Hi All,

First post. I have been using Scrivener for a short time (2.9 on Mac 10.8.5 - must update sometime) but am completely converted.

I am using it for songwriting using a Poem template and it’s got a lot going for it. If there were an easier way to record and save audio files (low res) with each document within the draft folder, this would almost be the perfect songwriting software. As it is, it’s a bit clumsy to have to record separately and link in document references or use the research folder. I would like to be able to easily record simple ideas/hooks etc with each song from within the program. maybe this is possible and I have missed it …

Oh, I always wanted to be able to write songs

Yeh, me too!

You can’t put media files into the manuscript folder, because Scrivener can’t assemble that into the various output types (PDF, Word, plain test, etc…). And I don’t think you can directly record into Scrivener anymore; they used to link up to QuickTime recording tools, but those are ancient and deprecated or eliminated in the latest versions of Mac OS.

So I think it’s just a matter of making your sound files in an efficient manner, which I assume you know how to do better than I would. I do have experience with collecting reference materials (photos, PDFs of web pages, etc…) and linking them to the files in a project that they’re relevant to). Putting non-text files into the Research folder is the standard approach.

Once you have it in the research folder, you can add that audio file to your text file’s bookmarks in the inspector. From then on, it’s easy to reference the audio file. I also believe* that the creation of the bookmark is reciprocal: you should be able to load the audio file into an editor and have a bookmark back to the text document you associated with it.

  • On the Windows v3 beta, the path to this setting is File->Options->Behaviors->Document Links->“Document links and bookmarks create back-link bookmarks”. On the mac’s version 3, it will probably be Scrivener->Preferences->Behaviors…

I’ve got this working on a Mac with an iPhone. It takes a little prep, but once you have it set up, it works like a charm.

You’ll need:

  • A Mac
  • An iPhone or iPad
  • RecUp for iOS
  • Yoink for Mac
  • Dropbox account (can be free version)
  • Keyboard Maestro for Mac (can also be done with Hazel or AppleScript)

How it looks to you:

  • Record your song idea on your iPhone;
  • The recording pops up on the Yoink ledge on your Mac screen;
  • Drag the recording from Yoink into the Research folder of Scrivener;
  • Done! The Audio file is now available for playback within Scrivener.

Here’s how it works:

  • You turn on RecUp on your iphone, and sing/play your song idea;
  • RecUp uploads your recording to a folder (let’s call it mySongs) on Dropbox;
  • Keyboard Maestro (or Hazel or AppleScript) detects the file arriving in mySongs;
  • KM opens the file using Yoink, which loads the file onto the Yoink tray;
  • You drag the recording from Yoink to Scrivener, which embeds the file.

I record audio through a menu bar app and then link in Scrivener in document references. It’s OK but still requires a few more steps than I’d like - have to rename and locate/move file, etc.
I realize that other files can’t be compiled in the draft but maybe they could be just ignored or something. Anyway, no biggy but suggest that if it were considered by L&L, it could be a killer songwriting program and advertised as such. As it stands, a lot of people will simply pass on by (not me because I have some good workflow happening). Just my 2c.

I think Scrivener’s ability to embed any sort of file can get you half way there.

It is true that alien file types can’t live in the Draft folder, but as a songwriter, why would you be living in the Draft folder anyway? For projects which house many independent items, like songs, poems, short stories, it is better to live in the Research folder, and just drag folders up if needed into the Draft folder for compiling. Often enough with such projects, Compiling is largely irrelevant.

You can create an audio file with nothing in it and bring that into the Template folder in a Scrivener project. Once you’ve done this, you can use the Project > New from template item to create blank sound files anywhere in the binder (except the Draft folder, of course).

For example, I maintain a project for a writing group and each of the sub-projects is a short story which needs to be typeset eventually in inDesign. For which purpose, I have an otherwise empty InDesign doc in the Templates folder of that project. So, each subproject gets carried up to Draft for Compiling, but then I create an inDesign doc for that story inside Scrivener and in the folder of that sub-project (back in the Research folder). That doc opens in inDesign, of course, and the story gets imported and processed to produce typeset output, but the end result is that all phases of these story projects are housed within Scrivener.

I imagine something like this process could be usefully pursued in your case.

So, you would not, in the end, be hitting the record button inside Scriv, but would be hitting it in some chosen helper application (I use Sound Studio for a waveform editor, but also am not a musician). So, not quite what you asked for, but given that the sound files would be housed in Scriv and can be launched from there, it is mighty close — perhaps on due consideration as close as you could really want.