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New speed-changing interface, organization accounts and more

We have lots of new Soundslice improvements to share with you today. The biggest news: we’ve launched a new speed-changing interface and a way to share scores across your organization.

New speed interface

Changing playback speed has always been an integral part of Soundslice. But due to the variety of audio/video sources Soundslice supports, we’ve had a variety of slowdown interfaces:

The YouTube player traditionally has allowed only 50% and 100% speeds — so we customized our interface to reflect that. For non-YouTube videos, we support any arbitrary speed down to 50%. For audio files, if you’re using a modern browser, we support any speed down to 25%.

These differences have been tricky to maintain, and they’ve caused some confusion with some of our customers. What’s more, our “slider” interface required a bit too much precision on smaller screens and touch devices. And some of you have (rightfully so) been asking for slower minimum speeds and faster maximum speeds — something we were hesitant to do because it would complicate the interface even more!

All those problems are solved today, with our new interface:

Use the up and down arrows to quickly change speed. For fine-grained precision, click (or tap) the number in the middle and enter whatever speed you want. That’s it.

As part of this, we’ve increased the maximum supported speed for our synth player from 125% to 300% — and decreased the minimum speed from 25% to 10%.

YouTube 75% speed!

In related news, YouTube now supports 75% speed in its embedded player! That means any YouTube video in Soundslice now supports 75% speed. Enjoy your new, moderately faster slowdown powers.

And if you want to practice faster, you’ll appreciate that we now support 125%, 150% and 200% speeds for YouTube videos.

Organizations

Do you use Soundslice with other people in your company/school/group, sharing a single Soundslice login across multiple people? We’re here to help.

Instead of sharing passwords, you can use our new organizations feature. With it, you can share scores across Soundslice accounts, and easily switch between them:

For more, see our new documentation. Note that this is only available for our licensing customers at the moment. If you’re interested in using it, please get in touch!

Multi-bar rests

Our rendering engine now supports multi-bar rests:

We’ve updated our MusicXML and PowerTab importers to handle multi-bar rests properly.

Soundslice player

As always, we make daily improvements to all aspects of our product. Some highlights:

  • Fixed a bug in iOS where you had to tap the Play button twice for videos to start. Take that, Apple!
  • Fixed a bug in Safari where the keyboard/fretboard/mixer would sometimes overlap the bottom of the notation.
  • The visual fretboard now has more padding on top and bottom, which means notes on the outer-most strings no longer get awkwardly cropped.
  • Score owners can now activate the virtual violin even on tracks that have tablature. Previously this wasn’t allowed.
  • When in notationless view, our player now always resizes video to fit the full width of the screen. Previously, it did different things depending on screen size.
  • When in notationless view on a small screen, our player didn’t have a way to toggle notation back on. Now, the arrow icon is available in the upper right of the video.
  • In the waveform, if you use your mouse wheel while dragging the boundaries of a loop, we now keep the loop properly anchored.
  • Made the mouse wheel more sensitive in Firefox, when you scroll through notation. It now matches the “feel” of other browsers.
  • Notationless scores now include a Settings menu. Previously it was hidden.
  • Notationless scores no longer have a Synthetic player. That was rather useless!

Notation rendering

  • Improved chord-diagram rendering to compress the names of really long chords, so they don’t bump into neighboring chord names.
  • Improved the vertical positioning of several tablature symbols: let ring, P.M. (palm mute), tap, pop, slap and artificial harmonics. They use space much more efficiently now, though there’s more work to do.
  • Fixed commentary-bar rendering so that tempo and triplet feel markings are rendered above (if applicable).
  • Fixed beamed grace notes to have an even beam width. Previously it was slightly oblong.
  • Fixed trill rendering to avoid doubling up the trill squiggly line in case of subsequent trilled notes.
  • Made some nice performance improvements, especially in the music-glyph rendering.
  • Fixed barre (aka Roman numeral position) rendering on retina screens.
  • Fixed our renderer never to display accidentals for slash noteheads. That bug was just silly.

Notation importing

  • Began implementing specific error messages for our MusicXML importer, if your uploaded file contains a known problem. Much better than a generic “Invalid file” error message.
  • Fixed a bug with funny characters in MusicXML chord names.
  • Fixed a bug where multi-line lyrics in MusicXML would sometimes import in the wrong order.
  • Fixed some bugs with our MusicXML importer’s handling of cross-staff beaming in piano music.

Score manager

  • In the syncpoint editor, inner-bar syncpoints no longer display the fraction (which was confusing and unnecessary), and their circles are smaller.
  • In the syncpoint editor, the notation’s playhead now properly autoscrolls during syncpoint tapping.
  • In the syncpoint editor, if you double-click a syncpoint to edit its bar number, you can now use the Escape key to cancel your pending change.
  • In the syncpoint editor, syncpoint deletion is much more intuitive. Previously, when deleting a syncpoint, we used weird logic in determining whether to alter the subsequent syncpoints.

Overall site design

  • Redesigned the “Account settings” page to be better on small screens, nicer looking and simpler to use.
  • Changed all file-upload pages to use the same design. And all file-upload pages now support drag-and-dropping files onto the page.

For people embedding Soundslice

  • The new flippable=0 URL parameter lets you hide the “Flip video” button in Settings. Useful for instruments like piano in which flipped video is meaningless.
  • The new waveform URL parameter lets you control whether the waveform is visible at page load time.
  • If you use top_controls and have a video above your notation, our tooltips (e.g., for audio sources) will now go upward, not downward. This feels more natural.
  • The “Powered by Soundslice” logo looks better at super-small player widths.

Thanks for using our site, and please get in touch with feedback, as always!

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