June 14, 2024

Continuing it’s yearly practice, MakeMusic announced Finale 2009. Basically, they are not raising the bar at all, again, with this. For $99, you finally get:

  • Engraver Slurs fixed (which really should have been fixed 5 years ago)
  • a Baritone Sax in the included Garritan sounds (plus, vintage electric piano, electric guitar, electric bass, vibraphone, handbells…and other instruments…yawn)
  • Virtual Drum Line……..yeah. Woot!
  • Improved SmartMusic Tools. Finally, TWO versions after they put in support for linked parts, they let SmartMusic support it. But it will probably be like what happened before, where Finale comes out in August, and SmartMusic isn’t updated to support the new file format for 6 months+. Oh, and you STILL are stuck with the 90s video game sounds instead of Garritan sounds.
  • Better Markings…..Something that maybe should have been added in Finale 2008.
  • Two Page Editing. Finally, a new, useful feature. But this really should have been added a long time ago.

Basically, MakeMusic hasn’t done anything new or exciting in this release. No Ideas Hub, like Sibelius has. Nothing really…..at all. Looks like I’m still going to be stuck with 2007……

10 thoughts on “Finale 2009 – Defining Mediocrity

  1. Obviously you don’t like the product or the company. I’ve been using it since it began, and love it. I buy every update the day it comes out and feel it is well worth my 9 bucks.

    It seems pretty silly to me that you even complain when they add valuable features that you like, because they didn’t add them sooner.

    Why do you bother? Just use Sibelius and bitch along with them.

    As for me, I anxiously await Finale 2009.

  2. Obviously you don’t like the product or the company. I’ve been using it since it began, and love it. I buy every update the day it comes out and feel it is well worth my 9 bucks.

    Well, it’s not 9 bucks, it’s 100 of them. And Finale 2007 was the last version that had anything compelling in it to warrant an upgrade.

    It seems pretty silly to me that you even complain when they add valuable features that you like, because they didn’t add them sooner.

    They should have had linked parts before Sibelius. On the Finale list, it was a feature everyone wanted for a long, long, long time, and programs such as Moasic had it.

    Why do you bother? Just use Sibelius and bitch along with them.

    Two reasons. One, I don’t like how Sibelius does things. It seems backwards to me. And Two, I have thousands of Finale files that I cannot convert to Sibelius. If Sibelius were to support direct importing of files from Finale, I would use Sibelius. It doesn’t though.

    As for me, I anxiously await Finale 2009.

    So, the compelling feature is what? Why would you upgrade to it? Two Page editing? Lots of extra money you don’t need? You want the Boomwack or whatever notes they have?

  3. Yes, two page editing for one, another feature is the ability to move note based expressions to new notes by dragging them.

    Another is the improved expression window.

    The aria playback is a big improvement as well.

    These are just a few of the reasons.

    I am sure once i start working with it i will find many more. I always do.

    I don’t understand your last two sentences, so i can’t=comment on them.

    I think a hundred bucks is nothing for such an upgrade. I’m not rich, but come on, that’s 25 cups of coffee. It’s nothing. I know some people complain about it, call it a subscription. I’d gladly pay a subscription rate of a hundred bucks a year to have annual up-dates of the sort Finale has consistently released.

    Go MakeMusi!c

  4. Ok, two new features, Two Page editing, and Expressions.

    Aria playback remains to be seen. It uses a new file format, and the only product that Garritan has that uses it is their Steinway Piano. If it was so amazingly good, then why haven’t they moved their GPO and Jazz libraries over to it?

    Last two sentences? “Lots of extra money? You want the Boomwack or whatever notes?” Boomwack notes info is here.

    If they took the “features” of 2009 and 2008, and put them together it would be a compelling upgrade. But for a company to announce a “feature” that really is a bug fix (ie: Engraver Slurs), is rather lame. As lame as the update they did where they had listed as a FEATURE the ability to make a copyright symbol.

