So Long, Symphony and Symphony Pro

UPDATE: 5/17/2013: Yesterday the Symphony Pro Twitter Account and the Symphony Pro went live again, promising a version 3.0 this spring (2013) within weeks.  For the record, I had verified that Symphony Pro was no longer in development after writing this article–but the developers have decided to resurrect the app, which is a good thing for all of us.  I have been a fan of their efforts since January 2011, bugs and all…and competition is good for everyone.  But again…Symphony Pro had been shuttered for the past five months (not available on the app store, the web page was shut down, and so on).

I will be writing a post about my experiences at TMEA/TI:ME and MMEA in the near future, but I did want to write a post about what I learned about Symphony Pro. Ultimately, it is no longer under development and will not be coming back.

This is sad news, because Symphony Pro was the first music notation software for the iPad, released in January 2011, and it had great promise. I still consider their general layout of tools and “look” to be superb. But as they developed the app, each version brought new functionality and even greater bugs.

From what I understand, one of the members of the three member team (they were all college students at the time they began the Symphony (iPhone) and Symphony Pro (iPad) projects was accepted to grad school, and the app wasn’t profitable enough to support the developers financially. Additionally, the original code became outdated, so their plans were to create a new version of the app with all new code (Symphony Pro 3)…but this will never happen. They have shut down their websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook feeds.

There is a lesson to be learned here: your app purchase is no guarantee of future support. If you buy an app, it has to be based on its current or imminent feature set. You cannot buy an app based upon the promise of what it could do. This, of course, is the challenge with the ThinkMusic app. At $30, the app has to be 100% functional and nearly bug free. At the same time, one of the joys of supporting and working with developers is that there can be interaction between the developer and the app user, and the app user’s feedback can have a direct impact on the features of an app.

So–Symphony and Symphony Pro are gone. If you need notation on your iPad, what options do you have? There is one option, and it is a good one: Notion for iPad. At $14.99, it offers great functionality, and it is on an extremely rapid development schedule. The goal of Notion is to have the iPad feature all of the functionality of the desktop version of the software–and they are doing it.

Note: 2/23/2012 I received official word that Symphony Pro is no longer being developed (Not just information from a close source).


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