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!

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