Thursday, November 8, 2012

Community Music Graffiti, Playback

Liederboard is available online at  What does that mean, exactly?

Tagging Up Music Notes With Fellow Musicians

Previously, you were writing out melodies alone.  You'd close Liederboard after jotting down a sudden inspiration.  No one knew.  It was gone.

No longer.

When you visit Liederboard today, you will see something akin to a public wall designated for graffiti and welcoming you as a featured artist.  Instead of defacing it with spraypaint, you can write music notes.  Those notes are automatically saved online and can be restored by pressing the "Everyone's Melody" button.  If someone else overwrites your notes?  Well, that's why it's like a community wall instead of the inside of your room!

Judging by the interesting melody loading right now, some of you have already begun enjoying the rest of the world's marks on the community melody.  It's easier than ever now, after all, since you can...

Use Your Mouse to Write Music!

It's fun to watch the acrobatic feats as your fingers dance across piano keys, but a computer keyboard just clacks as response to your performance on it.  That's why you can start using your mouse to write music!

Click to start writing a note at the pitch where your cursor is.  Hold it to make the note longer, and let go to have it written.  This also means you can tap your smartphone to write notes!  Tablets and smartphones can only write sixteenth notes at this time.

After tagging up the community melody with their own groove, or simply loading it up, everyone has been asking the same thing: what does it sound like?  Who wouldn't want to hear a communal, global piece of music?

The First Steps Toward Audio Are Here!

Click the PLAY button to hear that community melody or to hear what you've written, yourself, if you haven't loaded up the world's tune. 

The glass sounds were downloaded from user "Anton" at  Thanks, Anton!

If you think you can provide high-quality sound recordings of constant, sustained pitches, please leave a comment!  We were lucky to find Anton's samples for our first steps but plan to have sounds more suited to the various notes and lengths that Liederboard's features would offer.

... And the Beat Goes On ...

Expect a facelift for the site -- we've come a long way from the pitch-less, no-saving, keyboard-combo Liederboard with which we began.  Some sweeping is in order. 

Allow a moment to rant: audio on a web browser is crazy stuff!  Work continues to let you hear any piece you might have in front of you.  There are kinks to work out and durations to implement!

Thanks for your continued support!  We love updating you or hearing from everyone at our Facebook group, Twitter, and G+ page.  Drop by and let us know what you think!

Music Graffiti loaded at 3:20 AM (PST) on November 8th, 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kickstarter Success, Pitches

Our Kickstarter has successfully reached the John Williams level, claiming success for our initial goal in less than a week!  If your musician buddies want to be engraved in history's revolution of music creation, tell them they've only got two weeks left as of the day of this writing!

Thank you so much for your success with us!  We hope our earliest respondents are happy to see their names on our site.


The very first day of our Kickstarter brought up some wonderfully challenging questions.  Why that amount of money?  Why is the idea worth anything at all?  Feel free to explore these questions in the image below, or  scroll past it to see a summary.

The Humble Goal

The development costs are used as if paying an engineer for a cheap part-time contract: $500 per month, for three months, to deliver the 3 features promised.  Our engineer's qualifications can be reviewed here.

Does the World Need Liederboard?

We had to confirm that a market existed for Liederboard.  Does the world actually want to keep music composition in history, going forward?  Maybe we're just whining, folks.  Perhaps it should be curtains for music composition, with our silly, squiggly trills and fermatas written on paper instead of just recording a held button in a MIDI file.

Fortunately, Kickstarter serves to validate some form of market-fit.  You have spoken and said that yes, the world needs Liederboard and it's willing to put out more than $1,500 in a single week to get it.

Now investors, partners, and developers know it too, and on September 22nd they'll see exactly how important music composition was to the Kickstarter world.


Pitches are now available!  Notes on the staff can be written by holding down your Q, W, E, R, T, Y, U, I, and O while pressing the usual number keys.

Have We Mentioned We Love Our Backers?

We continue our focus on our users by implementing a pitch preview -- an idea that came out of the comments of our project updates, from one of our very own backers!

Thanks to Michael Heiberg, you'll see a preview of the pitch you're writing.  Press Q and you'll see that a note at E is in your future.  Pressing U shows that a note at D is in your sights.

We love hearing all the comments and discussions; we only wish we could implement them all immediately!  Don't worry, everyone: we'll deliver as much as we can for as long as you enable us.

... And the Beat Goes On...

Our talks with lawyers look to get us some legal counsel within the next two weeks.  That's perfect timing as Caleb tries our first, primitive shot at a remote database where your songs will be stored.  Robert still wants to have his hand in this as he returns to college.

Our commitment is to deliver the Kickstarter project's three advertised features, starting with the completion of pitches so that you can all write your songs.

  • Pitches will handle notes above and below the staff.
  • Pitches will not be reset by the editing system.
  • Pitches will be editable.

