February 25, 2008 Dutch company MusicReader has released sheet music software that simplifies the task of reading music while performing for individuals, ensembles and orchestras. The new software offers features such as easy page turning, a convenient music library and flexible annotations.

MusicReader runs on all Windows XP and Vista laptops and desktops, but is especially designed for the use of pen and touch screens, such as on Tablet PCs. The software allows users to turn pages using onscreen navigation buttons or by pressing a special foot pedal, using keys on a computer keyboard, or by pressing on the sheet music by finger or pen (device dependent). These options have obvious advantages over traditional paper sheet music that must be turned manually whilst playing. MusicReader includes a library to store all of your sheet music and find it easily as music can be categorized according to title, composer, genre, instrument and instrumentation. Other features include the ability to make digital annotations on the sheet music that can be erased without traces and a zoom function up to 8x the original size.

MusicReader works with both existing digital sheet music files and paper sheet music. Digital files can be converted to a MusicReader-friendly format and paper sheet music can be digitized by using a scanning and conversion program from the same company, called MusicConvert. MusicConvert allows the user to scan paper sheet music and the program will make quality enhancements and apply automatic staff and measure detection, with the opportunity to make corrections. The user can then specify features of the music such as title, composer and genre so it can be added to the MusicReader library.

There are two versions of MusicReader available, Solo Basic and Solo Pro. The Basic version contains annotations, navigation and music conversion, while the Pro version offers additional features such as full screen and two page display, measure detection and a tuner/metronome/music player. Musicians interested in trialling the software can download an evaluation version of MusicReader free of charge from the website. For those interested in buying a full version, MusicReader Solo Basic retails for USD$59 and MusicReader Solo Pro for $99.

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