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I ask that if you're reading this to read through and to please consider my request seriously and to let the good folks at Finale know how much you'd like to see Finale iOS. If you have any reservations, let me prove to you why it would help advance and not slow the progress Finale (the desktop version).
And I can also show you how and why a Finale iOS version could have a major impact on your workflow.

I own an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I use Notion iOS for my daily off site notation sketching and full charting and part printing to completion app. It works! And if I need to add something to a chart that the iOS version can't do (which there isn't much of), I can save to iCloud, Dropbox, save as MIDI file, XML and PDF. Then transfer it to Notion, Finale or my DAW for further editing.

But I would like to see Finale iOS and it's my desktop notation app.

There are two critical things to understand about iOS.

1) The A9X chip used in the iPad Pro's is fast. It's approaching decent i5 speeds and can easily handle playback of a full orchestra or if you're running a DAW and need to do sound design or you're composing in an iOS DAW, the iPad Pro runs several powerful DAWs (I'm currently using Cubasis which is the iOS version of Cubase - although I'm a Digital Permorner user on my multi-MacPro desktop rig), an iPad Pro can handle most needs with ease.

Note entry can be accomplished just like the desktop version (including using an attacked MIDI controller either via a USB cable or through Bluetooth. Bluetooth is great because it frees up the Lightning port to be used as a digital audio out, which can not only be connected to your desktop rig via a USB port, but an external clock can control playback. In other words it's about the same as having a MacBook connected to your main rig but it does things a MacBook can't. For one, the synths now available for iOS are extremely powerful.

2) The Apple Pencil. I can write notation freely with the pencil on a blank Notion iOS document and it takes my handwriting and turns it into vector graphics. The one problem with Notion iOS is that it only allows you to write on the bottom 25 percent of the screen. That doesn't quite cut it. But that's not an iOS or iPad issue. If you haven't already looked at the app StaffPad for Window's Surface tablets, your jaw will drop with envy when you do (look it up). StaffPad is basically a blank template for any ensemble you want. You write on the screen with a stylus just like you would with pencil and paper and StaffPad will convert your handwriting into vector graphics AND it makes use of the entire screen. It's taken the Windows notation world by storm. The makers of StaffPad have been inundated by iPad users asking for an iOS version but they stubbornly refuse to port to iOS stating the the iPad is not powerful enough (THIS IS BLATANTLY FALSE) as the A9x and the forthcoming A10x are fastly approaching i5 and even i7 capabilities. I have the Geekbench scores to prove it.

They also say that iOS is too locked down. Again, this is pure nonsense. Unfortunately the programmer for StaffPad is a Windows developer only and refuses to consider porting anything to Apple. I have a history with Apple and I can tell you that he is wrong. The iPad Pro is now capable of handling a desktop type app. Notion iOS basically does everything the desktop version does.

Notion iOS does 90 percent of what I need it to do. But again, the iOS community is insulted that there aren't very many big name notation apps for iOS. However there are many apps trying. There's Notion, Muse Score, Score Creator, Guitar Pro, NotateMe Now (all Pencil usage), Symphony Pro, iReal Pro, TouchNotation, Avid Scorch, and many others. BUT what's missing are the BIG TWO - Finale and Sibelius.

Admittedly Finale as is might be a tough port because it's so deep and has been built around the mouse and desktop metaphor for a long time. But with the latest version, Finale 25, a companion Finale iOS doesn't seem as far fetched as it might have been a couple of years ago.

I'm a film composer, conductor, music theory and composition teacher, and I have a background in technology. I worked at Apple for some years. And I can honestly tell you that the time is right for Finale iOS. iOS and iPad Pros are now powerful enough to hang with the desktop version ( in most respects), and in some ways the workflow is faster (depending on the task).

I have fallen in love with sketching and charting on the iPad Pro and I believe if Finale made an iOS version, it would take off like wildfire. StaffPad has done amazingly well for Surface sales and for composers and arrangers in rehearsals that are doing edits, cranking out cues (which get handed off to the destop orchestrator for clean up and part printing, but in Notion iOS can be done on the iPad itself!). StaffPad has revolutionized the way film scores and composers on location work. The iPad Pro is waiting for that app. Notion iOS is close, but because they got bought out by Presonus, integration with Studio One had become a priority. Hence, right now is the perfect time for Finale to make its move to iOS.

