In a surprise move, Neuratron (the creators of PhotoScore, the scanning software packaged with Sibelius and even my choice for scanning to MusicXML) has made a free version of NotateMe, called NotateMe Now. This version only allows you to notate one line, and can export MusicXML via e-mail (I do not think that “Open In” is enabled).
As the full version of NotateMe is going to be over $30, this is a great move for Neuratron, as it gives users the chance to see how NotateMe works. NotateMe Now works exactly like NotateMe, but NotateMe has even more features. So if you like NotateMe Now, you will hopefully want to buy NotateMe.
Where NotateMe Now has the potential to shine is in education. Most teachers that work with student-created notation focus on single melodic lines…and that is exactly what NotateMe Now provides. Furthermore, students can learn how to write notation by hand with all the benefits of seeing their work in modern notation with the ability to play what they write and to export that work as well. So, here is a way to meet your state standards for using technology, writing music, and dictating music.
The only missing feature that might be useful to students is the ability to add lyrics; hopefully a future update to NotateMe would enable the feature of lyrics.
As a music educator, I can't believe that this is a free app, and my students will be downloading this app on Tuesday (school is cancelled here in Minnesota as temperatures will be below -20°F with windchills in excess of -50°F). If you have student iPads, I am sure you will want to do this as well.
Thank you, Neuratron, for making this free version of NotateMe Now!
(note: NotateMe Now also works on some iPhones and iPod Touches, but of course, the larger screen of the iPad is an easier way to interact with the app. You will also want to consider a stylus, and I still recommend the Boxwave Evertouch Fiber Mesh stylus, available on eBay).