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Posts tagged with “Embedding”

Here’s a long-awaited feature for those of you in our Licensing plan. We now provide more detailed stats on the usage of your Soundslice embeds.

If your account is in the Licensing plan, you’ll now see an “Embed” link in the left sidebar of your Soundslice homepage:

Screenshot

Click that, and you’ll get to the stats page for the latest available month (which is generally the current month). Here’s what it looks like:

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The stats page is split into several sections:

  • At the top, you’ll see the total unique users and hits in the given month.
  • Next, you’ll see a bar chart of unique users per day.
  • Next, you’ll see a table with the number of unique users and hits per day.
  • Finally, you’ll see a table with your top embedded slices, ranked by number of hits.

This data is updated every 24 hours, and previous months’ stats are available (going back to April 2022). For more info, including the difference between “hits” and “unique users,” see our new help page.

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.

Many people have requested this over the years, and it’s finally here: Soundslice now has a speed training feature!

This lets you automatically increase playback speed each time through a loop. It’s a great practice tool, helping you ease gently from comfortable speeds to more challenging ones.

To begin speed training, view any piece of music in Soundslice and click the speed interface at the bottom of the screen, then choose “Speed training…” It looks like this:

Screenshot

Detail-oriented Soundslice users will notice that we’ve also added some shortcuts there for commonly accessed speeds.

Next, you’ll see a menu that lets you set the speed training parameters:

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These parameters are:

  • Initial speed — the initial playback speed we’ll use when you press Play.
  • Final speed — the final playback speed.
  • Increase speed by — how much we should increment the speed each time it increases.
  • Each speed plays — how many times the loop will be played for each individual speed.

If synthetic playback is currently active, these values will be BPMs (beats per minute). Otherwise, they’ll be percentages, where 100% means the original speed of the recording.

After you’ve entered your parameters, just press Play to start the speed training. While speed training is active, we’ll add a little arrow to the speed controls, so that you know it’s active:

Screenshot

That’s basically it! There are a few other details, and they’re explained in our new help page.

Speed training works with any music in our system and any type of audio, whether real audio, video or synthetic playback. Yes, even YouTube videos. And it’s totally free to use, both for creators and students.

Embedding Soundslice in your own website via our Licensing plan? Speed training is now available in your embeds as well, at no extra charge.

Enjoy the new feature and let us know if you have any feedback!

We’ve redesigned the way loops look, with the goal of helping you focus on the music and providing a more elegant look.

Previously, when you created a loop, we used a light purple background behind the music, like this:

Screenshot of old loop design

Now, it looks like this:

Screenshot of new loop design

Instead of adding a color to highlight your loop, we now deemphasize the music that’s outside your loop. There’s a subtle fade on both edges, too; we tried to strike a balance between communicating the precise loop boundaries and retaining a feeling of connection to the rest of the music.

Overall we think this new design gives loops a more elegant aesthetic and helps you focus. We’d love to get your feedback on this change — please let us know what you think!

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 loop design for the time being.

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 — November 8. In the meantime, if you’d like to use the new loop design in your embeds, use the URL parameter newloop=1. (See here for information on URL parameters.)

Aside from the new Paged layout feature (which got its own announcement), here’s a roundup of other improvements we’ve made to Soundslice recently:

New homepage

We’ve completely redesigned our homepage. It does a much better job of communicating the various things you can do with Soundslice — we hope you’ll agree.

While we were at it, we also added a page about selling on our store.

Improvements to player’s settings menu

We made two small usability improvements to the settings menu:

  1. The “X” button at upper right will now always stick to the upper right, meaning it’s always accessible to quickly close the settings. Previously, if you scrolled downward within settings, you wouldn’t have an easy way to close. This was especially annoying on mobile devices.
  2. The background of the settings menu is now partially transparent — meaning you can still see a bit of notation behind it. This can be helpful when you resize music or switch to Paged layout.

“Replay repeats after jumps” feature

You can now specify whether repeat barlines are honored after a jump such as D.S. al Coda. This one will be appreciated by anybody who frequently creates music in AABA form. :-)

For more, see the new “Replaying repeats after jumps” section in this help page.

Visual improvements to Horizontal layout

We made two subtle improvements to Horizontal layout. Can you spot the differences in these before-and-after animations?

Old:

Screenshot

New:

Screenshot

The differences are:

  1. The music now goes “flush” against the left edge — removing that inelegant horizontal space we had previously.
  2. We now add a subtle gradient/shadow effect to communicate that there’s more music offscreen.

Accessibility improvements to player

Thanks to some user feedback, we’ve improved the accessibility of our player for people using it with assistive technologies. Various parts of it are labeled in a clearer way and we hope it’s easier to navigate and use.

Editor: Usability improvement for text entry

When you use our editor’s text features and change the font parameters, we’ll now retain your changes for any subsequent text you add. A nice little productivity booster.

