AirPlay is Amazing!

One of my Christmas gifts was an Apple TV (Actually, it was purchased on Black Friday for $79.00 using my birthday money, but it was delayed until Christmas).

After all the presents were unwrapped and our children enjoying their toys such as Thomas engines and a new telescope, I set up the Apple TV. The bad news: our old Phillips Plasma HDTV has too low of resolution to work with the Apple TV (The images were pink). Hooking up the Apple TV to a newer TV, it worked flawlessly. So someday we’ll need to buy a larger, higher resolution HDTV.

AirPlay is incredible…from iPad or iPhone. No wires, no worries.

The big question: can Apple open up AirPlay to all iPad applications? Can Apple make a lower resolution component video AirPlay receiver that will work with LCD Projectors? If they can…iPads will exponentially grow in education. What would you project wirelessly on a screen? Notes? Sheet music? Sight-reading? Daily plans? Attendance? Videos and YouTube? Textbooks? The possibilities are endless, and I trust Apple is aware of the potential.

*Note: additional testing has proved that AirPlay works with iPod Touch models and MacBooks through iTunes as well. When this feature is opened to 3rd party app developers, the possibilities will be endless.

Finale 2010 Announced

If you own Finale by MakeMusic, you should have received this press notice, but the pre-release sale of Finale 2010 has been announced.  It is available as an upgrade for $99.95 (why don’t they just charge $100 and be done with it), particularly if you own Finale 2009.

The new look of Finale 2010
The new look of Finale 2010

The most promising upgrades for me, as a music educator, are: more Garritan sounds; music education worksheets; further improved scanning.

If you are a Sibelius user, I am aware of that program and its popularity.  However, the strengths that either program (Sibelius or Finale) has over each other fades with each year.  My guess is that someday, we’ll have one program called Sibelius Finale.  But as for now, Finale is my choice for five reasons.  First, I was trained on it in college and used it extensively. Second, I have hundreds of existing Finale Files, and although Finale is not reverse-compatible, new versions can read any old version.  Third, the largest publishing companies (and many of the small ones) use Finale.  Fourth, Finale is a locally created product (literally here in Minnesota, Twin Cities) and an product of the USA (Sibelius is truly centered in Europe).  Finally, Finale allows for the import and export of Music XML files; Sibelius will only import, and the export feautre requires a costly add-on.  Ultimately, Finale gives me the choice to take my music elsewhere, should I wish to do so.  And that freedom helps me to stick with the product.

Look for Finale 2010 to be shipped in June (a little earlier than normal) and for the $99.95 offer to continue into mid-September.  I’ll personally upgrade in August, shortly before school starts.