There are many, like me, that are heavily invested in iOS and the large iPad Pro specifically and refuse to buy into a Windows system. IMO, the Surface Pro's are clunky compared to the iPad Pro.

I herby request that Finale and MakeMusic port a version of Finale to iOS that is a combination of what Notion iOS and StaffPad have accomplished. I'm willing to use my YouTube channel to make videos showing the power of Notion iOS on the iPad Pro to demonstrate what a Finale iOS could do for the composer on the go.

I'm also asking for the voices of the Finale community to speak up and ask for Finale iOS. I'm guessing some of you already get it and already want it. But for those of you that are skeptical, please voice your concerns to me and let me show you the power, freedom and the newly found freshness of being able to notate at a high level on a mobile device. You will be surprised. Many times I have felt the creative desire in between rehearsals and then charted out my ideas during breaks or between rehearsals, and that has revolutionized my workflow, (and my output!).

Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your feedback.

Steve Steele (Finale users since 1995).

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Recent updates: Notion (iOS) is on sale now for a short time, by the way. I'm impressed with the note entry in "Touch Notation" (iOS), and there's a free version if you just want to give it a spin. MuseScore (desktop) offers an inexpensive viewer/player on iOS and Android.


I'm moving more and more of my music related workflows (all of them) onto iPad, but I'm not ready to migrate my musx library to a new format yet. I'd either like a Finale iOS or a reliable way to import scores from musx to iOS for editing and to export back to musx. Steps forward in this direction would be (1) provide a player app along the lines of MuseScore and (2) support effective pencil input along the lines of Touch Notation.

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Hi Joe:

 

Duly noted on the request to more seamlessly integrate Finale with other apps on the iOS.

 

Cheers,
Michael Johnson
VP, Professional Notation
MakeMusic

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I am increasingly out of the country for extended periods of time and bring my laptop ONLY to use Finale. I've also been a Finale user since 1995 and advocated for Finale over Sibelius at my university (although Sibelius was much less expensive for them). I'd be happy with a simplified iOS version of Finale that I could use with a bluetooth keyboard. Going up and back between Notion or any other program and xml imports and exports doesn't make sense to me. I'd rather carry my MacBook, even if it's only for Finale.

 

But an iOS version of Finale would solve everything (as well as drawing many new users into the Finale community).

 

Thanks,

Evan Solot

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A lot of people agree with you, Evan, including me.

MakeMusic can choose to not allocate resources to developing an iOS version of Finale.

But with Apple's introduction of new iPad Pro models that outperform the MacBook Pro in some CPU & GPU tasks and the forthcoming release of iOS 11, the company can no longer say it's holding back because either the platform or the device isn't capable of supporting the demands Finale makes on hardware and software.

MakeMusic will have to come up with another reason for why they're not interested in developing for the post-PC world.

Apple, Inc. certainly has planted their flag firmly on that new continent of the future.

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"post-PC world"... That's a laugh

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It's completely understandable that you'd say that, William.

I didn't say the post-PC world has arrived though. I think it's quite a long way off.

But that's where the world is going.

Mobile usage passed desktop usage in 2016. It's where the growth is and where the computer industry is heading.

Apple is headed there too, and their new mobile OS and devices are a first step in that direction.

As I also said above, the company has but planted a flag on the shores of the future.

We're nowhere near there yet.

Companies that don't realize that will be like the Blackberries of the past -- and like the buggy whip manufacturers of Henry Ford's day.

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Hi all:

 

Interesting discussion over the past couple months. MakeMusic is investing in solutions and not simply putting existing products on various devices. It is peculiar Finale SongBook has not been mentioned in this thread. It is also worth noting that consumers and creators have different needs. If the later coterie can be productive on a tablet, then maybe Gregg's future is closer than we think. The demo of the iPad Pro at WWDC this year would lead us to believe so. I'm still guardedly optimistic that an iPad or Surface or Chromebook could replace a tower or workstation with an extended keyboard while significantly improving the workflow and output of a creator. 

 

Things are moving quickly and these are exciting times for all of us. Great discussion!

Cheers,

Michael Johnson

VP, Professional Notation

MakeMusic

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Very good thoughts, Michael. 

