The Finale Blog had two large bombshell announcements as the NAMM convention approaches:
- Finale is going to release a Finale Reader for the iPad in the near future. They are going to demonstrate it at NAMM (note to ViolaJack, if you go to NAMM, could you get some photos of the app?). I’m hoping the app will offer some of the features of Scorch for the iPad, such as audio playback and transposition. As I’ve mentioned over and over again, I’m also skeptical of any reader that does not have the ability to annotate a score. I have not seen the app, other than an image on the Finale Blog that may or may not be a capture of the Finale Reader app for the iPad. Nonetheless, I’m open to being “wowed.” The most important thing about this announcement is MakeMusic’s continued entrance into the world of iOS, making me desirous for Finale for iPad and SmartMusic for iPad. At this point, I’d guess that both are a done deal, it is just a matter of “when” rather than “if.”
- Perhaps more importantly, Finale is going to make Finale Notepad 2012 free. This is a return to Finale Notepad 2008 which was free. For Finale 2009, MakeMusic decided to charge ($10) for the program. This was problematic to me as a teacher, as we had Finale Notepad installed on computers in our labs, so I could take my theory classes to a lab. While in the labs, we would use Notepad to complete assignments that were based on what we were learning in the theory class. Most of the time, I would create a template that students would complete. This became problematic as I moved to newer versions of Finale, but Notepad was still at 2008, because we didn’t have $350 to install Notepad in one lab, or over $1000 to install it in several labs. I liked teaching with Notepad because it is limited in scope and teaching the program was straight forward. We bought Finale 2010 for our MIDI Lab when we opened our new high school in 2009, and I stopped using Finale with my theory classes because the full version of Finale was too advanced and offered far too many options. Ultimately, I was spending more time teaching Finale than supporting the theory concepts we were trying to learn in the lab. Finale Notepad for free is a welcome re-addition. I truly believe it is a better option for high school theory labs, it gets students used to (addicted to?) using Finale, and it will compete with MuseScore, which has grown in popularity because it is a full music notation product that is a free download.