Posts tagged with “General website”
Here’s an improvement that should make it easier to organize the music you’re practicing in Soundslice. You can now bookmark any slice sitewide.
Previously, our bookmark feature was only available on slices that were posted to somebody’s public channel. Now, you can bookmark anything — slices in a course you’ve purchased, slices a teacher has assigned you, slices you’ve created yourself but haven’t posted publicly, etc.
To make this possible, we moved the bookmark icon to the top of the slice page. Previously it was in the “sidebar” area, by the slice description, but only certain slices have sidebars. Here’s what it looks like (the orange icon at top):
As always, your bookmarks are available on a dedicated bookmarks page for easy access. The latest few are also available on your overview page (the main page you see when you log in).
We’ve made several design improvements to Soundslice, mostly with the goal of making the experience even better on small screens such as smartphones. Here’s what’s new.
Consistent view-vs-edit switching
When working with slices that you’ve created, you’ll now always see the Viewing/Editing toggle at the top of the page:
Previously, we only showed this toggle in our notation editor. Whenever you viewed one of your slices (i.e., not in the editor), you’d see an “Edit” button at lower right of the page. That button is now gone, and our new design is nice and consistent.
Simplified player header on small screens
Previously, whenever you viewed a slice on a small screen, the top of the page would have two horizontal sections — our sitewide navigation and the slice information:
This took up too much valuable screen space! On a small screen, each pixel counts. So we’ve changed it to use only a single header:
This seemingly small change makes things feel a lot less cramped and more spacious.
Improved landscape mode on small screens
When viewing a slice on a small screen in landscape mode, you can now move the video to the left of the notation. We’ve also reduced the size of the controlbar, to give your music even more space.
Native home-screen experience
This one is really nice for people using Soundslice on their phones. You can now get essentially an “app-like” experience by adding Soundslice to your home screen.
If you add Soundslice to your home screen, you’ll get a Soundslice icon that lets you use Soundslice without any of the usual web browser UI (such as the back button or URL bar). It makes a big difference!
If you use Soundslice a lot on your phone, we highly recommend doing this to make the best use of your screen space. Read more in our new help page.
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:
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:
- 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.
- 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?
The differences are:
- The music now goes “flush” against the left edge — removing that inelegant horizontal space we had previously.
- 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.
Today, we’ve launched two improvements around the general theme of optimizing your Soundslice workflow:
Per-user permissions for organization accounts
Those of you using organization accounts — which let you share account access with multiple people without sharing passwords — are in for a treat. We’ve added a granular per-user permission system that lets you control what each organization user can do.
Previously, we only had two levels: either you were an administrator of the organization or not. Now, we’ve added three more permissions:
- Create slices — specifies whether this user can create slices, duplicate slices or bulk import slices.
- Delete slices — specifies whether this user can delete slices.
- Export slices — specifies whether this user can export slices.
If you’re an organization admin, you can set these permissions when adding users to your organization or any time afterward.
For backwards compatibility, all existing organization members as of today can create, delete and export slices. If you use our organizations feature, you might want to tweak your users’ permissions depending on your needs. For example, if you’re giving temporary access to an intern, you might want to disable slice deletion for that account as a safety precaution.
Unsynced recordings identified in slice manager
In the slice manager, we used to display syncpoint counts (“35 syncpoints”) under each slice. But when we redesigned the slice manager a little over a month ago, we removed those counts to streamline the page.
Turns out some people were relying on that information to tell, at a glance, whether a slice was “finished” or not. Doh! So we’ve reintroduced this, but in a way that we hope is still streamlined.
The new approach is to display the word “Unsynced” under any slice that has a recording without syncpoints. It looks like this:
This gives you a way to quickly see whether a slice still needs to be synced — without cluttering the slice manager interface too much. Thanks to the folks who requested this.
Today we’ve launched a reasonably large redesign of our site’s navigation.
Why a redesign? Because our site has grown complex over the years, and it had become a bit unwieldy. Soundslice has a lot of different audiences these days — teachers with students, our community, our store, our embedding customers and people using our notation editor for self-study among other purposes.
In our old design, some of these audiences were served better than others. And it was difficult for new users to understand all the stuff Soundslice can do for them.
So here’s what we’ve changed —
New sidebar for logged-in users
If you’re logged into Soundslice, you’ll now find that most pages have left-hand sidebar navigation:
This gives you quick access to the various things you might want to do — and it helps communicate the things you can do on Soundslice if you didn’t know about them yet. It also changes the feel of the site in a nice way, making it more unified and “appy.”
If you’re on a device with a smaller screen, you can access this sidebar menu by clicking the “hamburger” icon at upper left.
New Overview page
When you log into Soundslice, we’ll now take you to a new Overview page. It looks like this:
This new page gives you quick access to a bunch of things:
- Your most recently edited slices
- Your most recently bookmarked slices
- Your most recently joined private courses (if you’re using Soundslice with a teacher)
- Your most recently purchased courses from our store
- The latest posts from people you follow in our community
We’ll only show you the sections that you’ve actually used on our site. For example, if you’ve never bought anything from our store, you won’t see a purchases section in the Overview page.
