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< Talk:SmartScore
This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Request edit on 10 July 2013

This edit request by an editor with a conflict of interest has now been answered.

Contributor (Justlettersandnumbers) claims submitted text is advertising in its nature.I disagree. It's true I have been the source of much of the information submitted to the Wikipedia SmartScore page, but it has all been factual and informational without any judgement, claims or redirections.

Karl LaFong

Thank you for using Request Edit. I have removed the Advert tag. The current article is not sufficiently promotional to warrant a tag. Also, generally when tags are placed, the person adding them is expected to explain how to address it on Talk.
However, the current article relies exclusively on a single source, which is the company website, a highly inappropriate source. We need independent, credible sources both to establish that the topic of the article meets our notability requirements and to comply with our policies for verification.
In other words, not a single sentence in the current page complies with Wikipedia's policy that content be verified by credible sources that are 'independent of the subject'. In general we do not rely on the subject of the article for our information about them, with some exceptions. That's what the company website is for and if our readers wanted that, they should just go there.
Therefore, I am nominating this article for deletion, since there is no content here that complies with our policies. However, the appropriate place to submit a new article for consideration (after this is deleted/if it is deleted) that is compliant with our policies is WP:Articles for Creation. CorporateM (Talk) 15:19, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, CorporateM may be right, perhaps I should have posted here on the advert issue. But that'd have been kind of superfluous, as any- and everyone knows that the solution to something that reads like an advert is to stop it from reading like an advert. I disagree with both him and Karl LaFong that the article is not promotional in tone. Given that it was written by Chris Newell (or by someone using his name) and Mr LaFong, both of whom are executives of the company, it is hardly surprising that it reflects only the company's opinion of the software; as might be expected in such a situation, it is entirely promotional in tone and could not remotely be regarded as encyclopaedic.
It does Mr LaFong great credit that after the COI problem was pointed out, he chose to make an edit request here rather than editing the article directly.
I've added a couple of sentences on reception. It should be easy to find other reviews of this very well-known product; some of them might be less uncomplimentary. The company might even keep an archive of such reviews, which could be very helpful in writing a balanced page here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:10, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
At first I thought the negative material was added out of spite against the COI contributions, but it does appear to be representative of the source, which generally has a negative tone. The same source also has a lot of content about how the software works, its features and functions, and so on.
Karl, contributing here from your position is like going to The New York Times and asking if you can write your own article. Just like the journalists at the NYT, our reaction would be 'pff, yah right' but we would also be sometimes surprised. Now imagine if you hacked into the New York Times, added a bunch of content that violates our policies and turned around and insisted it was neutral.
My suggestions would be as follows: As Justletters mentioned, you have all the source material we need (press clippings) collected somewhere already. But we don't want every blurb and press release repost, just the ones bylined by a journalist and more than 3 paragraphs long. If you can get those together, put them in proper citation templates and share them here, Justletters might improve the article for you. It will be important that we don't find you are omitting sources that deviate from the company's point-of-view - that would end poorly for you.
See if JustLetters or someone else picks up the project to improve the article and if nobody does, consider putting together a draft for consideration, that is based on credible sources that are independent of the company. CorporateM (Talk) 18:35, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
What the source says is pretty much that the software scans notes, but that's about all it does; and that it often fails there too. As I said above, there are probably less critical reviews around, perhaps of later versions of the program, which in my own experience do work slightly better. To be honest, if I'd wanted to do a lot of work here I'd have done it already; but if it's a matter of adding a few sentences and a few refs then I'd be up for it (especially if they are not in citation templates, which I don't have time to use). You may have noticed that I have voted keep at the deletion discussion. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:35, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

This is Karl LaFong responding to the previous post by (talk) ANYONE who wants to make a change to the SmartScore Wiki page may do so at any time. But if you are going to submit anything about YOUR experience with SmartScore, make sure you have thoroughly tested SmartScore X2 shipping since January, 2013.

In fact, there is a recent subcategory, 'Reception' that, for the most part, was biased against SmartScore as Justlettersandnumbers is. But we sense this was submitted by someone not familiar with SmartScore X2. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KLafong (talk • contribs) 04:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Karl LaFong back again. I am not a Wikipedia wonk. So forgive me if I do not conform to all the proper protocols. This is the best I can do.