I do have SongBook on my iPad, but I need access to Finale 25 files. SB reads only 2011 and older files. 

As well, SB offers limited editing capabilities for professional music engravers. Rightly so. The app is intended to appeal to a different market segment altogether. 

I find your basic assumption quite interesting. Please correct me if I'm misinterpreting your second sentence, which I read as, "Porting existing products to various devices isn't a solution." My understanding of this entire thread is that bringing some* Finale 25 features to iOS is not only a solution but an innovative one at that. Two examples of many are Microsoft porting Office 365 to iOS and Literature and Latte releasing Scrivener. 

No one I know who uses Office apps would say that Word or Excel on the iPad is everything that they want or have on the desktop. But I believe every single one would say that Office on the iPad is very much a solution for them. 

As I've said above, I certainly don't mean to criticize MM for not giving me what I want. I don't run the company, and I'm not responsible for ensuring its corporate health. 

But I don't hesitate (obvious by now, right? ^_^) to speak up for what I, and I believe, many other Finale professionals in the Apple ecosystem, would welcome as a marvelous, innovative solution to our ever-increasingly mobile computing culture. 

Thanks again, Michael, for taking your time to engage on this topic. I very much appreciate it. 

*Nigh unto impossible to define in a way that would make a significant percentage of the potential customer base happy! *sighs*

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Hi Michael and Gregg:

I have some thoughts to add but I'm in the middle of a session. I'll reply later tonight.

Michael, I hope you don't mind the questions, but I think this is the perfect way to get a point across.

I see that you own a Surface. Do you own an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil or have you had any long term access to them? Specifically the 12.9" model. Not an iPhone or any other iPad. Just the Pro.

If so, did or do you have any of the iOS notation apps of any kind on the device? What was your main use for any of these apps?

Thank you for staying engaged with us. It's much appreciated!

Steve Steele

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Hi all:
 
Great to see the discussion continue.
 
I re-read the whole thread to better understand the request and some of the assumptions behind the comments.
 
Steven’s original post was "port a version of Finale to iOS that is a combination of what Notion iOS and StaffPad have accomplished". Which is a fine suggestion, but as he admits earlier, "Admittedly Finale as is might be a tough port because it's so deep and has been built around the mouse and desktop metaphor for a long time. But with the latest version, Finale 25, a companion Finale iOS doesn’t seem as far fetched as it might have been a couple of years ago." I am happy to confirm v25 is in a much better state, but it isn't ready to leap to another OS.
 
11 months ago, Gregg commented, "… have a fully functioning version of Finale for iOS to use with my iPad Pro." I do appreciate your examples of products that have adapted to the tablet form-factor. Finale isn’t there. I disagree with having a fully functional Finale on a tablet. I cringe at the thought of the Shape Designer, Chord Suffix Editor, or MIDI Tool on the iPad. We’ve stated that we’re investing in Finale, as that code base comes into order then the possibilities expand. As I’ve said previous, Finale on the iOS is not something on our immediate roadmap.
 
Additionally, I think the fundamental question is what job are you attempting to accomplish on the iPad in notation? Again, several contributors have expressed things like creating a Finale file to capture a motif, make light edits to an existing file, annotate, correct errors, proof, perform, audition, share with a collaborator, complete an assignment as a student, etc. Those tasks I can see and appreciate. You don’t need Finale to do that. So, as I’ve said, we’re looking into solutions for an ecosystem that supports the needs of the user base.
 
To answer your questions, Gregg, on the iPad Pro, I use: SmartMusic, Notion, NotateMe, Komp and many other non-musical apps. Don’t get me wrong. I like the iPad, a far leap forward from my Palm back in the ’90’s, for many of the same reasons as you’ve listed. When it comes to music notation on such a device, I believe the solution has to be a well integrated and seamlessly designed part of the bigger ecosystem and the foundation of that ecosystem has to be rock solid and well architected. 
 
We will continue to modernize Finale, investigate opportunities, and look for ways to build on the systems under the Peaksware umbrella: Finale, MusicXML, Garritan, SmartMusic, and Alfred Music Publishing.  
 
Cheers,
Michael Johnson
VP, Professional Notation
MakeMusic
 
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Michael,

Thanks again for staying engaged.

