Today Avid released Sibelius v8.0.1, the first update to Sibelius since its latest release in June this year. It’s also the first update made under the new support and upgrade scheme introduced along with Sibelius v8.
It is a fairly typical “.0.1” update, which much attention given to fixing bugs relating to the new annotation features, pen support, multi-touch, and high-res displays, as well as identifying and fixing some situations in which Sibelius crashes.
Sibelius v8.0.1 once again allows for “lasso” mode (making a selection by holding down Command on Mac and Shift on PC and using the mouse), correcting a regression introduced in Sibelius in June.
8.0.1 restores Quick Look, the Mac previewing feature, for all Sibelius files, after having been disabled in 8. There are also a number of corrections to the display of text in dialogs and menus on Mac as Sibelius now correctly uses the Lucida Grande font as before. This came about due to changes Apple made in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
On PC, 8.0.1 brings with it more refined support for the pen, fixing a number of selection problems. It is now possible to scroll through the score using one finger on touch screens and two fingers on trackpads when in Annotate and Note Input mode. Tweaks have also been made to the visibility of the cursor and the transport panel.
About the update, senior product manager Sam Butler told me: “We have a new smoothing algorithm that makes lines smoother and more efficient to draw, speeding up score redraw times and improving overall appearance. Annotation lines are thicker by default too, helping those with just a mouse but also allowing those with a pen to be more expressive.”
In addition to these and some other bug fixes, there are also a few nice modest improvements:
- Pinch-to-zoom now works as you’d expect, zooming into wherever you have your cursor on screen (on Mac) or where your fingers are on Windows touch devices, instead of always in the middle of the screen;
- When in Annotate mode, the cursor changes to a pen;
- Translated versions of the Reference, Tutorials and What’s New documentation are now available in all eight languages that Sibelius supports;
- One I’m particularly pleased about — Sibelius 8.0.1 now includes default support for the Norfolk family of fonts, with presets already entered. This means that users will simply be able to select Norfolk from the list of music fonts in Text > Format > Edit All Fonts and not need to spend time first setting it up in File > Preferences > Music Fonts, though you’ll still have to download the fonts separately (for free) from the NYC Music Services web site. The Norfolk fonts are updated with new documentation as well as some significant improvements made by Robin Walker to the Norfolk Special Extra Std font. Registered users of the Norfolk font are receiving a custom link today via e-mail to download the update to the Norfolk fonts.
Unfortunately there is still no way to filter annotations within a selection — and no plug-in has yet been devised to remove them — so if you’ve got a lot of them, it could be time-consuming to get rid of them (you can, of course, prevent them from being viewed by going to View > Invisibles and unchecking Annotations.
On the official Avid blog, Sam Butler also noted the following regarding compatibility with the tomorrow’s forthcoming official release of Mac OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”:
It’s important to note that Sibelius is not yet fully qualified on Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11). We’ve worked hard on improving the experience of Sibelius on Apple’s next operating system but there are still issues that mean we don’t recommend you upgrading to Mac OS X 10.11 yet. We’ll announce further news on compatibility and support for El Capitan in due course.
If the new features introduced in June haven’t enticed you to upgrade from 7.5.1, this update will probably not compel you to do so, either. Those upgrading from an earlier version such as 7.1.3 can feel more confident of v8.0.1’s stability and can upgrade from a reseller or from Avid’s online store. Of course, if you’ve already got v8, then you’ll want to get v8.0.1 right away. It’s available from the Avid Application Manager that was also introduced with Sibelius in June or through your Avid Master Account.