    I just think it is sad they cannot really come up with anything really interesting and useful. How about some sort of versioning within a Finale File? Or the ability to open Sibelius files? Or some sort of Finale manager that can keep track of your scores? Or at least something similar to the Ideas thing that Sibelius has………

  5. It’s a bit surprising to me that you would find something like the expression editing via category and the multi-page editing less significant than the Ideas Hub feature in Sibelius. Have you really looked at that ideas hub feature? Seriously, it’s just a new way to create a notation file, add some notes to it and save it. It’s just a fancied up UI for doing what many of us have done all along – pull open a new document and write down some of our musical ideas so we don’t forget them. Wow, you can copy them into another document and transpose them!? Oh, yeah… I guess that was already possible.

    It’s not that I don’t think Sibelius 5 was a fine upgrade. I just thought the Ideas Hub in particular was the most amazing example of tricking people into thinking they were getting something new.

    If you’re looking for something in 2009 that really wasn’t available in other notation programs before, I’d probably say FinaleScript 2.0 would be the best example. External scripting tools are great, but there are decided advantages to having a scripting language that’s native to the app. That’s a tool that can double or triple productivity if people use it well.

  6. It’s a bit surprising to me that you would find something like the expression editing via category and the multi-page editing less significant than the Ideas Hub feature in Sibelius. Have you really looked at that ideas hub feature? Seriously, it’s just a new way to create a notation file, add some notes to it and save it. It’s just a fancied up UI for doing what many of us have done all along – pull open a new document and write down some of our musical ideas so we don’t forget them. Wow, you can copy them into another document and transpose them!? Oh, yeah… I guess that was already possible.

    Yeah, that is true about the Ideas Hub. But, if it was taken to the next level, it could be very, very handy.

    I think if the two page editing and the expression editing and the new selector tool that was the big new feature in 2008 were all introduced in ONE new version, it would have been well worth it. If you take away all the “fluff” that was added in the last two versions (2008 & 2009), things like more Garritan sounds, or Boomwacker notes, or Marching Band sounds, one is left with very little core new features that are compelling to people who have been using it for a long time. People who already own sample libraries, such as the Garritan GPO and Jazz, who look at the feature list and go “meh”.

    It’s not that I don’t think Sibelius 5 was a fine upgrade. I just thought the Ideas Hub in particular was the most amazing example of tricking people into thinking they were getting something new.

    Eh, but it is still something Finale does not have. It is actually pretty useful from what I hear.

    If you’re looking for something in 2009 that really wasn’t available in other notation programs before, I’d probably say FinaleScript 2.0 would be the best example. External scripting tools are great, but there are decided advantages to having a scripting language that’s native to the app. That’s a tool that can double or triple productivity if people use it well.

    If it is anything like FinaleScript 1.0……you can forget it. Finale Script 1.0 was so poorly documented, and basically sucked (because one could never find how to do anything). Using Quickeys or iKey has been a much better solution…….I’d be pleasantly surprised if there is concise documentation and numerous examples.

    Since I’ve been stuck on 2007 for a while, and it sorta runs on Intel Macs under 10.5, 2009 might be a good update if I add in all the features that aren’t in 2007……

  7. If it is anything like FinaleScript 1.0……you can forget it. Finale Script 1.0 was so poorly documented, and basically sucked (because one could never find how to do anything). Using Quickeys or iKey has been a much better solution…….I’d be pleasantly surprised if there is concise documentation and numerous examples.

    Eric, I can’t believe that you are publishing such uninformed crap on this site, misleading a lot of readers. You have absolutely no idea what Finalescript 2 wil be. Nor do you know about the rest of Finale 2009.
    You would certainly look wiser if only you were talking about things you know.
    I’ve had the chance to beta-test Finale 2009, and even if it does not contain ALL that I would have loved too, it is a very worthful upgrade.

  8. Eric, I can’t believe that you are publishing such uninformed crap on this site, misleading a lot of readers. You have absolutely no idea what Finalescript 2 wil be. Nor do you know about the rest of Finale 2009.

    I do know. Go to Finalemusic.com and read about it. I did not publish a REVIEW, but more of an overview of what the MakeMusic Kool-Aid department is putting out. As a long time user of Finale, the Kool-Aid this time around (and last time), is not all that compelling. If Finalescript 2 is sooo amazingly good, they why doesn’t the Kool-Aid department have a bunch of pages featuring the amazing power of it?

