Music Software & Bad Interface Design: Avid’s Sibelius
The terrible design of Sibelius causes composer to go on a berserk rage rant

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In this video, I take a detailed look at the design of Avid's Sibelius - a popular music notation application. Sibelius is the embodiment of what not to do as a user experience designer and this video covers a range of examples of inappropriate design patterns and bad user interface choices. Then I go insane. Support me on Patreon:


Lightning Underpants : "A UI is like a joke: if you have to explain it, it isn't very good"

Cian O'Reilly : So they go with violoncello but not pianoforte???

Lu Cacik : The fact that this video was automatically suggested to me after spending a whole week looking up forums answers and video tutorials for this god forsaken software pleases me.

Captain Fleshyboi III : I had no idea that I'd laugh this hard watching a music notation app review.

urusaitteba : I watched this video and Sibelius crashed. I don't even have it installed.

Downward Spiral : "The cheese melts in the microwave, the music melts in Sibelius" --Tantacrul, Nov 15, 2018

jihanj : You didn't mention Sibelius's cardinal sin of swapping the positions of OK and Cancel buttons.

Jomini : “The labels are pretty clear” *hovers mouse over the word clear*

Sheet Music Boss : Samuel and I use Sibelius every single day for notating the piano arrangements we release on our channel. I've used it for 13 years myself (started with Sibelius 2). But even having used the ribbon since its release in 2011, to this day it's remained unintuitive and functions I'm looking for tend not to be where I expect. The old menu system was easier to use. Ribbons in Sibelius have never really made sense to me. -Andrew

Adam Neely : beats finale. also, killer video.

Some Guy on the internet. : The ending was the most perfectly executed thing I have ever seen on this platform... Good on you!

Mada Third : This video is a masterpiece... The music and random crap really adds to it... I actually laughed at a factual review of bad

Plasma : 10:35 You're blue now. That's my UX attack!

Byeah #427 : Through my long nursery nights he stood, By my bed and wearying, Loomed gigantic, formless, queer, Purring in my haunted ear, That same, hideous, nightmare thing, Talking, as he lapped my blood, In a voice, cruel and flat, Saying forever, *Sibelius Crashed.*

Safir : Yeah lemme just write by hand thanks

Jeff Lawrence : Hey there Tantacrul, yesterday I posted your video on the Sibelius Facebook page and suggested they take a look as I also use Sibelius and find it a pain. I checked today and they just deleted my post, but hopefully they watch your vid and pick up a few ideas for improving the app. Cheers, great video!

Letitia Mueller : So I'm just about to start on a uni assignment due Monday (it's now Friday). I have to transcribe all of Valerie. Every instrument. Using Sibelius. If I don't become an avid alcoholic by the end of it, it'll be a miracle.

aprofondir : Wow this is UI design I expect from open source alternative Linux software that people on forums say are ''totally just as good'', not a program that's been developed over 25 years and costs actual money


Lino Perdrix : Review Dorico !!! :)

Thorsten : Can you do the same analysis for Musecore? We can try and fix stuff like that over there. Maybe even as gsoc project.

JackInTheBox : I remember when all of GIMP's toolbars were in separate OS windows for reasons that remain a complete mystery to me.

Unethical Experimental : I'm not a fan of Sibelius, but I like the purple and urine combo.

Nathan Dehnel : >"Is their byte better than Bach?" /r/titleporn

Raz Edits : The best 21 minutes I've ever spent on a video. Hats off to you sir!

jfrusciantetube : This is painful. And unfortunately true for many software

Noname Whatsoever : As someone who was first faced with Sibelius a few years back: THANK YOU. I'm at peace now.

James Rowe : After watching this whole thing, I am irrationally angry and stressed out... And I don't even compose music. It's just I care a bit about UI and holy shit this UI was *INFURIATING!!!*

1PieceNarutoBleach : 6:50 I've been using this for years and never really noticed there were any options here xD

Edward Eddy67716 : 14:05 I bet it's the tiny drop down. 14:08 Aww, I thought I would be ri.... 14:12 Oh, Ho-ray! I was right!

Wingnut Is Taken : Sibellius? Ha! more like the demonic structure of my inner being is growing. My inside presence is coming out in my daily life. I can't hide my nightly escapades of blood lust any longer. Nobody can know where the bodies are stashed. oh look Sibelius crashed.

Alan Stagner : T H E M U S I C M E L T S I N S I B E L I U S

Levi Athan : This was a great video and the ending was amazing, but I regret watching it at almost four in the morning. Totally creeped me out, lol. Impressive atmosphere, though.

jologes : I got SOOOOO CRAZY when you suddenly used Eurovision Moldova 2018's song in the minute 6:06. You got my like just for that! Great video, anyway <3

h bell : This video has been the only thing keeping me sane whilst I finish a huge orchestra piece.... CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH

Mason Guy : You need to review noteflight! Its formatting is amazing but its missing lots in premium.

FFcossag : "The black beams can stretch, they can stretch really high." I died. I absolutely died laughing.

Edward Eddy67716 : I am composing with Musescore. Popup: Sibelius crashed. WHAT, I DON'T EVEN HAVE SIBELIUS.

Tavia Melody : (13:50) My answer actually was that category. After that though, I would've had no idea.

gsygsy : Yep, Sibelius is the Lucifer of app designs from hell. Very funny, sadly true vid. Thank you.

Sophie Baysting : I’ve been forced to use this before. Thank you.

Adam Mc Garrity : 9:13 I'm honestly surprised they don't call the piano a 'pianoforte.'

xyz yzx : what i hate most are the triplets... if i press triplets while having a crotchet selected i expect to split the crotchet into 3 triplets i don’t expect to turn the length into a minim, erase the music in front of it, demand that i meant for it to be some weird syncopated thing and then when i play it the player tries to swing the triplets...

Alexander Marc : Thanks for watching. Don't forget to smash that Quit Sibelius button. Can this video get to 150 bpm?

rendiggietydog : is it just me or is even the avid logo not symmetrical?? (looking at the V shape)

Paul Nelson : Just getting back into composing after years of using Sibelius, and LOVE THIS VIDEO. I want to explore Dorico & also Opusmodus. Maybe for my next big project.

Joseph Haig : I have never used Sibelius and on the (few) occasions I have had to typeset music I have used Lilypond, which requires text input like 'Score' that you mentioned at the start. Being a software developer I am happy to do this but, due to its complexity, I would never have recommended it to a non-technical person instead of Sibelius. ... until now.

TheBlueGaming 7 : You should Review The App Maestro

rendiggietydog : I think is my new favourite video, I can't believe how hard I've laughed the past 21 minutes!!