ForScore 2.6

Note: ForScore 2.6.1, a minor bug update, was released about 24 hours later.

I just downloaded ForScore 2.6 (interestingly, the update didn’t show up as an update in iTunes, but was live on the App Store and could be installed that way). The main focus (according to their blog) of 2.6 is on page turning accessories, bookmarks, and global search features. For me, two other features have been addressed that impact how I will use ForScore on a daily basis.

For the record, I haven’t looked closely at the settings for a while, so these may have been live in 2.5 or one of the 2.4 releases. If so, my apologies to ForScore. I like ForScore, and I have for a long time, even though my favorite PDF music reader is made by another developer. Two of my complaints about ForScore have been:

a) The score lightens while annotating
b) Having to select “tap and hold” or go to a menu to get to annotation tools

Annotation is tremendously important to me as a musician and a music educator, and I’m probably over-focused on that feature. With the new mirroring capabilities of the iPad 2 (for the record, ForScore was one of the apps offering VGA mirroring before the iPad 2), if I’m projecting to a screen for the benefit of a class, I need them to see what I’m annotating. On most VGA projectors (what schools and businesses use), the faded music on ForScore during annotation literally faded away. I’ve often wondered why anyone would want the score lightened in the first place, other than to simply be aware that you were in annotation mode. Perhaps a colored filter (making the editing mode a lightened hue of yellow or blue) would have the same effect?

Additionally, when I need to annotate music, it is typically during a rehearsal, when I want to mark something quickly. If you’re tapping and holding, or looking through a menu, you’re losing attention time in the classroom. [Realistically, it isn’t that much time…but those short seconds can really make a difference in classroom pace.]

Note a few of the new (newer?) options in ForScore 2.6:

Lighten score when annotating: ON OFF
Tap and hold: OPTIONS
Two finger tap: OPTIONS

I feel a bit like the old Toyota commercials: “Who could ask for anything more?” I’ll never have to discuss those elements again, because they are present in ForScore now.

ForScore has always been a solid program. It has always been an eye-pleasing app. And without question, it has been a recommended app on this blog since it was released last April. ForScore has had some wonderful features for many revisions, including fast page turns (even faster with the iPad 2) due to a fantastic way of caching the next page. I love the page previews as you scroll through a score on the bottom of the page. I love the metadata information, so you can look through your library by keyword. I love the fact that you can export a file in a ForScore format to another ForScore user. For $4.99, this app continues to be a bargain.


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