This may be old news for you, but Flat.io joined the ranks of web-based apps that have also released an iOS version of their web app called Flat – Music Notation. I had been a beta tester of the app (I didn’t have a lot of time to provide feedback), and since the last beta version, I had not used the app and was not aware that the public version had been released.
If you aren’t familiar with flat.io, there are two solutions for web-based music notation. One of those solutions is Noteflight, and the other is flat.io. In my opinion, Noteflight is the heavy duty app, with more functionality and features. Flat.io has always been easier to use, but more limited in its features. Of course, as time rolls on, both programs keep adding features, and it is always nice to read updates from the flat.io team.
I bought a one month subscription for my students to use the education version of flat.io last year—which worked well, even on iPad. You can use flat.io on an iPad, but the app offers even more flexibility for the iPad user (Noteflight had discussed making an iPad app at one time, too). The things I like about flat.io are its interface (which creates notes out of existing rests, like Sibelius), its connections with Google Apps for Education (any time you take away the need for yet another password, you make my life as a teacher easier), and flat.io’s ability to embed musical scores into a Google Doc (something new in 2017). That will revolutionize music education papers at the college level in the future (and something I am eager to interact with when I teach at the college level). I also like the flat.io doesn’t hide features if you don’t pay for the service. They give you three private scores for free, but if you go beyond those scores, your scores are public unless you upgrade. However, you have full access to all features and instruments in all of those scores. And of course, you can import existing MusicXML files and export MusicXML files (into an app like Notion, for example). The only feature I would still love to see added is the ability to have chord diagrams as chord symbols. Right now, only letters appear as chord symbols. If you love Flat, they have a one time lifetime purchase option that leaves you as a member forever, and they have been known to offer a discount on that purchase at various times, such as Black Friday.
The classroom version was wonderful…easy to assign a template to all students, and they only had to join their class with a “join code.” It was easy for students to work on their assignments as well as to turn them in—and easy to correct them and give feedback. It cost $100 to give 350 students access for a month. There is a cheaper plan to give access to your students for a year ($1.50 a student), but I didn’t want to spend $525 on the service when we were only going to use it for the month. If I could find a way to make composition a part of our course throughout the year, that $525 would be well spent.
There are benefits to Noteflight as well—but this post is about flat.io.
It is FREE to start a flat.io account…you can login with your traditional Google account…and the Flat – Music Notation app for iOS is free. So…why not take some time over the remainder of your holiday weekend and see what flat has to offer?