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Introducing Auto layout mode

Today we’re introducing a new layout mode for sheet music in Soundslice: Auto layout.

When it comes to laying out music in Soundslice, we previously had three options:

  • Fluid automatically calculates the number of measures of music per line to fit your current screen.
  • Paged treats the music as if it’s on a static sheet of paper, giving you control over line breaks.
  • Horizontal scrolls your music “infinitely” to the right, without any line breaks at all.

Historically we’ve used Fluid layout by default — effectively optimizing for small screens. But we realized that, on larger screens, Paged layout is nicer because it honors intentional line breaks and generally results in music that’s easier to read.

So if Fluid is better for small screens and Paged is better for large screens...why not try to find a compromise? That’s what our new Auto layout does.

In Auto layout, we’ll use Paged if the notation area is large and Fluid if the notation area is small.

In our testing, we’ve found that this feels really nice. Music in Soundslice is readable and “ergonomic” in both large and small screens, depending on context.

Our player now uses Auto layout by default. You can always switch to one of the other layouts explicitly if you prefer those. We’ve redesigned the Layout section of our settings menu to include all four options:

Screenshot

Notes for Soundslice embeds

For those of you who embed Soundslice in your own website via our Licensing plan, note that Soundslice embeds still use the old behavior for the time being — i.e., there is no “Auto” layout available, and the default is still Fluid.

That’s because, for big player changes like this, we have a policy of giving our embed customers a month’s notice, rather than taking you by surprise. This gives you a chance to update any help files, screenshots or other documentation if you choose.

We’ll be making this change to all of our embeds in one month — May 16.

Comments

Awesome updates, as always. Thanks Adrian and team. Love my Soundslice!
That's a great solution, thank you.
I'm probably in the minority, but I'm not a huge fan of this recent change. I often use Soundslices for teaching with the fantastic scrolling music combined with backing tracks. This is done with a tablet or laptop mirrored to a screen either via airplay or with an HDMI adapter. With the new auto layout, particularly with short pieces, the layout is now too small for my students to see properly, with a massive whitespace, and I now have to manually hunt for the fluid layout and readjust the zoom to something legible and presentable to my students. I tried zooming within the auto layout, however it only zooms in on a viewable section and doesn't follow the playhead.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, I don't know.

Complaints without suggestions is just b****ing, so some suggested solutions I could think of to implement with somebody in my situation might be:
a) have a global setting within the account preferences to choose a default slice view
b) have the zoom within auto follow the playhead (probably not ideal)
c) have either fluid or auto automatically zoom to fill up the wasted whitespace instead having to be done manually from the settings

Anyway, you guys are awesome as always, and thanks again for all the hard work your team has put in, always pushing the envelope of what is possible with ever-evolving programming and technology. :)
Thanks for this thoughtful feedback! We plan to add a way for our player to remember your preferred layout setting (your first suggestion), so hopefully that'll address this.

We've also made a few tweaks to the Auto layout system, such that it will switch to Fluid layout sooner and it won't reduce notation size in Paged layout. Let us know if anything has improved for you!
Looks much better already! Thank you so much!
Not working here. Resizing wrong on andoid tablets and leaving half my monitor empty on PC. Would love not to use this. Every piece I start I have to switch to the fluid mode for things to work.
I absolutlely agree with the suggestions by KennethChia
Thanks for the comment. For the Android tablet, could you give it another shot? We've made some tweaks to the way Auto layout works, such that it won't reduce the notation size.
In practice mode on my large screen I get a layout with the video at the top and paged notation below. This leaves a lot of whitespace either side. Maybe the practice layout on large screens could default to having video and notation side-by-side rather than stacked vertically. That way I can see more of the notation.
Thanks, that makes sense! Just curious, how big of a screen are you using?
It's 2560x1440 27 inch, I think. I see in your reply to Kenneth above that you're planning to remember the preferred layout. If you also saved the top-video/side-video setting for each slice, that would solve everything :-)

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