1) The SmartScore page remains under consideration for deletion. I am unclear and unsure what I or anyone else can do to mitigate this. It seems quite a few folks, including Justlettersandnumbers, have asked to keep the page up. So what's the verdict? We would like the scary message to go away...

2) I posted two RECENT reviews (2011 and 2013) with references. There appears to be some trepidation that I am associated with Musitek which is true. If Justlettersandnumbers or someone else wishes to replace my posting of these reviews with their own posting, that is fine. It was recommended that more reviews be posted in the 'Reception' section. So I did exactly that.

3) 'Citation needed' is flagged several times in the 'Software' description area.-' It can recognize music written in TIFF and PDF formats or imported from MIDI files. (Citation needed).' This is a fact. If someone needs a cross-reference, there is the SmartScore User Manual as well as references made here:

- 'SmartScore outputs to several non-native formats, including PDF, MusicXML and .MID (MIDI file format). (Citation needed).' As with the previous issue, this fact is also true. I am not sure what is being violated or how to fix it since the only 'sources' I know of would be the User Manual or the FAQ page.

- 'SmartScore X2 recognized Jazz fonts. (Citation needed).' Fact again. I have removed this sentence in any case because we have no 'sources' to support this sentence other than it simply does exactly that.

Finally, I must appeal to Justlettersandnumbers to consider modifying his position/objections re:Wiki SmartScore page. You stated: 'What the source says is pretty much that the software scans notes, but that's about all it does; and that it often fails there too.' This is absolutely untrue and it is based solely on your own personal experience; something that is out of line with most of our 50,000+ users. It's current accuracy is now in the high 90th percentile (based on our own internal testing of over 4,000 test documents). Of course, we would not make such a claim without independent proof. SmartScore is also a complete scorewriter as well as a music-scanning utility. It interfaces seamlessly with Finale, PrintMusic and all other score writers that support the MusicXML format. And it is capable of fully editing, playing back, transposing and printing modified scores. 'That's about all it does' ????This lack of knowledge and those numerous 'citation' flags for simple, not-promotional descriptive text have me thinking you have a bone to pick.

If there is something I can do as a contributor (deletion / addition), I am happy to comply. But I am at a loss as to what more I can do unless it is clearly spelled out in a way that I can understand it.

Thanks.Karl LaFongKLafong (talk) 23:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

If you are not willing to devote the time to become a 'Wikipedia Wonk', I would not blame you, but would suggest in the future sticking to pointing out any overt errors and such. As it is very unlikely for an inexperienced editor with a conflict of interest, who is also unwilling to make the time commitment required, to be productive here. It is much more likely in that circumstance that you would be labeled as a spammer, end up being counter-productive to your aims and find a lot of tension here. We do help inexperienced editors, but not those that are not actually interested in learning.

Smartscore 64 Review

The article's major problems have all been fixed and I think it should be fine for now. The Software section would need more independent sources to be expanded, as oppose to the company website. CorporateM (Talk) 03:52, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I have learned a lot re: Wikipedia protocols in the last couple of weeks. I am better educated and informed now.
NOTE: I left a note re: Software section. Justlettersandnumbers reduced the description to a laughably lame 'exports to MIDI files.' My experience with reading his notes in the SmartScore Talk page leads me to believe he has a bone to pick with the program.

Cheers.KLafong (talk) 17:19, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

When PR reps add promotional content, the natural psychological reflex of our editors is to 'balance' it and usually there is at least some degree of over-compensation. This is why it's generally a bad idea to edit as a PR person, because eventually it will end up doing more harm than good.
On the other hand, we have quite a few PR editors here who have created some of our most highly ranked FA and GA articles and some who are less experienced but have created pretty decent pages. But each successful PR contributor has invested a lot of time learning our rules, writing style and the rules of engagement.
Meanwhile, I will always correct problems that are both genuine and important when my attention is drawn to them. If ever there is a blatant factual error or trolling-type content, feel free to call on me. I will always fix these without any expectation of the PR rep becoming a Wikipedia wonk. CorporateM (Talk) 17:41, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Request edit on 1 August 2013

This edit request by an editor with a conflict of interest was declined. The request was not specific enough. You may consider leaving your comments on the Talk page or escalating significant issues to the conflict of interest noticeboard.

