How-To: Working with Development Previews

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Your data hasn't disappeared: development previews store their data in a different place. Details here.

Postby Nicholas » 03-30-14 1:20 am

If you'd like to check out the latest Synthesia has to offer, the most recent development preview is always available from the pink box at the top of this page.

Tips for better preview experiences

Here be dragons: Development previews may crash! That's alright. To get more pairs of eyes on the code is the reason these are available. Just be sure to post what you were doing when the crash happened and you'll be helping to make Synthesia better. Thanks!

Development previews store their data in a different location than official versions! The first time you run a preview, it may look like all your data has been wiped out (including your unlock key). Never fear: everything is safe. Previews use a different location just in case there are bugs that could corrupt your real data. Storing things separately is a little less convenient, but much safer!

Here's the process to copy your "real" data over to the development preview location:

  1. Hold shift while starting Synthesia to open the configuration window. Click the "Open Data Folder" button.
  2. Close the configuration window!
  3. Navigate up one folder so you can see "Synthesia" (and "SynthesiaDev" assuming you've run a dev preview at least once).
  4. Delete any "SynthesiaDev" folder that is present.
  5. Copy and paste the "Synthesia" folder, then rename it to "SynthesiaDev".
That should be it. Now development previews should start with the same data (scores, folders, unlock, and everything else) as your official version... but your real data won't be in any danger.
Posts: 11867

Postby Fr3dY » 03-31-14 8:19 am


When upgrading to a stable version... do we have to overwrite the 'real' data with the (up-to-date) 'dev' folder too?
Posts: 9

Postby Nicholas » 03-31-14 11:12 am

That's optional, but should be safe to do.

I was imagining a scenario where you'd be using development previews briefly as an experimental "let's see what's new" kind of thing before returning to your stable install. If instead you start using that preview exclusively until the next stable release goes out the door, then yes, you'd want to shuttle the contents of that folder back and forth.

(At that point it's a little inconvenient. Sorry!)
Posts: 11867

Postby DanClark » 03-31-14 2:55 pm

When compared with the huge advantage of keeping configuration nice and separate, the inconvenience of shuttling contents back and forth is miniscule! (IMO, of course.) Thank you for adding this feature.
Posts: 39

Postby Fr3dY » 04-01-14 9:36 am

Maybe you could make the stable installers to ask the user if they want to update data with the 'dev' contents (if newer) automatically, or something like that ;)
Posts: 9

Postby Nicholas » 04-01-14 12:21 pm

That might be helpful for Windows users. (The Mac side doesn't have an installer -- you just drag the icon to your Applications folder.)

Although I'd worry about adding complexity to the "public" side of things. In general, forum/preview users are much(!) more sophisticated than the average Synthesia user. I've already been worrying that the 4 or so clicks/decisions it takes to install Synthesia are far too many. On tablets it's a single tap. I'm wondering if the Windows installer shouldn't adopt that as its goal.
Posts: 11867

Postby 613Skier » 07-19-14 1:28 pm

I finally figured out how to do this,

Big red flashing text saying your data didn't disapperared would helped ;)
Posts: 49

Postby Nicholas » 07-20-14 2:33 pm

It's in bold in the red box at the top of every screen in this section of the forum, and all three previews that have used the new system included a big, red line of text saying almost exactly your suggestion. :lol:
Posts: 11867

Postby 613Skier » 09-24-14 10:00 pm

I don't know man, between updates I keep needing to reenter my keycode, the configurations don't carry over, and this time around I seem to have lost my scores I figured it out once before, but needing to do it everytime is wearing on me.
Posts: 49

Postby Nicholas » 09-24-14 10:33 pm

With any luck, the copy-over should just be required one time. After that, dev previews will always use the data in SynthesiaDev and the official version will always use the data in Synthesia. So long as you're not deleting those folders between versions, I've been successfully using the same SynthesiaDev folder for every single preview since the split without having to re-enter unlock keys (except the very first time).
Posts: 11867

Postby rumpole » 07-03-18 11:11 pm

Hello Nicholas,

1: Most half notes come up without letter label (including the latest 10.5.4664). How to find an earlier version to overcome this issue. KeyboardLabelBonusSize worked wonderfully well at 30 before (default=10);

2:Traditional horizontal notation has stopped working (not fussed about it at this stage though);

3:How to rid of "Progress will be lost" screen.

Many thanks if you can help.

Posts: 24

Postby Nicholas » 07-03-18 11:24 pm

1. Settings --> Gameplay --> Note Labels --> Show All

2. What do you mean by "stopped working"? Is it not showing up?

3. Configuration window --> "Gameplay.ConfirmEarlyExit" --> remove the check from the Value box.
Posts: 11867

Postby rumpole » 07-04-18 3:10 am


Re: Item two: The horizontal notation "curtain" drops about a couple of inches and stops.

Many thanks, most important number one problem solved.

PS: Is there a way to improve the sound of the various instruments by software, and in particular the piano?
Posts: 24

Postby Nicholas » 07-08-18 2:59 pm

Which platform are you using Synthesia on? On Windows, this workaround lets you use arbitrary SoundFont files. (Starting with the next Synthesia 10.5 preview, that technology will be baked right into the Windows and Android version of Synthesia itself.)
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