I asked what iOS apps you use because I was curious if you've tried using the iPad Pro in your daily workflow. By the apps you name it seems you know what the landscape is.

Notion iOS has made it into my daily workflow as my only mobile notation app solution. And my output has skyrocketed! There's no going back for me.

I was at a sectional rehearsal recently and I needed to make some changes to a part. Normally I would have had to wait until the next rehearsal, (if there is one) to supply the player with the updated part. But with Notion iOS, in the span of a short break I was able to open up an entire session, make the changes, then print out the separate part. Obviously this doesnt happen very often, but just having a clipboard sized device with a pencil that is comfortable to carry has massively upgraded what I can get done and when and where I do it!

That's what I love about my iPad Pro "studio." Sometimes needing a change of pace I grab my iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Bluetooth headphones, head to the local university, the park or coffee shop and spend hours composing. The freedom and speed of the process is wonderful. And btw, I now find a laptop clumsy. IMO, a laptop has too many inherent limitations that keep it from being a good engraving device, (screen size and resolution, no number pad built in, etc).

As a composer the large tablet is liberating!

At my studio I have several Mac Pros slaved using Vienna Ensemble Pro. It's an incredibly powerful system. I use Finale with Digital Performer to finish mockups and productions.

But I'm not always at the studio and I still need the ability to open orchestral sized documents to make additions and edits. At the moment I try to make sure that Finale's MusicXML and Notion iOS's MusicXML are close, but that's not always easy.

Hence, instead of a "port" (I knew I should not have used that word), I want an iOS version of Finale that includes handwriting capabilities gesture, but doesn't include the many deep features of the desktop Finale.

To be perfectly straight about it, I want a version of Finale that has about the same general capabilities as Notion iOS.

Since you've used Notion iOS, Notate Me and Komp you understand what features I wound want in an iOS version. I WOULD NOT want a fully functional version of the desktop Finale ported over to iOS. We both know that wouldn't work. I sometimes VNC to my Mac from my iPad Pro and while getting around the Finder is doable, there's no way I'd want to work like that all day. The shape designer and MIDI tool, plus the dialog boxes would not be needed in an iOS version. Having a pallete of common dynamics would surfice. Adding CCs could wait until one gets to their desktop. Those of us that would like a Finale iOS basically just don't want to deal with MusicXML, and we certainly don't want the full Finale.

I'm sorry to keep bringing up Notion. But they did do a pretty good job of taking their desktop version and with out many interface changes, they integrated gesture and handwriting while minimalizing dialog boxes.

I see many composers that use a DAW first and a notation program second, but I know many that can and do begin with notation.

So I see Finale iOS as a tool for composers and anyone making minor edits. This wouldn't be an app geared towards engraving or perfect playback.

Personally I also potentially see it as a way to help Finale step into the future by adding gestures and handwriting to its workflow. Finale iOS could also serve as a way to begin to create a fresh code base that the big Finale one day might stand on. Those opportunities could bare many fruits.

And lastly, I love the freedom a tablet gives me. I literally compose everywhere. I'm no longer confined to a studio. The iPad Pro is plenty fast enough to play back an entire orchestra. The filesytem is no longer an issue.

But if you feel that for sketching and composing, there's already solutions available that are good enough, and that Finale should firstly be an engraving tool above a composing tool, I guess that's that.

But I do look forward to the day when this does become a priority for MM.

Sorry for the lengthy post.
Thank you for your time!

Steve Steele
Finale user since 1995

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Edit: This is Gregg, not Phil. See the explanatory note below.

Thanks, Steven. I enjoy hearing what others are doing and want to do on tablets in the future. And Michael, it's good to learn a bit about MakeMusic's thinking on these topics.

Rather than once more explaining why my ideas are the right ones—let's be honest; at best, they’re only right for me—I’d like to hear from you, Michael, what you think Finale needs to become in the years ahead.

I’m not asking you to reveal your plans or what's already in the works. But could you give us a Tim-Cook style comment? Like, “We think the AR space is really interesting,” or “There are exciting things ahead in wearables.”

I’ll end with a broader idea that I think partially relates to this thread on the off chance that, if nothing else, it sparks some out-of-the-box thinking.

