Tag Archives: fail

Finale Songbook

Though this author likes the program, I think MakeMusic has missed the mark again. No transposition, no DropBox or any cloud integration. No annotations. No sale (even though it’s free). Maybe version 2 will correct this, but given how fast (or rather, slow) MakeMusic does updates to Finale and its other programs, I think the competition is going to continue to be way ahead of Finale.

If you want a good music reader for iPad, get ForScore


Finale Songbook:

I am happy to announce that Finale has finally released its first mainstream iPad app, Finale Songbook. Finale Songbook is a free app that allows you to read Finale files on your iPad. I love the name of the app, as it hearkens back to the song books of the jazz standards. The app opens to the main library, in which you can view your selections by playlists, title, composer, or file name. The library also includes a search bar, as well as a number of sample files and instructions on how to use the app.


(Via Technology in Music Education)

Free Laptop or iPod with an Instrument Purchase? Say What?

I’m not too sure who came up with this at the Woodwind and the Brasswind. But seriously, is this the only way to sell instruments now? You have to give them an iPod or a Dell laptop? Why not just lower the prices? I know the markup on a lot of these, and it is HUGE. Why not cut the prices and make maybe 10% profit rather than 90%?


ASCAP Wants To Be Paid When Your Phone Rings

First, they went after the Girl Scouts to have them PAY for singing songs around a campfire. Now, ASCAP wants you to PAY for a public performance of a ring tone. Yes……my mind too hit the brick wall and splattered upon reading this too. Have we become THAT concerned with money? I think it is fair game to require people who are MAKING money performing an ASCAP song to be required to share some of the revenues. But Girl Scouts? Cell Phone “performances”? Seriously?

Finale 2010

Not to be outdone by Sibelius, MakeMusic announced Finale 2010. Actually, lets reword that. Failing to incorporate any of the ideas presented in Sibelius 5, and failing to come up with anything new and interesting, MakeMusic announced Finale 2010.

Ok, so, what is new for the $99.95 pre-order price? Not much at all. They finally changed the way chords work in program. I can’t tell you when they last mucked with that, probably 10 years or more. It is not a revolutionary feature, but more of a “duh….it needed to be fixed” feature. Since the inception of the program you could not have chords in an empty measure. Now, Finale 2010 has a new “feature” that can do this. Blah Blah Blah.

What else? Well, you get a new font, more Garritan sounds, perhaps a working Aria player, hopefully fixed Percussion notation, Automatic Rehearsal Marks, and measure number controls. That last one really should be a “feature” but should have been fixed in Finale 2007. It is kind of like the version of Finale where they listed that Copyright symbol as a Feature. Those people from the middle states have humor don’t they?

In all, for $100……..worth it? The last version of Finale I updated to was 2007. It sort works on my 10.5 equipped Macs. Finale 2008 and 2009 TOGETHER had some interesting features I could have used, but not really. 2010 though……I dunno. I suppose two page editing, a better cursor, dynamic placement that is better, and chords that are better are noteworthy features to update to. Though MakeMusic wants $170 to upgrade me. Ha! Looks like Finale 2007 will be getting more use from me.

SmartMusic – FAIL!

If you read the archives here, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with MakeMusic/SmartMusic (same company). Their products have a lot of potential, but I think the corporate environment there is messed up.

The current issue I have with MakeMusic is my SmartMusic renewal. About 2 years ago, you needed to have an Educators subscription to obtain a “code” to allow students to get a subscription for $25 a year. Fair enough. Then they came out with SmartMusic 11 and did away with the “code” thing, and offering educators access to their site to be able to track assignments, grades, send assignments, etc. Sounded good in theory, but it never worked right for me at all. And students never used it. So, why am I paying for it then? I simply want to be able to create some SmartMusic exercises for my students, and take advantage of the huge library they have for sightreading purposes.

So, this year, with money being a concern, I did initially renew my account, which was like $130. This was back in January. I’m pretty sure I gave them all the credit card info and what not. Then, the other week, I get an invoice from them saying that my account is overdue. What? Actually, this is to be expected. They pretty much do this every year I’ve had an account with them. I enter all the billing info and payment info online, and they proceed to lose it or misplace it or something. Upon reflection, I decided I wanted to just have a student subscription. Well, “Chris” from their SmartMusic support says that I do not qualify. What? I could set up a new account and order the software and stuff for $30, but since I had an educators account, they would not move me down to a student account even though I explicitly said I did not need all the “stuff” that the educators account had.

So, I cancelled the account. Stupid guys. You should offer SmartMusic for $30 to everyone, and if an educator wants to take advantage of your “services” (if you want to call it that…..I wouldn’t), then they can add on the extra to be able to track students, send assignments, hear recordings, etc, etc.

I really wish someone would buy MakeMusic, gut the management, and actually force them to start updating their products with more features and better user interfaces. Actually, I’d be happy if they just got rid of the management.