Music Box Composer Standalone Info

Music Box Composer is available as a standalone application, for Windows, OSX and Linux. It costs US$20 for a license, which is valid for any of the operating systems. Feel free to download and try it out as it has a ‘Try’ mode – make sure it works as you expect. Note that saving, exporting to PDF, and uploading your music to the online storage for sharing is not enabled until registered, though you can load URL’s pasted from the strip library to see how they work with the application, and it will still auto save your work in progress.


Windows Download – run the installer. OSX Download – open the dmg and drag the icon to the ‘Applications’ link. Linux Download – decompress all the files into your desired location. Requires an X session. Note to use the MBC red close button rather than the system close button else your work in progress won’t be saved.

Once purchased a registration code will be generated and emailed out to the purchasing email (typically within a few hours, but longer depending on timezone etc.). Please note your desired registration name in the purchase comments.
Note: All upgrades of MBC  version 1.x will be free, your registration code will be unchanged.

 Music Box Composer Forum

There is now a Forum for MBC, feel free to check it out here.

Use the in-app help

If you press the ? button, you can then click on most of the controls to have a description shown.

Keyboard shortcuts:

Arrow keys – use to move selected notes by the current snap-to distance Left Arrow/Right Arrow with Shift Key – move time slider by snap-to distance i – insert (add) mode (toggle) m – move mode (toggle) s – select by marquee mode (toggle) c – clear selection r – ripple mode (toggle) space – play (toggle) control/command s – save control/command o – open control/command+shift ssave-as control/command y – redo control/command y – redo control/shift – add to selection when clicking notes delete – delete selected notes control/command c – copy control/command v – paste control/command aselect all Wheel to scroll the timeline the mouse is over Wheel in the top mini-strip scrolls the time slider Middle click the piano keyboard to move the current time forward by the current snap increment Shift- Middle click the piano keyboard to move the current time backwards by the current snap increment

New in the ‘Spanner’ button flyout:

‘Upload’ (to online MBC storage) using the feature returns a URL to the second field, which you can select and copy: this link opens the webplayer version of MBC, so you can email/facebook/tweet it to share with others  ‘URL’ you can paste a URL from the library on the jellybiscuits site and it will load in the player. ie if you go to the library, right click and copy a link (such as ‘’) and paste this into the field and hit the ‘Enter’ button, you’ll be taken the the Player, and if the strip is editable you can press the Pencil button and you’ll be taken to the strip view, with the strip loaded. ‘PDF’ Triggering this both saves a JPG file of your strip, and also attempts to create and open a PDF with the image scaled and loaded ready for printing, with a 10% overlap between the sheets. If you don’t have a default PDF viewer setup it may not open the PDF after creating, but you can find both the JPG and the PDF in your User Documents directory for manually laying out and printing. ‘MIDI’ Triggering this both saves a MIDI file of your current strip and opens the directory that the file has been saved to, to saving having to hunt for it.

Changes for 1.2.0:

— Support for 33 note music box has been added. (Note that unlike the 15, 20 and 30 note boxes the sounds are not sampled from a 33 note box, but are instead re-purposed and pitch shifted 30 box notes. ) — Dragging a note off the strip to delete has been reinstated. — Converting between strip sizes has been improved. — Fonts updated for more complete character support. — Misc. Bug fixes.

Changes for 1.1.0:

— MIDI file import- in the utilities flyout. Opens a file browser where you can pick a .mid file. After import you can select notes and change pitch using the arrow keys: if the notes are out of pitch range (ie all at top/bottom) they still maintain their MIDI values so you can select and correctly move them into range. — Control/Command-A selects all notes (useful after midi import to shift all notes)–An ‘Apply Time’ button has been added to the Utilities flyout – this applies the current playback speed value to the times of the notes and resets the playback to 1.0 (useful after MIDI import to retime the result). — Printed graphics modified – lines are lighter and dots are now x’s for easier punching. — Adjusted 2 of the displayed notes in the ‘Mapping fix’ mode (this doesn’t affect playback or pitches, just the displayed notes on the strips and in the keyboard). — Fixed a massive memory leak which would trigger if you resized the UI (that would evenutally crash MBC). — Misc. Bug fixes.

Changes for 1.0.3:

— MIDI file export – in the utilities flyout. Directory containing the MIDI is opened after the export is complete. — New ‘Auto Advance when adding via piano note’ added – this advances the timeline by the current snap amount when adding a note via the piano.You can override the increment temporarily by holding down the shift key when clicking a note, which allows adding multiple notes at the same time. This feature works better with the ‘Play all at time when adding/moving’ turned on, so you can hear all the notes at the current time. — Extra piano keys added at each end of the piano strip to aid moving forward and back in time (moves by the current snap increment) for a more fluid composing workflow using the piano. Middle click in the piano also advances by a single time increment (or with shift key goes back an increment). — Stronger vertical lines on visible strip as a visual cue and composing aid. — PDF export of 15 note strip size adjusted very slightly to 47.5%. — PDF export: Numbers added to the vertical line divisions on export to aid strip matching. — Fixed bug where after using the piano keyboard any button required two clicks to activate.

Changes for 1.0.2:

— PDF bug fixed where the image metrics were incorrect, and some readers would show a messed up strip image. Only seemed to be a problem on windows and linux. PDF export is faster, too.

Changes for 1.0.1:

— Added ‘save’ (command-s), save as (command-shift-s) and open hotkeys (command-0) — Escape key will cancel the loading and help screens — Keyboard shortcuts will no longer stop working after using a command key combination. — Middle click to pan the current time now works in the bottom view as well as the middle view.