Smarter transposition of tablature

If you use our player’s transposition feature on tablature tracks, we now disallow downward transposition if it would result in unplayable music.

For example, if your tab has a note on an open low E string of a guitar in standard tuning, we no longer allow transposing downward — because that low note can’t go any further down.

Fortunately our transposition works an octave in both directions, so you can always transpose upward if needed.

Improvements to mouse scrolling

Previously our player had some weirdness when scrolling with the mouse — especially noticeable when you tried to scroll diagonally with both horizontal and vertical scrollbars active. This is much smoother and more natural now.

New player JavaScript API methods

We’ve added a few methods to our JavaScript API:

Many people have requested fine-grained control over line breaks in the music they create on Soundslice. Today we’re happy to announce this is finally possible! We’ve launched a new “Paged layout” feature and expanded our notation editor to give you control over this stuff.

Historically, we’ve always automatically wrapped music to fit whatever screen size you’re on. So if you look at a slice on a smartphone, we might opt to put two bars per system. The same music on a larger screen might use four bars per system:

Screenshot

But in some cases, you might want to force a certain layout, regardless of screen size — to make the music easier to read (and more consistently layed out across devices).

Our solution to this is a new view called Paged layout. If you open the player’s settings menu, you’ll now see a new Layout section:

Screenshot

This lets you quickly switch between three layouts:

  1. Fluid — music wraps to fit your screen (our “classic” approach)
  2. Horizontal — music never wraps, it just continues rightward forever
  3. Paged (new!) — music wraps to fit a set page width and preserves your chosen line breaks

Our default remains Fluid, though we might change this over time, based on feedback.

When music is in Paged layout, our zoom feature will not rewrap music. Instead, zooming works basically like a PDF:

Screenshot

This makes it less than ideal for use on small screens, but it’s certainly useful in other situations. Importantly, though Paged layout makes the music look like a PDF, you can still use Soundslice’s big features such as transposing, looping and playback.

Setting line breaks

So that’s Paged layout. But how do you actually control line breaks in Paged layout?

Our new help page goes into the details. The quick answer is: Our notation editor now lets you add/remove line breaks. It also lets you explicitly prevent a line break — for cases where you want the music to be a bit tighter than our normal spacing.

And for those of you using Soundslice with other notation programs, our MusicXML importer now imports line break data automatically.

Changes to the print version

Our print feature now uses Paged layout to determine how the music should be printed. So if your slice has line breaks, they’ll be honored when you print (as you’d expect).

Changes to our MusicXML exporter

Our MusicXML exporter now includes any line break information from your slice.

Specifying a default layout

Those of your embedding sheet music in our licensing plan now have the ability to specify a default layout. Use the new layout URL parameter, described here.

For everybody else, we don’t yet have a way to specify a slice’s default view; it’s always Fluid. If you have some feedback on this, we’d love to hear your specific needs.

Enjoy these new powers and let us know how it goes!

Here’s a variety of improvements we’ve made to Soundslice this week.

Quickly copy embed codes

For those of you embedding Soundslice in your own websites, we’ve made it easier to get a slice’s embed code.

There’s now a “Copy” button next to the code. Click that, and the full embed code will be copied to your clipboard. Much better than highlighting the text manually!

Screenshot

Input fingering more quickly

Last week we improved lyrics entry in our notation editor, so that the spacebar automatically moves you to the next note. Now we’ve done the same for fingering entry.

After you enter a note’s fingering, you can hit spacebar to automatically move to the next note. This makes the entry process really fast! If a given note doesn’t need a fingering, just press spacebar again to go to the next one.

This applies to both of Soundslice’s fingering concepts: general fingering (e.g., piano) and right-hand fingering (e.g., pima for classical guitar).

More info in the slice manager

We’ve improved the slice manager to add two new badges to your slices when appropriate:

  • Embeddable — you’ll see this if a slice has embedding enabled.
  • Shareable — you’ll see this if a slice has sharing enabled.

This lets you see this information at a glance, without needing to go to the slice’s page. It can help prevent silly mistakes like mistakenly thinking you’d already marked something as shareable.

Screenshot

Duplicate slices stay in their folders

Previously, if you used our “Duplicate slice” feature, the newly created duplicate would appear at the top level of your slice manager — even if the original slice was in a folder.

Now, the duplicate will be in the same folder as the original. This makes it generally easier to keep track of your duplicates.

Synth playback now honors tremolos

We’ve improved our synthetic audio engine to honor tremolos in notation.

Fix for sharing edit URLs

Our recent editor redesign changed things so that the edit view of a slice has a different URL than the non-editable version. This has caused some small confusion, as people were trying to share their edit view URLs instead of the non-edit URLs — which didn’t work.

We’ve made a fix for that now. If you share an edit view of a public slice (something you’ve marked as shareable or published to your channel), your recipient will no longer see an unfriendly 404 page. They’ll be instantly redirected to the proper non-edit page.