Karl LaFong here. I am responsible for public relations for Musitek Corp., publisher of SmartScore.It's true that I have contributed in a large part to the SmartScore Wiki page over the last 5 years. The page contains no untruths or unverifiable claims, just facts.Why should this page be targeted for DELETION ?? Something's not right with the nature of Justlettersandnumbers's complaint against SMARTSCORE.

From the beginning of Justlettersandnumbers's targeting of SmartScore, we have inquired 'What changes do you want us to make?' 'Someone please tell us !'We have received no suggestions. Since there are no untruths in the SMARTSCORE page now, what changes would YOU REQUIRE??

Thank you.Karl LaFongMusitek Corporation

It would be useful if the content in the Reception section identified which version the source was reviewing, as often the relevance of the review is unique to that version. If Justletters doesn't add it, I'll take a look (or ping me if I forget).

Smartscore X2 Songbook Edition

What is not useful is a PR rep calling editors bias for adding well-sourced criticisms, however this is the usual response. Keep in mind no editor can add material based on their personal experience, nor do we have to be users, we merely repeat what's been said in credible, independent product reviews.
I don't know if I would say what we 'require' but there are a few things that you have been asked to provide, regarding other reviews and proper sources. If my memory serves me right, these requests were explained in substantial depth. CorporateM (Talk) 07:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, let's try to get a couple of things straight:
  • I have no bias against SmartScore. I have used SmartScore X. It does a really good job of converting simple well-printed parts to xml. It totally breaks down when presented with, say, a jazz saxophone quartet score in a jazz font. As far as I know it doesn't do anything else that can't be better done in Finale, of which I happen to be an expert user. In other words, the review from 2009 is pretty much spot-on. But my personal experience, whether or not it includes familiarity with SmartScore X2, is entirely irrelevant to the article.
  • Like a lot of other editors, I have a considerable bias against editors who attempt to use Wikipedia for the promotion of themselves, their agenda, their work or their products. I dedicate a certain amount of my time here to identifying and dealing with problems of this kind. This article was one such.
  • The product has not been 'targeted'; the article has been tagged and kept under observation because of inappropriate editing by at least two people closely connected with the product.
  • That one of those people is now flinging around accusations of bias is perhaps understandable, but is hardly productive.
  • As mentioned above, I have voted keep at the deletion discussion.
  • Only one of the three review articles I found (that from 2009) specifies the version of the program; it is included in the article.
  • As mentioned above, there are probably other reviews of the product; if someone would like to point to where those reviews can be seen, they could evaluated on their own merits as a source to see if they could be used to expand the article. I don't see any problem with that someone being a person with a close connection to the product, as long as the sources are reliable and independent.
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Your objective should be to build a strong relationship with Justletters, just as you would with a trade reporter. Just like with any influencer, Wikipedians that enjoy working with you and find value in your participation are more likely to expand the article and cover the company. And just like any website, people who are hostile or astroturf the site are blocked. Just like a PR rep's relationship with any independent media, your relationship here is value-based. We don't serve you, but if you have something of value to us and our readers, like sources, screenshot images, etc. we are more likely to contribute to a page that has good, helpful PR support. So do you have something valuable to offer us? We've outlined some of the things we'd like from you. CorporateM (Talk) 14:58, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, to be honest, CorporateM, I was sort of hoping you would take over here. Anyway, Mr LaFong has added some stuff to the article even though he has been very, very clearly warned not to. I've reverted, treating those edits as a good-faith misunderstanding of what was said (very clearly, I thought) above: that additional sources could be added on this talkpage for review by other editors. But I want now to make quite clear that I will be seeking administrative action if anyone obviously associated with the company (and that most definitely includes Mr LaFong and Mr Newell) makes any further change whatsoever to the article. If I find time in the next few days I will review the material added my Mr LaFong and see if any of it merits inclusion in the article. Unless, that is, someone else would like to do that? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Justlettersandnumbers has pared down the page and given myself and anyone else associated with Musitek the 'stern warning' that he will seek administrative action if we make any further contributions to the page. Fair enough.
However, Justlettersandnumbers still seems to display a serious bias against SmartScore that ought to be acknowledged and addressed. On this talk page, he stated that SmartScore simply reads notes 'and nothing more and poorly at that'. This is an untrue and biased statement. Furthermore, he reduced the 'Software' description to the simpleton level by stating that converted scores 'can be played back as a MIDI file'. SmartScore actually allows users to edit, transpose, extract parts, print and export .WAV, .AIFF, .PDF, .XML as well as MIDI files. Not to mention that it is tightly integrated with one of the world's leading music scoring programs, Finale published by MakeMusic of Eden Prairie, MN.Justlettersandnumbers should read and extrapolate ALL functionality publicly available using more than his own limited, and if I may say, somewhat prejudiced experience. Here are a few available sources:
K. LaFong
KLafong (talk) 17:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
So would you like us to add 'tightly integrated with one of the world's leading music scoring programs' to the article? And you think Justletters is the one that is bias? Also, we just want a summary of what it does, rather than a detailed description of 'all its functionality.' Hopefully at some point an experienced editor will choose to donate their time to expand the article and add some more detail in this section, among others, like the History section. But until then, I don't see anything more to do here. The sources provided are not useful and it's not helpful to demand others to write the article for you. We do not provide this as a service. We're done here. But as I said, if factual errors or other problems arise in the future, feel free to ping me and I will correct. CorporateM (Talk) 18:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree it's time to step back. But first, I request that the reference to the Pierfrancesco Bellini, Ivan Bruno and Paolo Nesi (Spring 2007) paper in the 'Reception' section be removed due to a clear conflict of interest (see my reply to Justlettersandnumbers who asked if OMER was actually sold as commercial software). I understand your protocol a bit better now and if I have cause offense by responding to what I thought was unfair treatment, I apologize.

