Good news for RISC OS Sibelius users

Announcement from Andrew Rawnsley, 26th February, 2014

The phrase “good news” hasn’t been something associated with the RISC OS version of Sibelius for a long time, and the closure of the UK end of the company came as something of a blow for RISC OS users, as it effectively ended the ability to have your floppy disc replaced in case of problems.

Many Sibelius users still prefer the RISC OS version, for a variety of reasons, to the modern Windows releases. This may be due to familiarity, but most users of RISC OS Sibelius find it to be more productive for them.

Anyway, what is this good news? Well, in an era where new machines no longer have floppy drives for reading the old Sibelius master disc, we have managed to solve the problem, allowing users of RISC OS Sibelius to install to floppy-less RISCBook laptops and RISCubes. You’ll still need your original disc (it is your master disc, after all), but this essentially means that you no longer need to worry about what to do when your RiscPC or older RISCube dies.

The breakthrough also paves the way for running Sibelius on newer ARM hardware such as ARMini or ARMiniX, and whilst progress has been made in this regard, it is less than ideal, so we’d still recommend RISCubes and RISCbooks for Sibelius (if only because it means you can also run the Windows edition if you wish for compatibility purposes). Note, v4 was the last Windows edition to import RISC OS Sib7 files.

Kind wishes,


In his announcement, Andrew explains that the ‘good news’ is that R-Comp have solved the problem of how to run Sibelius on a machine that lacks a floppy, but doesn’t explain how you, the user, would do that. I assumed the answer would be that a user in that position would need to contact R-Comp, and therefore asked Andrew to confirm that was indeed the case. His answer was as follows:

Well, it’s more about hardware progression – a lot of Sib users are still running RiscPCs because they don’t know there’s any other option. Now there is 🙂 But yes, contacting us is a good start!

Named after a late 19th/early 20th century Finnish composer, Sibelius is a music notation application originally written by Ben and Jonathan Finn, and for a time was one of the ‘killer apps’ for RISC OS. The software was eventually ported to other platforms, and the company was eventually acquired by another, Avid Technology.

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