction time will wreck you -- best to get a cup of coffee and notate at your leisure).
That's a little rundown on this marvelous pioneering, and still useful, writer's friend.
I am going to be doing a similar thing as you at some point, except with Sibelius 4.0 files. I have PDF files already made for my finished products, but my works-in-progress are stuck in Sibelius on my 6-year old mac that died last month, may it rest in peace. (Hard drive should be recoverable though)
Option 1: Install old copy of Finale (Encore) on new computer in Win 95 compatibility mode.
What's your operating system on your new computer? Windows 7?
My initial thought is having Windows 7 operate in compatibility mode so that it can pretend it's Windows 95 and you can install your older copy of Finale (Encore) on it. As it turns out, Windows 95 is still an option in that list, so I would recommend trying that first. Unfortunately I can't give you much help beyond that because I've never tried it with such an old OS, but I would think you'd have to copy the setup file onto the computer, then run the setup file as windows 95 to ensure it runs correctly. See this link:
Option 2: Export through MIDI
If you export to MIDI and then import to another notation software, that will probably work, but I am not sure that everything will transfer (like crescendos, text, etc.). But that's for you to decide if you want to do that. You also still have to arrange for other notation software. If I remember correctly, Greg, if you are still a teacher, you should be able to get an educator's discount for Finale at closer to $250 I think. Just another thought.
Option 3: Have a friend convert them for you
Does your new computer have a generous amount of hard drive storage space?
What file types are available to export these files other than MIDI?
If you know someone who has a mac with any later version of Finale (Encore) on it, you should be able to save the files to a USB drive, open the files on the mac, then print to PDF. While that's a big "if", it's probably one of the more simpler solutions I can think of at the moment.
Option 4: (Big change but you get a lot out of it) Split your computer into 2, one with Windows (untouched) and then install Ubuntu on the other side. Then get access to thousands of free apps.
My next thought, if the first three are not an option, would be to install Ubuntu (free alternate operating system to Windows that is just as stable, if not more) on your computer, then download a compatible application that would do the transfer, or for that matter, if you like it, just keep using that app for future writing. This solution is completely free. You would then have essentially 2 separate computers sharing the same hardware (one at a time), so you can still use Windows just fine. However, I would recommend making sure that if you are not terribly sure about doing it yourself, you should have someone who definitely knows what they are doing (as in done it before) do it for you. While to some of us this can seem radical, I know people that do it all the time like it's no big deal. I'm somewhere in the middle.
I checked on what apps might be available for Ubuntu that might do what you want (mostly in order of recommendation):
My only concern about any of these is that it looks like they will import "MusicXml and standard midi files (SMF)". I don't know if the current format falls into that category.
There are literally thousands of free applications that are downloadable for Ubuntu. It's extremely user friendly for people who have never used it before.
As a disclaimer, I am not selling anything (it's all free anyway), I am just someone who has recently started using it and am quite impressed. It is better, more reliable than Windows, and it has all the features you'd expect from Windows. I know normally there is a catch to free software but I haven't found one with this. All of it is created by developers who do it for the love of developing, so they have a vested interest in making sure it works well. They don't purposely limit the features to get you to upgrade to another product - it is the full product.
I imagine someone might be able to come up with a better/simpler idea, but I thought I'd throw it out there as an option.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
I found his software on line and that version does not support Music XML files. I am not sure any of the Linux apps would pick up that format either.
For you, if you have access to a scanner, MakeMusic (Finale) and some of their lesser versions like PrintMusic will directly import a scan image (minus lyrics).
Found a 'Crossgrade' option for $199 from Encore to Sibelius (similar to Finale)
More notation choices, from an online discounter:
I started on Encore, and eventually upgraded to Finale, which runs on Windows/Mac platforms and prints to PDF. It can import Encore files, has tutorials to get you used to it, and the user interface seems a lot simpler than it used to be. Got the Theological/Educational version for $250, and can upgrade each year (or not) for around $120. Well worth the cost, especially if you're getting a new computer...
I like Chuck Sirrak the owner of SweetWater. I do not know if he is a believer but he is an honest buisnessman. He works with (and gives discounts to) a lot of churches.
I looked through the forum at the GVOX site, and they seemed to have heaps of problems with the later version anyway. Maybe if you go there they can help with the migration of your files and getting the old version running in a "shell" on your new system. Just a thought.
Also, try this - PDFtoMusic found at http://www.myriad-online.com
Coverts PDF to midi and maybe back again ( I think). If so, this will aid your migration to PDF files.