Within the last six hours, the Think Music Technology Group has cancelled its Kickstarter project and is going to develop the app privately. Here is their news announcement from Facebook:
First of all, we want to say a big thank you for all your support. We've received so much positive feedback from people who want to use our app, and we can't wait to get it in your hands.
Since we released our initial video we've heard from many musicians all over the world who not only want to use the app, but want to help in the funding process. We are very excited to work with people who are enthusiastic about what we're doing. We've also received lots of support through our Kickstarter campaign and appreciate everyone who wants to be part of the whole process.
We've decided that the best option for our company at this time is to work with private investors. Developing a great app takes funding, but to grow our company and vision for the long term, we know we need to add more people to our team. We appreciate everyone's support through our Kickstarter campaign and if you've pledged money through Kickstarter, you won't be charged.
You can preorder the app today through our website, sign up for email updates, and follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter. We are on track for a fall release, and will be posting updates on our website and social media. Stay tuned!
I think this regrouping effort is a great idea. Kickstarter is a hard sell, unless you are creating a physical object (stylus, iPhone tripod mount, Pebble watch) that already has a physical prototype. Software is nebulous–there is no way to tell how well an app will or could work unless it is available on the App Store. Just because an app seems like a good concept doesn't mean that the app will work as it should. As an app purchaser, you want to see reviews from trusted sources that say, “This app really works.” This is particularly true with a $25 or $30 app. There is no question in my mind that iPad apps are worth $30–but the marketplace usually tolerates apps between $3-$10, including Apple's own Pages, Excel, and Numbers.
It also doesn't help that the major tech blogs chose not to cover this Kickstarter app when they have done so for other projects. I thought the initial drama about the use of Sibelius/Good Reader for their promo video was a good backstory for an interesting article (In fact, one angry Sibelius owner already re-posted the Sibelius Blog post about this on Think Music's Facebook page with this recent announcement). Perhaps music notation just isn't a need for their readers–or perhaps Think Music wasn't greasing the wheels with cash for coverage. I'd like to think the first is true, but I fear the second might be the state of coverage in the blogging world.
I don't think the original goal of $170,000 was inaccurate…I believe it will cost them that much to develop this app. At $25 per purchase, the app HAS to work as advertised from Day 1. Although I didn't pledge to the Kickstarter campaign, I will likely buy the app when it hits the AppStore. I took the time to submit some handwriting samples, too (I wish there would have been a Zoom feature on the form, such as with Noteshelf or Notability).
I wish Think Music the best–I will be following them on Twitter. I think their app is novel, and a great use of the iPad interface. I know the Vision Object's technology can be used for this app, so handwriting can be analyzed into notation. And I think this may eventually lead to far better conversion of music via scanning than we have available today. Furthermore, ScoreCleaner (on a traditional computer) takes MIDI input and converts it to notation–determining key and time signature. All of this is possible.