    There is nothing at all misleading sir. If you are a Finale 2007 user, there “might” be something worthwhile to update for (two page editing, selector tool). But other than that…….not really. Plus, Makemusic decided to move all the menus around (according to users of 2008). So, Macros one has set up in Quickeys or iKey might not work.

    You would certainly look wiser if only you were talking about things you know. I’ve had the chance to beta-test Finale 2009, and even if it does not contain ALL that I would have loved too, it is a very worthful upgrade.

    Ah, so you like Kool-aid. It is worth the $99 price of admission how? Is two page editing really worth that? Are the boomwacker notes worth that? Is the addition of the Garritan bari sax worth it?

    Name me THREE absolutely compelling features that Finale 2009 has that Finale 2007 does not? Does it do linked parts better?

  9. Eric, your initial post left me the impression that you are a frustrated Finale user, mainly because Finale is not ALL you would like it to be.
    I am far from being a MakeMusic praiser, and I’ve had my load of comments and criticism on their website. I was devastated to discover that no significant improvement were made to linked parts.
    To be fair, I can find more that THREE compelling features that would make me jump from 2007 to 2008:
    – ScoreMerger, a great time saving plug-in from Robert Piechaud
    – Expressions overhaul in 2009
    – Finalescript 2, a lot more powerful, for power users needing efficiency
    – Improvements to the selection tool 2008
    – Menu reorganization. experienced users may not immediately feel at home, but the overall placement of items is a lot more logical. Of course you will have to reprogram many of you Quickeys shortcuts.
    – Many will find the full VST/AU support a real must too, if they need it.
    – Multipage editing: at first I tought it was more of a gadget. But it is great for me too. I like being able to make revisions with the pages flowing vertically, always seeing what’s right before at page changes, especially when applying the cautionary accidentals.

    Anyway, it may be futile to do this, as everyone’s needs are different, but I do find the sum of features added from 2008-2009 a compelling reason to upgrade.

  10. Eric, your initial post left me the impression that you are a frustrated Finale user, mainly because Finale is not ALL you would like it to be.

    Yup. They have, for the last bunch of updates, focused on “fluff” rather than real features.

    I am far from being a MakeMusic praiser, and I’ve had my load of comments and criticism on their website. I was devastated to discover that no significant improvement were made to linked parts.

    Exactly. They put it in. It works, sorta. Could be a lot better. But they don’t do anything about it.

    To be fair, I can find more that THREE compelling features that would make me jump from 2007 to 2008:
    – ScoreMerger, a great time saving plug-in from Robert Piechaud

    I’d never use that.

    – Expressions overhaul in 2009

    Perhaps.

    – Finalescript 2, a lot more powerful, for power users needing efficiency

    They said that about 1.0 finalescript. Unless it is documented really well or offers something iKey or Quickeys can not do, I’d say……”meh”

    – Improvements to the selection tool 2008

    Ok, ONE

    – Menu reorganization. experienced users may not immediately feel at home, but the overall placement of items is a lot more logical. Of course you will have to reprogram many of you Quickeys shortcuts.

    Is this really a “feature”? Looking at the 2008 menu set up…..It still doesn’t make sense to have the Enharmonic Spelling over in Preferences. It should be in Document or Utilities. Actually, I think Document. And Data Check should be over in Utilities rather than Document…….hardly logical.

    – Many will find the full VST/AU support a real must too, if they need it.

    I thought we had AU support in 2007? Who uses VST on the Mac?

    – Multipage editing: at first I tought it was more of a gadget. But it is great for me too. I like being able to make revisions with the pages flowing vertically, always seeing what’s right before at page changes, especially when applying the cautionary accidentals.

    ok, TWO.

    Oh, and they “fixed engraver slurs”…….like 5 years after they were introduced. It is stuff like that which drives me insane. They fix something and then call it a feature. WTF. It was a feature that never worked correctly…….

    Anyway, it may be futile to do this, as everyone’s needs are different, but I do find the sum of features added from 2008-2009 a compelling reason to upgrade.

    From 2007 to 2009, it might make sense. The selector tool is pretty slick, and two page editing might be good for those who have large monitors.

    But really, MakeMusic should take a page from Apple’s play book and make the next version leaner, faster, and fix bugs.

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