Screenshot of the build at week 19.
Bonus: name that song.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week 17: Kickstarter Launched, Back-End Partner

Our Kickstarter has launched!  Please feel free to send us any feedback or ask any questions to best make use of your support.

Kickstarter: Thank You!

Our sincerest gratitude to everyone that helped out in creating the materials for the Kickstarter.  Tyrone Pham and Jason Pang were in charge of video and audio, respectively, in the production.  Mei Dean Francis personally drove awareness of the coming kickstarter while creating all images for the campaign.  Melissa Favela and Walter Garay offered themselves as actors for our video.

All of these individuals offered their efforts freely, with only a moment's notice.  Thank you.

The Network is in Sight

The future of the back-end is now in the hands of Caleb Crawford.  He has agreed to set up the parts that will store our users' music, account information, and the eventual leaderboard of songs that artists will rank.

We believe we'll have some form of the networked system running in a few months.  That's why the "badge" rewards on Kickstarter show a December 2012 date; backers will have a Kickstarter-specific badge on their accounts that will never be obtainable again.

Website Revamp

Say goodbye to beta signups and hello to the social media buttons you're used to!  Liederboard has been changed for a more aesthetically pleasing look and the ability for you to show us love through a single click.  We've also added pages describing the product, the team, and different ways to get us your valuable input.

... And the Beat Goes On...

It's been a while since our last update; no, we're not dead, but thanks to those of you asking in messages!  Obviously, putting together a Kickstarter is no trivial matter.  Robert is getting ready to go back to school.  Danny has been in talks with lawyers so we avoid legal entanglements with the network.

In terms of core development, we've put in time preparing toward practically every feature in the future -- including pitches and playback.  The way we encode our music should make your songs are quickly sent back and forth in our network while storing many, many notation devices such from accents to time signatures.  When you think about how these can be combined or changed even in a matter of measures, you can see how complicated an underlying, logical engine can be for music notation!

To that end..
  • Robert has been recording the different sounds for pitches himself, at home.
  • Danny has been implementing the song encoding that will be used all across the system.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week 11: Beta Signups, Kickstarter, Name Possibility, and Metronome

The latest build with this update's content is now available.

Beta Signups Are Open

We prefer to have a direct relationship with our users, measuring and processing their feedback to best continue on our next steps.  A result of this style is that we don't fit cleanly into old, traditional milestones.

Some might say we're not even in alpha, yet we're a live product.  Our online service is even getting actual user feedback!

Labels aren't important, so we're going to simply wield them in a manner useful for development.  Here's what we're near.

  • Accounts for users.
  • Creations being saved on a user account.
  • Creations being saved and available for viewing by other users.

Again, we're already a live product and defying the conventional model for software development by being so transparent.  With the above, we want people to visit and feel like their presence is continued beyond a single session -- eventually beyond a single device or machine.

In video games, that level of tracking feedback, user engagement, and deployment is part of a beta.

Signing Up

You can sign up on the site or through this link.

Artist Accounts and Creations

While other services have "usernames", you are an artist within our service.  In our current vision, artists have a reputation based on actions within our service.
  • Is this an artist that creates good works?
  • Has this artist judged good works toward the notoriety they deserve?
To that end, our first trials into this back-end will consist of saving your works and giving you a representation for your reputation.  Beta users will also be given an indicator that distinguishes them from others as the true early adopters they are.

For reasons that we legally suspect but aren't clear about, we need to be absolutely safe about this part.  

Anything you create will be saved on our databases.  
This may get tricky in terms of "ownership".
We do not intend to blatantly sell your music or betray your trust,
but please note that we do not owe you anything
in any way
and that using our service means
you're totally fine with us having the creations you make
with our service.

Don't let unknown worries stop you: if you're the type to care that much about ownership and usage, you're exactly the kind of intense user we want to make happy throughout this account development.  Talk to us.

We're still small!  You can EASILY get in touch with the developers (email, twitter, G+, etc.) if you have any questions or concerns.  


We will be putting the notation creation component on Kickstarter for funding.  Thank you to all the individuals offering to help film a video for this endeavor!

If you know of a boy and a girl -- around ages 5-11-- that can read and recite lines effectively, please let us know if they can say some lines for a video.  We'll show you the storyboard and discuss more details.

Filming goes on the weekend of July 20th (Friday) and July 21st (Saturday).

Want to contribute?  Just let us know what you can do.  Here's what we're planning.

- Filming (outdoors, at this time)
- Recording of Dialog
- Recording of Audio*
- Video Editing

We really could use help with this, especially if you have equipment for recording music.

Tyrone Pham, early adopter...

... and part of the resourceful
ragtag filmmakers team from El Monte,

A New Name for the Service?