KLafong (talk) 16:23, 3 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi User: Justlettersandnumbers and any other watchers. Unless I am mistaken, this source appears to be authored by the University of Florence and unsurprisingly concluded that two products that were developed by the University of Florence are better than SmartScore. It does look like their study was published by a credible publication, but - if I am understanding things correctly - I feel it should be taken out on account of the obvious conflict of interest the author has. CorporateM (Talk) 03:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

It's a valid point in relation to O3MR. I thought about it carefully. The publisher of the journal is the rather reputable MIT Press, and our own article describes Computer Music Journal as peer-reviewed. In my view, that means that the possible conflict has already been noticed and discounted by the editors of the journal. I am however quite happy to ask, or for someone else to ask, this question at WP:RSN. As far as I can see, the SharpEye product is marketed by a British company called Visiv. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I have started a discussion here. I think the most important edits have been made and most of the article is neutral and reliably sourced (still no cites for History). However I'll keep it on my watchlist at least for a while and see what the feedback is on this source. CorporateM (Talk) 14:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Done based on the feedback at that noticeboard, I re-inserted it with more information about the author, etc. CorporateM (Talk) 19:45, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Why reintroduce an article clearly biased towards their own commercial software which is published in-house? We have tested O3MR time and time again and it consistently fails perform at a level anywhere close to SmartScore (or PhotoScore for that matter). Their 'research' was skewed regardless of the 'data' presented as scientific. Computer Music Journal publishes academic papers for its own sake. Read it sometime. It has little connection to the real world of music or music technology. Pure wonkology. You do a disservice to allow this radically skewed 'review' to appear on the SmartScore page regardless of the prodding by Justlettersandnumbers.
01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
KLafong (talk) 01:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
O3MR is a commercial product? Who markets it? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:36, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Smartscore X2 (You're connected. Google it.)

KLafong (talk) 15:54, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Three possible sources proposed by Mr LaFong

Smartscore 64

Mr LaFong, in the intervals between accusing other editors of bias, has proposed three sources which might be used to improve the article. They are:

The third of these is an introduction to SmartScore on YouTube. It was posted there by someone called Kit Newell. Now, let me think, where have I heard that name before? Oh, yes, he's one of the people who has a conflict of interest here. So that isn't a very useful or indeed a very smart suggestion.