Previously, when you logged into Soundslice, we took you to your feed — the latest posts by people you follow in our community — whether you followed anybody or not. Now, the Overview page features the latest four posts from people you follow, and you can click Your feed in the sidebar to access the whole feed.
New slice manager design
The slice manager, which lists all the slices you’ve created, has gotten a nice visual refresh.
Aside from some aesthetic changes — such as tighter spacing, new icons and different typography — it also works a lot better on mobile and touch devices.
Quicker workflow for importing
Both the Overview page and the slice manager now have a new Import button:
This saves some time for common workflows, such as importing a MusicXML file or transcribing a YouTube video.
Unified global search button
If you’re logged in, you’ll now see a prominent search box on nearly every page of the site. This will let you search either your own slices or community posts — you decide when you search, by selecting the appropriate option:
Previously, if you wanted to search your own slices, you had to go to your slice manager first. Now, you can search your own slices from many other parts of the site.
New navigation and design for the store
The Soundslice store has a new look. We’ve given it a bespoke header, to communicate that this is really a standalone thing.
We’ve made various improvements here, such as including a consistent link to “Your cart” in the upper right, tweaking the navigation and providing quick access to your purchases.
New navigation on slice pages
When you’re viewing a slice, you’ll now get a contextual Back button at upper left, depending on where you accessed that slice from. For example, if you accessed the slice via your bookmarks, it’ll say “Your bookmarks.” If you accessed it from via your feed, it’ll say “Your feed.”
The header is also a bit smaller — providing more vertical space for the slice’s music itself.
We have some further plans here, too. Now that the slice page’s header has been cleaned up, this gives us a place to put other slice-specific controls in a consistent way. Stay tuned.
Notification icon always visible
When you’re logged in, you’ll now always have access to your notifications via the bell icon in the upper right of every page.
Previously, this notifications page was buried in the “Your feed” page and many people didn’t realize it even existed.
Note that we don’t actually change this icon’s display based on whether you have any notifications. We might do that someday, but for now you’ll need to click the icon to see the notifications.
No changes for embeds
If you’re using our Licensing plan to embed Soundslice on your own site, it will continue to look and work exactly the same way. Nothing has changed in our embedded player.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these changes, plus any other suggestions you might have.
We’re excited to announce we’ve created a comprehensive Help section that covers all aspects of our site: using our player, creating slices, teaching, embedding, posting to channels and more. Here’s the link.
Not only are many aspects of our product properly documented now for the first time ever, but this Help section also has a fresh new design and its own search engine.
Some examples of what you’ll find in there:
- Documentation of all the nooks and crannies of our player (we guarantee you’ll discover stuff here that you didn’t realize Soundslice could do)
- In-depth help for our syncpoint editor
- Lots of tips on importing from other notation software
- Exhaustive coverage of every notation that can be created in our editor
- A whole section on the Soundslice community
We’ve spent a lot of time on this behind the scenes — writing, designing, coding, making screenshots/videos — and we hope it helps you use Soundslice even more effectively. We’ll continue to improve these pages and keep them updated over time.
We’ve begun work this week to translate much more of our site into languages other than English. Can you help?
Our player itself has been available in 10 languages for a while, but we’ve begun expanding our translation efforts to cover more of our site. Private courses, login/logout, community/channels, our store — there’s a lot to cover.
Are you a Soundslice user who’s willing to help translate our site into your native language? Please get in touch!
Today, we’re launching Soundslice Licks, a new part of our site that compiles licks and interesting musical snippets — all transcribed and synced with performance videos. They’re “daily musical morsels.”
Every serious musician is always on the lookout for new stuff for his or her bag of tricks: licks, voicings, chord melodies, techniques. As musicians ourselves, we figured we’d make a place to collect these sorts of things.
It has no ads, no spam and no BS — just high-quality licks for you to enjoy and learn from, using our beautiful player. And hopefully you’ll discover some fantastic musicians you didn’t know about.
Use Instagram? We post most licks to our Instagram account, @soundslice_music. Use RSS? We have an RSS feed, too, so you never miss a lick. Don’t use either? Just bookmark soundslice.com/licks and check it out every day.
MusicXML is the de facto standard for sharing music notation. Say you notate some music in Sibelius and want to open it in Finale. Sibelius can’t open a native Finale file, or vice versa, but both programs support MusicXML. It’s kind of a “lowest common denominator” that most notation programs can deal with.
Given the importance of MusicXML in the world of digital sheet music, we were surprised to discover that there’s no good, free MusicXML viewer online. So we built one for you! Here you have it: our free MusicXML viewer.
It’s a simple utility that lets you upload any MusicXML file and see the resulting notation in our state-of-the-art player. You can view it, toggle parts and listen to it. There’s no need to log in — just upload, wait for it to process and you’re done.
Files you upload are visible only to your computer, and only for 10 minutes. If you’d like to have longer access, along with the ability to share/embed/etc., check out our Soundslice For Teachers product.
We’re providing this as a public service for musicians, copyists, developers building MusicXML software and anybody else who might find it useful. Enjoy!