Back when we were still thinking of being in the space of composition software, we had come upon the name "InNotation".  While currently we're fine with referring to the composition component by this name, our service as a whole offers a networked judgment of high-quality music works.  InNotation doesn't describe that part of our dream.

In German, "lied" literally means "song", with "lieder" being a set of these "art songs".  In competitions, a leaderboard shows the ranked competitors of an activity -- whether it's sports or video games.

Our service will be a leaderboard of musical greats, works that are competitively ranked by the very musicians best qualified to judge them.  In other words, it will be a "liederboard".

You can now access our iterations at  If you can think of a better name for the service, please feel free to share!

We are deeply grateful to the early adopter Mei Francis.  She's the spectacular marketing coordinator that freely gave the idea for this name.

A Metronome!

This week's build brings with it an indicator for the beats and a tweak to the input.  

We were able to write out quarter notes reliably with this new system and the metronome.  Give it a shot yourself at!

... And the Beat Goes On...

The most common reaction from writing out rhythms is that artists want to hear what they've written.  For week 11, we have playback as the top feature to implement.  

We also want to hear what you have to say about the metronome!  Leave a comment here or keep using the early adopter groups.

Research is going on with setting up the backend for the account development that will mark our beta period.  We hope you're as excited as we are to be able to save your works!

Screenshot of the build at week 11.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week 9: Sessions With Our Users, Sheet Music

The latest build is available at  Try to write out some rhythms!  Our open sessions have led to controls that bypass the beats and allow you to write the music you already have in your head; read on for details, expert musicians!

Open Sessions: Direct User-Developer Interactions

We are extremely fortunate to have talented and enthusiastic early adopters.  Kirk Wang, for example, is a musician in the Army Reserves.  He writes and arranges music for multiple instruments and ensembles. 

Kirk Wang (2nd from the left) at the Dodgers' stadium
for a performance. 

Thanks to Google+ Hangouts, he was also a great source of interaction and feedback this past week.  The productivity from this development was tremendous and fast-paced.  Here are some features he wanted and that you -- especially if you are a professional or experienced hobbyist in music composition -- may also love.

Controls: Bypass the Beats!

Kirk knows what he wants to write; he's a skilled musician.  He doesn't need to iterate through notes, so he asked for ways to write notes directly.

- You can use number keys to write notes.
2 or NUMPAD2: whole note
3 or NUMPAD3: half note
4 or NUMPAD4: quarter note
5 or NUMPAD5: eighth note
6 or NUMPAD6: sixteenth note

- You can hold down keys to change what type of notation you write!
R or NUMPAD0: your notes (above) are rests instead
PERIOD ( . ) : your notes (above) are dotted where appropriate

Editing, Selecting & Deleting Notes

Kirk wanted the notes to behave like a cursor in a text editor: he should be able to delete the note he just wrote.

- Cursor now follows the last note you write until you change the selection manually (left or right).
- Notes can now be deleted with the DELETE key (not the BACKSPACE key!).
- The cursor now shows up in rows past the first.
- Related bugs, or unfinished implementations, were fixed.

The Sheet Music Takes Shape

How great does that treble clef and time signature look?

Robert was assigned with figuring out the math for a treble clef and he nailed it.  This is the good stuff that simply looks fantastic and will be taken for granted tomorrow, but for now, those of us here from day 1 can look at the product and marvel at how it's shaping up to look like -- or better than! -- the paper sheet music we'll no longer have to deal with manually.

Hey... You're An Early Adopter Too! 

The open sessions were extremely productive and very fun.  We'd like to open this up to more users, so keep an eye on the user groups (especially the Facebook one, which is currently the most popular) for opportunities to jump into a Google+ Hangout.

See you in one of these open sessions, soon!

A screenshot of InNotation
at week 9, fueled by early adopters
like you.

... And the Beat Goes On ...

For week 9, we're starting development on a metronome to give you an idea of the beat going on.  We may start implementing a playback feature so you can hear the rhythms you've entered.

On the business end, we'll be hearing back from mentors and lawyers for legal counsel around the product and incorporation.  Know a good lawyer that wants easy business with typical startup procedures?  Let us know!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 8: Write Rhythms & Give Feedback, Value Proposition, First Stats, Incorporation

Artists!  You can now write out rhythms with InNotation!  Head over to!

Feedback & Features

We wouldn't have such a useful service if we simply stuck to planned feature lists and specs before input from you, the quick musician.  To that end, we really want you to try writing out music!

Okay, so you  know about pop music...
It was last week's feedback that put editing notes -- which are now done! -- as the next priority, and it's that same feedback that is going to make us decide on how best to react to what users are saying  most.

  1. I'm trying to tap in "Shave and a Haircut" and I have no idea if I wrote it correctly because I don't read music.
  2. The note lengths are changing too fast for me to get the one I want.