The second is the online store of MakeMusic, which now owns Finale. That's the program that offers (or used to offer) a cut-down version of SmartScore, so it can hardly be regarded as an independent, reliable source. It also contains no information about the program other than the price.

The first of the three is an online comparison of nine music processing programs. I don't believe that it would pass muster as a reliable source, but I don't mind asking for an opinion on that at WP:RSN if Mr LaFong would like me to. I do however note that the ratings given to SmartScore in the review, which are:

Composition & Sequencing: 8.8/10
Recording & Editing: 6.3/10
Input/Output: 7.5/10
Ease of Use: 7.5/10
Help/Support: 7.5/10

are consistently, with the exception of the first, the lowest ratings given to any of the nine bits of software. The rating for Composition & Sequencing is the (joint) second-lowest in the group. Is that the information that Mr LaFong would like us to include in the article, I wonder? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:57, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Smartscore X2 Archives
Justtalkandletters: Simply look at the date of that independent 'review'. We have employed more than 25,000 engineering man years since then.
Have you downloaded and tested SmartScore X2? I suspect not and suggest you do. The tone and intent of your 'posts' are fairly transparent.
There is no doubt in my mind that you do indeed have a bone to pick.
(inserted here for clarity) Mr LaFong, this is the source which you suggested we incorporate in the article. Did you actually read it before you made that suggestion?
On the contrary. No one at Musitek sourced the paper by Msrs. Bellini, Bruno and Nesi (Spring 2007). Justtalkandletters did. Everyone at Musitek has been aware of the publication for years and has been a bit of an inside joke since the authors clearly had a conflict of interest. Computer Music Journal needed grist for the mill and did not dig deep enough to unearth the fact that the authors themselves own the commercial rights to OMER (

KLafong (talk) 16:09, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Do please try to understand once and for all that what I personally think of the product is totally irrelevant here. The article is based on what is written by reliable, independent sources. That means, among other things, sources that are not connected with your company. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:30, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
This Talk page is for discussing improvements to the article based on independent, credible sources. Editors are expected to Assume Good Faith. If you believe Justletters has a bone to pick, I suggest you keep this thought to yourself and follow our behavioral guidelines by focusing on the article. If you cannot be bothered to read and follow Wikipedia's rules, I recommend you abstain.
I'm not sure if Justletters would actually be able to obtain the block he threatened you with at that time, but it's starting to also look like a possible block for harassment. CorporateM (Talk) 02:18, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Hey, just a sec! I didn't threaten anyone, and didn't mention blocking. I said that if there was any further editing of the article by connected editors I would seek administrative action. As for personal remarks, I have a thick skin. But I might nevertheless leave Mr LaFong a warning. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:30, 3 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi User: Justlettersandnumbers. Are there any edits from my last read-through that we should discuss here? One thing I liked about the shorter version I had before is that it was easy to see the trend that most sources have basically the same message, that the interface is poor, but it 'works' and there weren't many better options. CorporateM (Talk) 02:03, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, to be honest I thought it was better before :). A couple of things:
  • You've removed the bit about some versions being harshly criticised; the earliest review was very negative, and I thought that helped to make clear that not all versions have been so thoroughly slated.
  • You've removed from the article some of the specific criticisms in that review. Any particular reason?
  • You treat the University of Florence as if it were a corporation or something. It isn't, it is a vast and sprawling public institution with 60000 or more students. For that short paragraph, I suggest restoring the exact wording from before your edit, which made it clear that the review was complex and detailed, that it was conducted by researchers at the University not the University itself, and so on.
It should be easy enough to reach a compromise here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:30, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The source does have disparaging comments and lists a series of complaints, but I don't think the source actually supports 'harshly criticized.' This is our own interpretation of the source, reasonable an interpretation as it may be. By the same token, we wouldn't say that PC World 'praised SmartScore X' but we would say it praised SmartScore X for specific features or specific reasons. So for example, we could say it 'criticized the user interface'. The same goes for the research report. If we want to say that it was complex and detailed, we need a source for that. On the other hand, we could use some detail on exactly what the methodology was, without editorializing and trumpeting up the source. CorporateM (Talk) 13:52, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
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