Would separate, single-task apps be doable on tablets? Examples:

     Finale Engraver
     Finale Composer
     Finale Educator
     Finale Copyist
     Finale Audio Studio

While many users need the functionally of the full program, there are some that primarily, if not exclusively, do a single thing with Finale.

Example: I’m an engraver for a print publisher. I rarely if ever create audio with Finale. I can’t recall ever even touching the Garritan aspects of Finale.

And you already have apps that are subsets of the full program: PrintMusic and NotePad.

I suspect this makes no sense for MakeMusic. But still...

Thanks for participating, Michael, Steven, and everyone else. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Note: Gregg wrote this, not Phil. Somehow I mistakenly logged in under my boss's account, which I do from time to time to assist him in managing our site license. Sorry for the confusion!

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Ditto for me. I've been a Finale user since roughly, version1 or so..

A long time. Addicted to a lot of Finale features. Imagine hiw great finale would be with the ipad's pen

Let's face it. Desktops are yesterdays news and for all it's glory, Win 10 can be a real PIA sometimes.

So what I've been attempting is to c0nnect to my desktop Win 10 with an app called 'splashtop'

Using a swiftpoint mouse but having a few difficulties trying to get it to work without a keyboard.

If you connection to your win10 computer isn't at full pop via wifi then it becomes difficult to use and be creative with it

A Finale program that could be run natively on the IPAD might be just the ticket to exploring the convenience of writing from a tablet I can hold in

my LAP.

 

Wondering if Finale will respond to some custom macros that you could run or select from a split screen sort of thing.

No doubt about it Finale is the best at what it does....

oh and yes; I have Notion on thus 12.9 ipad and it's OK sort of but it's no Finale....

 

Thanks Finale for all you do. 

 

 

 

 

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Hi!!

I have been thinking just the same thoughts as you about a Finale iOS would be perfect for working on the road. I have several friends using Notion, and it is really good. But as mentioned earlier, you need to convert to xml, so its not something to ping pong back and forth..

For gigging/ reading music on iPad, I really recommend Forscore. Its possible to edit and correct pdf's, and the Apple-pencil integration is great.

Hoping soon for a Finale iOS....

Best,

Pelle Fridell

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I needs Finale ios for my ipad pro 10.5 please?

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I needs Finale ios for my ipad pro 10.5 please?

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;-)

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Hi, Giacomo.


What an interesting comment. I agree that all organizations have a life-span: religions, empires, nations, governments, and, yes, companies. Some live for thousands of years; others are just a flash in the pan, so to speak.


I’m wondering two things about what you say here.


First, might you share the reasoning behind your comment? Without some context, it’s rather difficult to determine whether or not what you say adds any value to our ongoing conversation.


Second, I’m interested in why you think saying what you say is at all helpful.


If you’ve read through this entire thread, then you know that I and others are convinced that moving as many of Finale’s features to mobile platforms is important for many customers. But Michael has clearly stated that, while he hears our frustrations, MakeMusic has decided to focus on a different direction.


I think that’s wrong. I’m disappointed. But sometimes, good, intelligent people disagree. As I see it, my options -- yours too, if you take time to think about it -- are two: ditch Finale for other software to get my work done, or continue to use Finale and remain in open dialog with MakeMusic.


Telling people you disagree with to go to hell seems less than useful. It seems you’re saying, “I don’t like your decision, so I’m going to do my best to hurt and insult you.”


I suggest you consider adding to this conversation instead of lashing out in anger and then running away.

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Hi, Steve:
 
Thank you for your thorough reply and examples of what you need an app to do in your daily workflow. What I hear you saying is you need an app that would allow you to read & write .musx file and do light editing. Your perspective aligns with my comment "the solution has to be a well integrated and seamlessly designed part of the bigger ecosystem and the foundation of that ecosystem has to be rock solid and well architected."
 
And as we’ve both mentioned, the device opens the door to new ways of interaction through gesture and stylus. Obviously, that would be a new frontier for Finale. 
 
