Music Works

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Music Works, also Music Works Personal, was a music notation sequencing program for Windows 9x that used MIDI protocol technology. It was developed by Brisbane, Australia based Middle Earth Software in the late 1990s, which then changed its name to Tierra Media (which means "Middle Earth"). Its native file format was .MWW, but it could also import and export .mid. It had a font-based interface, and formatting up to the look of professional notation. Early versions of Music Works featured commonwealth music terms, and an easily crackable bug: the copy protection for the trial version could be circumnavigated by simply reinstalling the program. This was only fixed in the final, polished version, which was Music Works 3.5 Personal. With that, Middle Earth Software changed to


MWW was the non-documented, proprietary binary file format developed by Middle Earth Software that stored MIDI and additional information. The .mww files were typically about six to eight times larger than .mid files. Music Works had an autosave feature that created a "~MW" file, identical to an MWW file, that backed up the music while being working on. The program was stable enough that this was in case the OS crashed or some other problem was caused by multi-tasking.

Music Works featured an interesting bug from a combination of OS obsolescence and their proprietary format. Since Music Works could only run in the 9x kernel, and .mww was limited to Music Works, music saved as .mww can neither be played, as there are no .mww players, nor converted to .mid, as Music Works only ran in the 9x kernel. The result was thousands of silent, unplayable music files.

External links[edit]

  • Site of Tierra Media, formerly Middle Earth Software. The buy page was never made, even though the software was. All of the distributors listed on the about page went down years ago, except for Manaccom, which is still selling Music Works as recently as September 2010:
"Manaccom - Australia / New Zealand, Guildsoft - UK / Europe, Trius Inc - United States"