As you may have read last week, we are hard at work on the new SmartMusic, and eager to make sure that all SmartMusic users are up-to-date on our progress. Back in February we recruited nearly 500 music educators to participate in a private beta test of the new SmartMusic. Such a test allows these educators to try the software as it is being created, provide us with their feedback, and play a large role in shaping the results, which we’ll make available to everyone this fall.
Today, as we approach the halfway point of the beta, we’d like to give those of you not participating in the test a glimpse of what we have accomplished so far with the assistance of these dedicated educators.
25 Bugs Identified & Fixed
While we’re thankful that most of these bugs were minor issues, we’re glad to get them out of the way. Fixes include the retention of the student’s voice upon launch (instead of defaulting to flute every time), the resolution of a crash that could occur when creating loops, and the addition of high-quality Garritan clarinet and bass clarinet sounds.
50 Features Added
Features added as a result of beta input include students being able to specify their preferred cursor, and many user interface enhancements (including larger, more legible fonts). We initially counted down multi-measures rests by beats; 16, 15, 14, 13…; but have since changed to a clear preference for incremented bars; 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 4… Similarly, in creating an assignment, we initially proposed a linear view of the assignment, but changed to a page view based on the majority of requests received.
More Improvements Coming in April
In the next few days tempo will switch from a percentage to beats per minute (we had many comments on this). Additionally, the software will soon be able to copy the configuration of one part to all the other parts with a single click, as well as support the creation of rubrics.
We asked for feedback about grading points and weightings, and the response was clear that we should retain the existing system where educators can assign any number of points to any assignments.
We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the new SmartMusic when it’s released this fall. If you’d like more information, including how it will differ from the current SmartMusic, check out smartmusic.com/new.