Hi, Gregg:
 
I liked how you framed your question about Finale’s future and where I see things going. I’ve always enjoyed reading the works of Ray Kurzweil and I was reminded a few weeks ago that he’s ~86% accurate in his predictions of the future. So, from his perspective, we’ll see VR and ML along with more automation and leisure time for humans to do what they do best (e.g. Steve composing in the park). As I’ve mentioned before, Peaksware is investing in the platforms of the brand and I would expect tighter integration of those solutions. In the spirit of deliberate practice, there’s plenty of interest in tightening the feedback loop. We could view that loop as a composer to orchestrator to an engraver to performer or teacher to student or software developer to user or composer to a publisher to consumer. Someone once said software is like a movie, never done just released. I’m interested in making Finale incrementally better, faster, more stable, and ultimately delivering on speed, control, and high-quality output. As marketing says, "Finale allows you to create your way."
 
The idea of many applets has been suggested before and attempted by other companies. I view the NotePad / PrintMusic / Allegro / Finale segmentation as a slightly different approach. There are some ways to look at problems and what the user is trying to make progress on — if those "jobs" can be divided into smaller pieces and have a viable business model, then by all means, go for , t.  
 
Hi Laurence:
 
Thank you for your use of Finale all these years. It is interesting to consider how interactions among devices could work. I also use Splashtop to remote between devices. 
 
And to Giacomo and Gregg, I want to keep the conversation open and understand what is needed. I have no doubt we will disagree from time to time on what to work on and the prioritization of enhancements. I view this community as a great opportunity to have a dialogue, hear from users in an official MakeMusic space, and gauge the interest of a given enhancement. This thread is fulfilling all those criteria and I sincerely appreciate all the input. I will reiterate that we continue to invest in Finale and pursue opportunities to extend the platform and provide solutions to our users. 
 
Cheers,
Michael Johnson
VP, Professional Notation
MakeMusic
 
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Yes for Finale on iPad Pro! Please don’t give up and be open,MM - it’s lighter and smaller. Anything is possible!

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I know I am late to the game here, but the OP's sentiments are exactly my own. I have officially switched from using a laptop to using an iPad Pro, and as a theory/comp teacher and composer there are may benefits. There are still a few apps that need to be more robust to feel like I don't miss my laptop at times, but I don't understand why Finale doesn't jump on the opportunity to pave the way for development. Desktop and laptop machines aren't going to be around in the long run, I think. Sibelius ran aground when Avid took them over, so it really is Finale's opportunity to do the Tablet thing RIGHT. 

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Amen!

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Spending a little time in front of a 40" 4k monitor will cure your desire to be working on an iPad.

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William, are you saying that people must like what you like? That others aren’t allowed to like what they like?

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Not at all; it was a rebuttal to this previous statement:

"Desktop and laptop machines aren't going to be around in the long run"

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William, I respectfully disagree. You speak of what using a large, beautiful monitor will do to change a person’s desire to work on a smaller one. That has little-to-nothing to do with whether desktop computers will exist in the future.

I have both a large-screen iMac (Apple doesn’t offer a 40-inch, of course) and a 12.9-inch iPad. Both serve different purposes in my work life. I’d simply like Finale on both platforms: macOS and iOS. I don’t think sitting in front of a 40-inch screen, as glorious as that experience can be, will change my desire to also work on an iPad.

I do envy you though. I bet your monitor is quite drool-worthy.

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Big monitor is great!!

But I DO prefer editing on an iPad Pro in a flight seat, at rehearsal or on a tour bus though... just getting the 40 inch though the checkin or security might be a bit tricky :-)

Best,

Pelle

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Those airlines are so_____ picky!

Perhaps they would allow a 40" monitor as a comfort animal. (It certainly is when I am editing scores.)

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Yes, a comport monitor! Sort of like Glenn Gould and his pygmy chair...

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Kidding aside, I’d kill for a 40-inch screen.. That sounds delicious. 

But to turn the conversation toward a more serious consideration, let me ask everyone’s thoughts. 

What are the best arguments for why MakeMusic should consider an iOS version of Finale? 

Put another way: If you were on the dev team at MakeMusic, what would you say to the MM higher-ups to convince them that a mobile version of Finale is feasible? 

I think most of us here agree that there are valid reasons for users to want mobile FInale. But MM needs, I think, to know that it’s worth their time and money. How would you help MM senior staff to understand that mobile FInale is a financially viable product worth investing in? 

(Note: I’m not crowdsourcing an assault on Michael Johnson. Really, I’m not. ^_~)

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