It is no surprise that Finale 2014 is on the way, as MakeMusic made the decision not to offer Finale 2013. There have been signs that Finale was coming this fall, starting with an add in the Music in Motion Catalog, and more recently the Music Store Professional catalog (and blogged about at the Sibelius Blog).
Some of the MakeMusic team has been releasing “trailers” on Instagram about Finale 2014 (specifically, Justin Phillips, a Senior Product Manager at MakeMusic).
The first trailer was a stop-motion video of the new Finale 2014 packaging:
My only thought here is would think that most users–at this point–will download Finale 2014 online and therefore not see the packaging at all (or I hope that MakeMusic would make that possible).
The second trailer is a video of Finale 2014 on a Mac, docked alongside SmartMusic and Finale 2012, panning to the splash screen/starting page of Finale 2014.
The third trailer, and the most significant by far, shows one of Finale 2014′s new features.
As you can see, the window selection reads, “Save as Finale 2012.” One of the habits of every version of Finale is that you could open an older version of a Finale file in a newer version of the program, but once it was in that newest format, you could not open it in an older version of Finale. That didn’t seem to make sense until Microsoft did the same thing with Office–newer versions cannot be read by older versions without a conversion format.
As of the last many versions of Finale, you could save any document as a MusicXML file and import it into an older version of Finale, but in doing so things might be lost. Finale 2014 will allow you to save as a Finale 2012 file.
This is important because it acknowledges that not everyone will be able to upgrade to the latest version of Finale. My guess is that because MakeMusic skipped a year in development (well, they kept developing but did not offer a yearly release in 2012-2013), more Finale users will be likely to upgrade to Finale 2014. Still there may be situations, such as school computer labs, that are unable to update. This means that a professor/teacher could create files for their classroom of Finale 2012 computers using the latest version of Finale. This has the potential to be a really nice addition for Finale users that deal with users that might not have the latest version of the software (although it looks like only Finale 2012 is available as a backwards save for now, which is probably okay. There’s still MusicXML for the rest).
Finally, MakeMusic shared a promotional video for Finale dating back to 1988 on Twitter. I had always thought that my first copy of Finale had been purchased when I was in college, but the finale packaging featured in this video looks awfully familiar. I can only see orders online back to 2000, but I’m wondering if I actually bought Finale before I went to college in in the fall of 1990. At any rate, the video is fascinating; the things they were working on have come so far, and many of these features have now come to tablets as well. It would be fun to take an iPad back to 1998 and compare it to Finale 1998. Note the speed of the screen redraw…and we get impatient with the boot time of a MacBook Air.
In the words of the YouTube poster (Gary Brunotte):
This is the original Finale 1988 Promo Video (by Coda Music Software) that came with the Package ($1000 when first released on MacIntosh). It has many key people: Phil Farrand, Craig Anderton, John Borowiecz, Chris Yavelow, Gary Brunotte, Saint Paul Peterson, Jim Romeo, Dave Eiland, etc. Enjoy! It was a great program then and even better now.
Anyway…here’s that video! Enjoy!