Some Flat.io Updates
There are two web-based traditional music notation programs…Flat.io and Noteflight. In my opinion, Noteflight is the more mature of the two programs, with a broad spectrum of palettes as well as a wonderful education-based version called Noteflight Learn that comes with a number of tools, including a set of literature. You can subscribe to Noteflight through their own website, or through MusicFirst.
Flat.io has only been around three years or so, and they have traveled a different direction. I think Flat.io is usually easier to use as. As Flat.io grows (much like Noteflight), it does add more features and eventually, complexity. Flat.io has one other strength, which is its ties to Google. Flat utilized Google log-ins, which made its educational version a great fit for our choir program last year (we bought a one month subscription). I should mention that Noteflight now integrates with Google Classroom.
Flat.io recently introduced two features that are pretty exciting. First, they added the ability to have worksheets for the education version. Second, they have now added a feature that allows you to add a Flat.io excerpt inside a Google Doc.
The best features of both of these tools (Flat actually gives you all key features free, without any classroom features, and limited personal storage; Noteflight gives you a very basic version for free) are paid; and as such, you aren’t likely to have both available for your classroom. You will have a very hard decision to make. People can, of course, buy personal subscriptions–but then you also do not have access to the education features.
I do like the idea of worksheets in Flat.io; and I really like the ability to embed Flat.io in Google Docs. So many of my undergraduate and graduate papers would have been so much easier to write with those tools! At the same time, I like the direction Noteflight is going with Noteflight Learn–and both programs are adding new features on a regular basis.
Both programs work “In the Cloud,” and can be used on most devices–however, the iPad is known to be less responsive as a platform to many web-based programs. Flat is working on a iOS version that should be coming out soon.
I can’t tell you what to do, and there are certainly enough users to support both platforms–and it is fantastic that both are committed to education. I would suggest signing up for the free version of each, trying them out, and choosing the one you like best.