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Topic: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

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  1. #1

    Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    Has anybody done a comparison between the major score scanning OCR programs?

    I'm looking to get one soon and I'm not sure. I have tried the demos briefly but they all seem to have their pros and cons, so I thought I'd see if anyone can share more in-depth experience.

    I am a composer, conductor, and music teacher, so I'd be using the software for all sorts of purposes, from single-stave to full orchestral scores. The more accurate and versatile, the better.

    Thanks,
    chris.

  2. #2

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    I'm interested in this question, too.

    I will be working mostly with choral scores and church music, so the ability to scan music with lyrics will be a factor.

    Has anybody here used a scanner for church music?

    Also, is it better to import the scans into Finale 2007 or Sibelius 4.1--or does that even matter?
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  3. #3

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    I own SmartScore, and it does OK, actually, considering what I am asking it to do it is darn near miraculous!

    However, I just tried the demo for SharpEye, and it does a much better job of recognizing everything. The downside is that when there is something that is not recognized properly the tools to fix it are not quite as nice as the ones in SmartScore. However, did I mention that it did a significantly better job of recognizing music, lyrices, chord symbols, etc???

    I've tried probably all the demos over the years (and the population is shrinking), and I would definately narrow it to these two. If you think you are going to be spending time correcting errors I'd probably go with SmartScore, or better yet, both!

    Also, you will need a scoring tool or sequencer that understands MusicXML. Finale does as of 2004 I think, I can't speak to any other tool.

    Links:
    http://www.smartscore.com/ - Smartscore
    http://www.visiv.co.uk/ - Sharpeye

    http://www.recordare.com/ - visit their site and learn more than you ever wanted to know about musical notation recognition!

    And keep us posted!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  4. #4

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    I see that SharpEye is Windows-only.

    SmartScore and PhotoScore are available for both Mac and Windows.

    I can work with Windows, but I'm more interested in supporting developers that create products for both platforms.

    That said, I'm going to download SharpEye's 30-day demo and try it out.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  5. #5

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat Williams
    I see that SharpEye is Windows-only.
    SmartScore and PhotoScore are available for both Mac and Windows.
    I can work with Windows, but I'm more interested in supporting developers that create products for both platforms.
    Very wise philosophy... voting with one's wallet! Not to take away from our resident professor of capitalism, but that is the way it ought to work. (If I could afford a Mac I'd probably take the same tack<G>)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat Williams
    That said, I'm going to download SharpEye's 30-day demo and try it out.
    Please let me know what you think. I was nearly blown away... OCR is tough, OCR for musical notation is really tough. I don't expect 100%... but it sure would be nice!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  6. #6

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    I fed SharpEye some pages from the choral score of Poulenc's Gloria ( 1959). My edition has a lot of space between the notes, but it's very complicated, notation-wise. Meters change every other measure or so, there are a lot of double-dotted note durations, keys modulate constantly so accidentals are on almost every note, the lyrics are in both Latin and English, and most of the markings are in French.

    Okay, this isn't a fair test. But I think it got about 90% of the notes, although it did miss some meter changes.

    I'll keep playing with it.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  7. #7

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    As I've mentioned on this forum, I'm a long-time Finale user but I'm learning Sibelius and I like it enough that I'm thinking about making a switch.

    Is Photoscore better integrated with Sibelius (a Lite version comes bundled) than Sharpeye? I notice there's a "Scan with Photoscore" button in the Sibelius toolbar, but this does not necessarily mean it's well integrated.

    It seems that Sharpeye is a bit better at OCR than Photoscore, but if the latter "plays nicely" with Sibelius, than it might be a better choice. But if they interface in the same exact way (export/import MusicXML) then I'll probably go with SharpEye.

    Anybody know?

    chris.

  8. #8

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    I own both Sharpeye and Smartscore....

    I have found Sharpeye is generally more accurate, although the editing tools are not as intuitive. If you are doing scores with more than one voice per stave, Sharpeye does a LOT better than SmartScore at recognizing them.

    I've done some choral stuff with SmartScore, and it was nearly flawless, but there was very little complicated voicing - the piece was very homophonic.

    One other thing I have noticed is that Sharpeye's Music XML export generally gets stuff into Finale with less mistakes than SmartScore's .fin export.

    Now, one more comment - I tried a demo of the latest SmartScore (v 5.2?) and found it had vastly improved recognition of more than one voice per stave. Sadly, the demo does not allow export or saving, so I was unable to test that feature.

    ~~

    One final comment:

    In either case, I found that the best way to get a good final output was to import the file to Finale, then create a new blank document set up and formatted as I wished, then copy and paste from the imported document. Both XML and .fin preserve whatever formatting quirks were inherited from the parent document, and it is far easier to start with one's own clean style than to reformat what was imported.

    Hope this helps,

  9. #9

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    Quote Originally Posted by giwro_jon
    I own both Sharpeye and Smartscore....
    A club I will join next time I have a project that requires scanning...

    Quote Originally Posted by giwro_jon
    I have found Sharpeye is generally more accurate, although the editing tools are not as intuitive. If you are doing scores with more than one voice per stave, Sharpeye does a LOT better than SmartScore at recognizing them.
    Glad to hear my experience is not unique!

    <snippity>

    Quote Originally Posted by giwro_jon
    In either case, I found that the best way to get a good final output was to import the file to Finale, then create a new blank document set up and formatted as I wished, then copy and paste from the imported document. Both XML and .fin preserve whatever formatting quirks were inherited from the parent document, and it is far easier to start with one's own clean style than to reformat what was imported.
    Man-oh-Man! I can't believe I didn't think to mention this, so I'll underscore it instead<G>... it is, I think, essential advice! Once I started copying and pasting the results of a scan into a clean (new) document all of my problems went away. (Well, ok, all my score related problems anyway!!)
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  10. #10

    Re: Photoscore vs. Smartscore vs. Sharpeye vs. ???

    If you want to discard the formatting from SharpEye going into Finale, this might work easier than cut and paste:

    1) Turn off the various formatting options (MusicXML 1.1, page and system breaks) in SharpEye. These can be set in the Options -> MusicXML options... dialog box.

    2) In Finale, open a new document with formatting as you like it, and import the MusicXML using the Dolet 3 for Finale plug-in. Finale's built-in MusicXML import uses whatever formatting you have set in your default document. The Dolet 3 for Finale plug-in lets you customize the formatting for each imported document.

    SharpEye Music Reader and the Dolet plug-ins are available at:

    http://store.recordare.com/software.html

    Best regards,

    Michael Good
    Recordare LLC

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