    ...but do you know about the classics?
What did you think about your experience?  Here's how to really find out:
  • don't try to test out the feature for bugs, 
  • don't limit yourself to analyzing each component unrealistically, 
  • just try to write out your music and the best solutions (and any bugs) will expose themselves!
A different type of classic.

Value Proposition

On Saturday, we attended an informational and pitch-contest event hosted by Cross Campus, an up-and-coming collaborative workspace here in Santa Monica.  The observations and answers we found there, combined with the continued feedback from users both new and loyal, have further honed in and revealed the best angle for our pitch.

Here's how you can explain our service to a friend.

Buddy: Hey, what's that?
Heartily-Incredible Person: Just a competitive music creation game.  It's online and in development right now.
B: What does it do?
HIP: You know of Mozart or Beethoven, right?
B: Yeah.
HIP: Tell me who today's Mozart and Beethoven are.
B: Uh... I don't know, "Call Me Maybe" is pretty popular right now.
HIP: That's right.  None of us know because we're just letting the musical geniuses of our time die unheard.  You've probably seen better talent on YouTube than most of America has heard in a decade of radio, but your discovery ends at someone's Facebook wall!
B: Wow.  Historians are going to look back at our civilization's artists and either laugh or try to forget us.  How do we keep that from happening?!
HIP: This is how we're going to find the best music humanity can make.  You, I, and other awesome musicians and listeners are going to push some quality music up into humanity's winning musicians bracket.  Other musicians'll do the same.  Then anyone can go here and listen to the best music thanks to us -- actual composers and musicians!  Who knows, maybe I'll win with this piece I'm writing; I'm pretty awesome, after all.
B: You must be if you knew about this!

This angle was tested by refining it continuously during conversations at Saturday's event.  The more we got toward the angle of an online game for better music, the better the reactions.  It makes sense, after all: who doesn't want to create music as easily as playing a social game?  Who wouldn't want to hit the search button on YouTube and find the cream of the crop from other actual musicians?

Here's a version of the pitch itself; note that "InNotation" as a name may change.

InNotation is the musician's cheap, intuitive, and accessible game to
globally improve music in a market otherwise barred by
cost or isolated by old software models.
Their creations can be submitted and judged against other works and by other musicians.
Users and works can win a spot in competitive rankings, ultimately
crowdsourcing the best that internet-connected musicians have to offer.

By the Numbers!

Late in the week, we were able to set up a tracking system for some analytics.  Before we get into the numbers, though, let's make these vanity metrics even better by considering where we stand.
  • The days currently tracked are days without major updates. 
  • We haven't pushed on marketing devices, whether it's our twitter account or actual advertising.
  • Our user base is relatively closed, with friends merely looping in their friends that are also frustrated musicians on the lookout for great solutions.
The website on which InNotation is hosted shows over 100 hits as a daily average, with the innotation page being the most popular.  We'll update with more milestones over time.

Forming the Corporation: Legal Steps

On Friday of last week, Robert wrapped up the first steps for our monetization.  With interest and development continuing for our project, we want to use this button for a few things.
  • Ensure that the functionality is implemented correctly!
  • Gauge how effective a Google Wallet "Buy" button is outside of the app.
  • Gauge how supportive users are willing to be to let us keep making this!
After launch, supporters will be rewarded with an indicator that sets their usernames apart from other users, indicating that this early adopter had the foresight and disposition to help establish our product and company.

Luckily, a friend informed us that this is a big legal step just as we were on the verge of finalizing the implementation with our Google Merchant account.  Saturday's event yielded answers, guidance, and resources which indicate our next step is to form our corporation.

We are now looking into legal counsel.  If you have input or recommendations around pre-paid legal services (our most likely option at this time), please contact us at our email (trivialsoftware [at] Google's popular mail service -dotcom).  If you are a lawyer or attorney capable of advising us for a deferred cost, we are happy to negotiate terms for your services.

After this next step, we will be able to start iterating on monetization strategies to -- we hope! -- set an example as a non-evil, effective microtransaction-sustained service provider.

... And the Beat Goes On ...

Robert takes the reigns of development as legal counsel is sought and incorporation finalized.  He'll be setting the stage with a treble clef and time signature to clarify the writing of music.  After that, he'll be starting on an indicator for the metronome so that rhythm-writing becomes clearer.

Expect a new build with those indicators next week, as well as a company well on its way to being founded!

No longer shall the software developer's language conflict with the artist's language!
(Courtesy of a Facebook share from our early adopter Frank Salgado)

Friday, June 15, 2012


This page provides details around processes such as returns, cancellations, and refunds.  It is subject to change as we continue to grow.


Please allow some days for refunds and cancellations.  Your digital goods will be removed such that your account and any related effects are restored to a state before the purchase.  Trivial Software will make decisions about any ambiguities with regards to details of the digital goods and aforementioned states.


These goods are digital goods; they are virtual, not physical.  No tangible goods will be delivered to any physical location.