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LDS Music external resources

Sheet music files and audio files are stored on Church servers and accessed by Gospel Library, LDS Music, and the LDS.org music site. This page explains the sheet music and audio files we keep track of in the Music Content Management System (MCMS) and where they are used.

Sheet music files

Individual song PDF from a hymnbook. 6"x9".

Individual song PDFs

Every song should have an individual PDF file. The individual PDF is used in three places:

  • LDS.org music site: Displayed inline on each song page (for languages other than English).
    LDS.org music site: Option to download individual song PDF on each song page.
  • LDS Music app: Option to export individual song PDF under each song's content options.
  • Music Content Management System (MCMS): Option to show individual song PDF while doing transcription and QA.
Individual song PDF from a hymnbook, provided by the music department with large margins – needs to be cropped.

The music department can provide individual song PDFs for new books; however, if they have large margins, they need to be cropped. Hymnbook pages should be cropped to 6 by 9 inches, leaving about a half-inch on each side and a bit less on the top and bottom. I set up an action in Adobe Acrobat to select PDFs and crop them in bulk. For most of the newer individual PDFs from the music department, cropping 0.65" top, 1.35" bottom, 1.25" left, and 1.25" right did the trick. I haven’t cropped newer Children’s Songbook PDFs – I’ve been leaving them at 8.5" by 11". Some examples:

Individual song PDF from a Children’s Songbook. In this case, the music department provided a PDF in a format that didn’t need to be cropped. 8.5"x11".

For older books, individual PDFs need to be manually created from the full book PDF. If you are manually creating individual PDFs, make sure to split or crop pages when there is more than one song on a page. However, it is acceptable for a single song to span multiple pages. Some examples:

After individual PDFs are prepared, they should be renamed and placed on the server, and the URLs should be added to the Music Content Management System.

If you are renaming the files in bulk, make sure they're in the correct order – sometimes we get PDFs sorted by page number only, not respecting the order of two songs on the same page (for example, 129b might be sorted before 129a).

Full book print PDF files

Full book PDFs are provided by the music department. They are used as base files for creating individual and mobile PDFs where individual song PDFs are not available. They are also used for transcription of frontmatter and backmatter chapters. Full hymnbook PDFs are not generally put online, because they contain copyright-restricted hymns that would need to be removed. We are not currently tracking these in the MCMS.

Mobile PDF files

Each collection that is a book (hymnbook, Children’s Songbook, Hymns and Children’s Songs booklet) should have a mobile PDF file. The mobile PDF is a combined file that is optimized for mobile devices. Using combined mobile PDFs instead of individual PDFs cuts down on download time and takes up less space, because the fonts don't have to be embedded separately for each song. Currently, these PDFs are used only in the LDS Music app (iOS, Android, and Windows).

To prepare a mobile PDF file:

  1. Combine all of the individual PDFs into a single file.
  2. Crop each page of the PDF so that the left and right margins are about 1/4 inch. If it is feasible, crop the top and bottom margins to about 1/4 inch as well. Having small margins ensures that sheet music appears larger and space isn't wasted on devices with small screens. Note that for older PDFs of the Children’s Songbook this may require removing the outline and page number so we can crop closer to the music.
  3. Replace copyright-restricted hymns with blank pages (if a restricted song has one page, replace it with one blank page; if it has two pages, replace with two blank pages; etc.). Having blank pages as placeholders makes it easier to update the PDF, and references to each song in the PDF, when previously restricted songs become approved.

Here are some examples:

After mobile PDFs are prepared or updated, they should be renamed and placed on the server, and URLs should be added to the Music Content Management System.

Individual MusicXML files

We are still experimenting with using MusicXML to generate sheet music. We are not currently tracking these in the MCMS.

Audio files

Words and music MP3s (a.k.a. vocal and instrumental)

These files exist for the hymnbook in English and Spanish and the Children's Songbook in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. They are available on CD from Store.LDS.org and are also hosted at LDS.org. Here are some examples: https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/hymns/2001-01-0930-prayer-of-thanksgiving-vocal-and-instrumental-192k-eng.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/childrens-songbook/2002-01-2100-popcorn-popping-words-and-music-192k-eng.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/hymns-spanish/2001-11-0450-prayer-of-thanksgiving-vocal-and-instrumental-128k-spa.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/childrens-songbook-spanish/2009-12-0900-popcorn-popping-words-and-music-128k-spa.mp3

Music-only MP3s (a.k.a. instrumental)

These files exist for the hymnbook in English and Spanish and the Children's Songbook in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. They are available on CD from Store.LDS.org and are also hosted at LDS.org. Here are some examples: https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/hymns/2001-01-0930-prayer-of-thanksgiving-instrumental-192k-eng.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/childrens-songbook/2002-01-2100-popcorn-popping-music-only-192k-eng.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/hymns-spanish/2001-11-0450-prayer-of-thanksgiving-instrumental-128k-spa.mp3 https://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/music/childrens-songbook-spanish/2009-12-0900-popcorn-popping-music-only-128k-spa.mp3

A Portuguese hymnbook music-only CD set is available from Store.LDS.org, but it doesn't include songs unique to the Portuguese hymnbook so it is not considered a full hymnbook recording like the other sets are.

Reduced-size MP3s

Reduced-size MP3s are generated for each song that has an MP3. URLs for these MP3s are also stored in the MCMS. The reduced-size MP3s are the ones used when playing a song in the LDS Music app; and the full-size MP3s are the ones used when sharing from the app. Reduced-size MP3s don't need to be manually put on the server – the MCMS automatically generates them from the regular MP3s.

The reduced-size music-only MP3s are shared between all collections – song URIs are used to find an applicable audio file so the app doesn't have to download duplicate instrumental files. Full-size MP3s are not consolidated between languages because they include language-specific metadata.

MIDI files

These were available on LDS.org in the past for the English hymnbook and Children’s Songbook but are no longer available. We are not tracking them in the MCMS.

ZIP files

For a given hymnbook or Children’s Songbook, there should be ZIP files created and put on the server:

  • Individual song PDFs, excluding those that are copyright-restricted.
  • Words and music MP3s, if they exist, excluding those that are copyright-restricted.
  • Music-only MP3s, if they exist, excluding those that are copyright-restricted.
This page was last modified on 11 November 2016, at 09:07.

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