This was sort of a shock, but I guess it is to be expected.
Minneapolis – December 20, 2011 – MakeMusic, Inc. (NASDAQ: MMUS) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Garritan Corporation, the world’s leading provider of software musical instruments. Under the terms of the agreement, Garritan Corporation will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MakeMusic. Founder Gary Garritan will be joining MakeMusic as director of instrumental sciences. Closing is subject to customary conditions and is expected to occur within the next few weeks.
Garritan was not included in the last release of Sibelius. I have used Garritan sounds in the past, and still use them. However, I think they have been eclipsed by a lot of the new libraries out. Avid includes a wealth of instruments with the latest ProTools, and Logic 9 includes excellent sounds as well. Basically, Garritan wasn’t keeping up with competition, and relying on it’s proprietary Aria player. Heck, on the product page it heralds that it works with Finale 2009/2010 (they are on 2012 now) and Microsoft Songsmith (yeah…..no one knows or cares about that).
I suppose this makes sense for MakeMusic as it has continually added Garritan sounds to each version of Finale for several years now. Now they own it, and can bundle it with Finale for a lesser cost (assuming). And MakeMusic’s other recent acquisition of Recordare, the maker of MusicXML I’m not sure exactly what they are thinking. This is more like a bandage on major wound.
Finale hasn’t lead in the music notation area for several years. I think the last time I’d consider them “leading” was when they introduced Linked Parts in Finale 2006 (I think? Or 2007?) which was much better than Sibelius’s implementation. Since then, they haven’t really broken any ground with new features, nor really improve or fix existing features. They do like to reintroduce things they fix as new features, such as last version (or was it this version) when they had the new note spacing, which was essentially a fixed version of the note spacing they introduced years ago.
What should they do? They NEED to put Finale in the Mac App store. Get themselves noticed. Lower the price as well. $199 for the full version. Sibelius is not in the App store…….yet. They should at least have Finale Notepad there. Or something. Time is ticking. As soon as Sibelius is in the Mac App store, I’d say it would be game over.
They couldn’t put SmartMusic in there because of Apple’s subscription guidelines for Apps and Subscriptions. Though that would be WAY better than the subscription system they use now for SmartMusic (which sucks ballz). The drum teacher where I teach at has frequent problems with SmartMusic forgetting it’s subscription status.
MakeMusic ALSO needs some sort of iOS app. Again, a version of Notepad for iPad. Or a viewer of Finale files sorta like what Avid Scorch. I’d love to see them do something like Notion…..but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
I don’t know. I really wonder about MakeMusic’s future. Sibelius? Not worried. They are owned by Avid. Avid is making a lot of good stuff right now, though they need to lower the upgrade price to ProTools 10 ($499? WTF?). I wonder what happens the day MakeMusic decides to close and my 10,000+ Finale files are in limbo. I really wish Sibelius would just OPEN Finale Files. I’d switch then.