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#11666461 Oct 22, 2015 at 06:18 PM
0 Posts
There has been some interest in LOTRO music recently and I was asked to write up a short tutorial on getting the Songbook plugin up and running on a Windows system.

Thg Songbook plugin provides a simple GUI in LOTRO to manage and play your ABC music files. If you are unaware, ABC if the musical notation format LOTRO uses for its music. The ABC notation format extends far beyond LOTRO and was not created just for the game. The easiest way to get the Songbook plugin installed (or any plugin for that matter), is to use the LOTRO Plugin Compendium. The LOTRO Plugin Compendium allows you to install, remove, or update any LOTRO plugin at the click of a button. You should not have LOTRO loaded while you are going through this tutorial. The LOTRO Plugin Compendium is built upon the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 3.5, so you will need to install that first before installing the LOTRO Plugin Compendium. It won't hurt to try and reinstall the framework if you are uncertain about its existance on your system.

Microsoft .NET Framework Version 3.5

After you have installed the Framework file above, install the LOTRO Plugin Compendium.

LOTRO Plugin Compendium

You should now have a shortcut for the Compendium on your Windows desktop. Open the program and you will see three tabs at the top, Installed Plugins, Add New Plugins, and Configuration. Click on the Add New Plugins tab and search for one called Songbook. Once you find the listing for Songbook, check the box just to the left of it and then hit the Add button at the top right. The LOTRO Plugin Compendium will automatically install the Songbook plugin for you. Now open up your File Explorer and navigate to your Documents folder. You will see a folder called "The Lord of the Rings Online". Open that folder and then create a new folder called Music. The path for this folder should be \Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\Music. This is where you will put your ABC music files to play in game. If you do not have any ABC music files, you can get started by downloading a few from The plugin has trouble loading some newer .abc files, so I recommend renaming all of the .abc files to the .txt extension instead. This will insure that the plugin can read the file no matter what version of ABC it is.

Once you have at least one file in your \Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\Music, you will need to load them into the Songbook plugin. Navigate to \Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\Plugins\Chiran and you will seea file called "songbook.hta". This is the script that loads your music files into the plugin. Double-click on the file to launch it and you will load the Songbook Music Library Generator. Select the LOTRO profile you are using from the drop down menu. If you only have one LOTRO account, it will be the only one listed. Then click on the Build Song Library button at the bottom. If you have multiple LOTRO accounts, you will need to select each one and click on the Build button for each in order to have access to it in each account. After you have built the song library, close the program. You may wish to make a desktop shortcut to this file, because you will need to build the song library again each time you add music files to your \Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\Music folder. This must be done without LOTRO being loaded or it will not work.

Everything should be set not for using the Songbook plugin in LOTRO. Go ahead and launch LOTRO at this point. You will need to setup the Songbook plugin now. Open up your Options (Control-O) and click on UI Settings. You will see the Toolbar slots listed. Change one of them to be the Plugins Manager and close your Options window. You will now see a button on your toolbar for the Plugins Manager. Open your Plugins Manager by click on that button. On the left hand side you will see all of your available plugins. Select the Songbook plugin by clicking on it once. At the bottom you will see a drop down dialogue that says "Automatically Load For". Select "All Characters". Now log out of your current character and then immediately log back into the game.

Look around your screen carefully and you will see a feint icon for a musical note. You might have to hunt for a minute because by default it is not easy to see. Click on that icon and it will load the Songbook plugin will say Songbook at the top of the dialogue. Click on the Settings button at the bottom. Check all of the boxes available except for "Window Visible On Load". Then slide the bar that says Songbook Opacity all the way to the right until it says "1". Then click on the Save button at the bottom. Close the Settings Dialogue and you are finished.

If everything has been done correctly, you will see a list of songs in the Songbook dialogue. If you make subfolders inside of the Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\Music folder, you will see those here as well. You can organize your songs into any folder scheme you wish. Personally I only created two subfolders, one called Solo and the other called Group. I categorize my LOTRO music between songs for individuals and songs for groups. You can organize them in any way you wish however.

There are taskbar slots at the bottom of the Songbook dialogue. I use them to make shortcuts for my instruments for faster access. You may wish to do the same. After you have an instrument equiped on your character, you can click on the "M" button at the top right to go into music mode. You must be in music mode in order to play any song. The play button is just to the right of the "M" button. If you wish to play a solo song, be in music mode, select a song to play, and hit the play button. There are also other various buttons you will find handy as you get more into LOTRO music. The Sync button allows you to sync an individual part of a multi-part file with other musicians for example.

I hope this short tutorial has helped you out.

- Aratanus Perelda
#11666662 Oct 22, 2015 at 07:19 PM
Kin Officer
77 Posts
Thank you for doing this, Ara, it is appreciated!
#13604692 Jan 12, 2018 at 06:30 PM
26 Posts
Very useful!
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