We’re announcing a bunch of new features and improvements today:

Embed channel posts

An exciting new option for those of you posting to channels: You can now embed your channel posts in other websites — for free.

Each channel post now has an “Embed” tab on its page (example). Click that to get the embed code for the post. Then just copy and paste that code into your own website. If you’ve ever embedded a YouTube video, you’ll feel right at home.

Screenshot

The embed looks like this (go on, press Play!):

This is our “miniplayer,” which is optimized for giving a quick taste of the music as opposed to being a full practice environment. It has a “View full version” link, along with a link back to your Soundslice channel.

Some ideas for why you’d want to embed a channel post in your website:

  • For bloggers: Easily share licks/ideas in your music-focused blog, so that people can hear the real audio and see synced notation
  • For course creators: Promote a course you’re selling in our store
  • For Soundslice licensing customers: Give your potential customers an idea of the high-quality music learning experience paying members get access to
  • For music teachers: Give your potential students an idea of the high-quality music learning experience you’re using with your private students

Strum directions

You can now add strum directions to your slices. These are arrows that specify whether to strum upward or downward:

To add this to your slices, use the new “Strum upward” and “Strum downward” buttons in our notation editor‘s “More notations” section. This works for music with and without tablature.

Screenshot

Disable synth playback

Each slice you create on our site has synthetic playback active by default, regardless of whether you’ve synced it with separate audio/video. You can now disable the synthetic playback option, such that only the “real audio” recordings are available for that slice.

Some reasons for why you might want to do this:

  • The specific piece of music doesn’t have pitched notes (e.g., it’s only chord diagrams)
  • You want to minimize choice/confusion for your students/customers
  • You simply don’t like the synth playback and don’t see value in it

To disable synth playback for one of your slices, edit the slice, click “Settings” and choose the (new!) “Advanced” menu. This is available for all paying Soundslice customers.

Screenshot

Update your channel posts without unpublishing

Previously, if you published a slice to your channel and wanted to make a change to its channel post settings, the only way to do that was to unpublish it, make the changes, then republish. That was rather annoying…!

Now, you can edit the channel post’s information without unpublishing. Much better.

Ability to put a course on sale

For those of you selling courses in our store, you can now mark a course as “for sale.” Previously, you could have simply changed the price, but that didn’t communicate that the course was on sale. With our new feature, the old price will remain on the page, crossed out, for context.

More info is here.

Loading indicator

For those of you on slower connections, we’ve added a loading indicator in our player. Previously, the notation area of our player simply stayed blank until it loaded. Now you’ll be assured that things are loading.

A larger default video width

We’ve increased the default width of videos in our player. Previously, they were a bit too small. The video will now be 40% of the player’s width:

Screenshot

Although it’s always been possible to resize videos easily, by dragging the vertical line between the video and notation, this is a nicer default.

Here are some improvements we’ve made recently:

Better rendering of half notes in stemmed tab

Previously, our stemmed tab view treated quarter notes and half notes in exactly the same way, which made it impossible to tell them apart:

Screenshot

Now, half notes use shorter stems, while quarter note stems continue to extend all the way through the strings. This should clear up any ambiguity.

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New “About Soundslice” page

We’ve revamped our About section. Have a look!

Nicer design of “Add recording” screen

We’ve added some icons and removed the cheap-looking radio buttons. Here’s how it used to look:

Screenshot

And here’s the new look:

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Proper key signatures with capos and tuning shifts

We made an improvement to our recent new options for capo and shifted guitar tunings. If you choose “Ignore tuning shift in notation” or “Ignore capo in notation” for a track, then we’ll automatically update the track’s key signature so that it takes the ignored shifts into account.

For example, if your slice is in the key of G major and you have a tab track that’s set to “Tune down 1/2 step,” then we’ll change that track’s key signature to Ab major. (Previously it remained in G major.) If you don’t want this behavior, just uncheck “Ignore tuning shift in notation” or “Ignore capo in notation” in our notation editor’s Tracks menu.

Changed enable_synth parameter in embeds

For those of you embedding Soundslice, we’ve changed the way the enable_synth=0 URL parameter works.

Previously, if you specified enable_synth=0 in a slice that had no recordings, playback wouldn’t be possible because our player got confused. Now, we’ll still allow playback — just with no audio. This is useful if you’re doing a sophisticated integration with your own audio playback engine.

If you use enable_synth=0 in a slice that does have recordings, then the synth player will be hidden, as before.

For those of you who embed Soundslice in your own website: we’ve made it faster to access embedding information for a slice.

Previously, if you wanted to embed a slice, you had to go to two places. First you’d edit the slice’s embedding settings on the slice page itself. Then you’d have to go back to the slice manager to get the slice’s embed code.

Now, everything is in one consistent place. When editing a slice, click “Share” at upper right, then select the new option “Embed this slice.”

Screenshot

There, you’ll be able to mark the slice for embedding and get the embed code — all in one place.

Hope this saves you time, and stay tuned for further improvements in the world of Soundslice embedding!

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