We’re not there with digital music yet…

Teachers in Minnesota have no school these two days, as the education unions have their major convention these days.  I don’t know of many teachers–music or otherwise that attend the convention.  I can’t speak to why teachers from other subject areas skip the convention, but we have a music education convention in February.  So I’m having a lovely afternoon watching our two boys and catching up on some projects.

I’ve been spending a lot of the morning going online at various (legal) sheet music stores, where you can peruse the latest songs.  It’s a good concept…but there are issues.  A number of these stores use Sibelius Scorch.  I’m not a Sibelius user, but Scorch on the computer is a mess–at least on a MacBook.  If you’re running Mountain Lion (OS 10.8), you cannot use Safari or Chrome, and have to use Firefox in 32-bit mode to use the latest Scorch Viewer.

And if you buy a song (you must buy 5 or 6), you cannot print to a PDF, but must print to a paper copy.  This is frustrating beyond belief…I want to be able to use a clean, computer generated score which I am willing to pay for–but must print it on paper and then scan it if I want it on my iPad.

Granted, there are some publishers out there who will sell me a PDF, or an agreement to use/print a number of PDFs.  I find this approach to be refreshing.  But the “big boys” of publishing are not there yet.  I understand that they are afraid of copyright infringement–but I firmly believe that most teachers are going to follow the rules–and those that won’t are already breaking the rules.

And there’s still the little matter that if you buy a copy of the music, it is at the SAME PRICE as if you have a piece of music printed on paper, stapled, and sent to your local music store.  You can’t convince me that it costs anywhere near as much to run an online store as it does to actually print, assemble, store, and ship music.

It’s the last quarter of 2012, and the only point where the big boy publishers have made progress is in making it easier to order music than it was in the past (i.e. online orders)–pending that you do not need to go through a purchase order process in your own school (which my school district follows).  We’re still years away from a way to eliminate paper music (directly from the publishers).


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