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Mac Yosemite Finale v25

I understand that you took away the import of a .tiff function because you got complaints that this promoted stealing and plagiarism.  If people are going to steal and plagiarize, they are going to do it with or without this function.  When I upgraded to finale 14, I upgraded from the 20 year old Finale version, I think, 3.3.  The import function was a lifesaver because I was able to import .tiff files of all my old finale documents, and create a working document.  I did not have to input everything from scratch.  Also, I have made semi-transcriptions of pieces (that are in the public domain) for handbells, and with the import of the .tiff file, I did have to start completely from the beginning (although sometimes, depending on the complexity of the piece, it might have been easier).  Even with this function, there is still a lot of work, before you get the finish product you want.

Overall, I Thought this was an extremely helpful tool.  I plan on using finale 14 along with finale v25 Because of this feature.

For those who think that this promotes plagiarism, Think of it this way.  The solution of eliminating this function to prevent plagiarism is like eliminating the automobile to prevent drunk driving.  People are still going to break the law.  That no reason to punish the law abiding.

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Hi William,

 

Thanks for posting.

 

I agree that the removal of this feature did affect many musicians, and we have heard opinions from both sides. I wanted to assure you that this decision was not made lightly and that it was also made in an effort to revisit our implementation of content creation technology in the future. I will be sure to record your feedback as we are still actively taking feedback on the subject and I know that product management takes that feedback seriously.

 

For more information, please check out this blog post.

 

If scanning is something that you use often, you may find that the SmartScore X2 product (Finale used to include SmartScore Lite until v25) would be beneficial for your workflow. You can find Musitek's website here.

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Well, I'm a composer/arranger and choir director.

I purchase new sheet music online every year and respect copyright fully.  As a writer myself, I totally get it.  With my choir, I usually like to import the sheet music to create midi files that my singers can play to rehearse the pieces from our season's repertoire.  Now I can't do that without  inputing every note of a song.

Now, as for the official comment by you Lawson....

You say the decision wasn't made lightly, but you just made the suggestion to use SmartScoreX2 as a work around.  Yes I used to use SmartScore Lite when I had Finale before so this was a good way to scan sheet music and save myself hours of work, but I can't help finding your response rather two faced.  Basically you're saying  "We've removed this feature because of copyright issues but here's a program we used to have incorporate in our software, that you can use to continue doing what we considered as being wrong."

This is the first time I've ever posted anything on a Community Forum but so far, I've posted several here.  I've highlighted 4 features that Finale has removed in their "new and improved" version.  They were 4 features That I, and apparently several others, used extensively. Any chance you'd consider knocking off say like $10 on the price for every feature that you take away?  I doubt it.

I'm finding it more and more difficult to use Finale to compose and arrange music.  You've moved so far away from being a quality notation software and more into  becoming recording software.  I don't use the instrument interface with Finale.  I just write music.  This always seemed to be the focus of your product initially and now more and more of that is disappearing.

Will there be any features left in a couple years if you keep taking away and taking away?  Maybe it'll get to the point where we'll click on the startup icon and nothing will happen.  

Testing one two........hello.......is anyone actually listening out there?

Pierre

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Hi Pierre,

 

While there are certainly many users of Finale out there who use Finale as you mentioned, primarily for notation, there are also other users to whom playback is an important feature.

 

While I can certainly identify with your desire for Finale to be primarily focused on on-screen notation (which is important for us too!), we would also like Finale to provide the useful playback capabilities that many use to audition their scores and compose/arrange.

 

I can assure you that our development team is working hard to create a product that strikes the correct balance between the two features, and that improvements to Finale are on the roadmap for Finale's future. 

 

I would recommend subscribing to the Finale blog to stay updated on Finale's future as more information becomes available. You can reach the blog using the link in my post above.

 

Thank you for your feedback - I sincerely hope that Finale's future growth will serve your music notation needs well.

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Hey Lawson

Thanks for getting back so quickly.  Will keep looking an hoping to see some of these great features return in the future.  Tempo tool being one, as I've noticed several people complaining about tempo control.  This tool used to be all in one and so easy to use.  Trying to get MIDI tool to produce the same flexibility is next to impossible and takes a lot of time.

I'm still trying to find a good alternative to scan music and SmartScore was never that effective.  It was as much work to correct all the scanning errors as it was for me to just input the notes one by one.

The TIFF import always did a better job.  Luckily I still have an old Finale 2012 version that I can use for that.  Seems kind of silly though having to go to that much trouble.

One would always think that as software progressed, things would become easier to do rather than more difficult.  That's usually the goal of any software company.  Finale's idea of improving is to move in the opposite direction.  Now importing documents is always a work around and adding flexibile tempo changes is like climbing mount Everest.

Still unhappy with the changes that started with 2014.  Even the look of the program is blah.  I find the icon really hard to see and identify even with my glasses on and the image of the icon is unual.  Lyrics icon looks like a lit candle to me.  Before it was obviously a feather in pen.  Very classy.  All the images are darker grey on lighter grey and offer no contrast.  I have to get really close to the screen to see them.  At least if the background was white and the images black they would be more visible.  I mean, fine if you want to give the program the stainless steel sterile look without any color or the felxibility to apply a nice theme to the program.  That's another nice feature that is gone. 

In the world today, more and more companies design their software to accomodate clients who are challenged.  Finale as it is now, offers no possibility of adjusting the look to accomodate people who are visually challenged.  With 2012, you can really adjust colors, backgrounds, palettes thereby making it easier to see and understand.

I'm not sure what happened when 2014 came in.  You had 2 years to improve things and look where things are now. Was there some kind of corporate take over?  It seems like that you lost good people who understood the music industry better.    It feels now like it's all about business and cutting corners. 

I started with Finale 2004 when I was teaching music in high school here in Canada.  I would upgrade regularly and never had any complaints about changes made from one version to the next.  It always seemed to get better and better, adding things on, so people never missed something they had gotten used to.  The boom............2014 arrives and things start getting clawed by and removed.  The design goes from something nice looking to, well....."butt ugly" .  I noticed several people are unhappy with it when I read other comments.

Oh well, some companies get it, and other's don't.  I thought you guys did but these last two versions just prove otherwise.

If I could go back, I would, but Mac's Sierra won't let me and that's the biggest problem of all.

Disappointed, I remain, Pierre

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Lawson, it basically sounds like you're saying you can still illegally import music, but now you have to pay for the software (smart scan) to do it. I'm not happy. I've been using Finale for a very long time and can no longer scan the old music that I composed and printed off. That's a lot of extra work for me to reenter all that music. This was a terrible decision. 

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Hi everyone! Clearly there's still a lot to be said in the larger conversation that has happening over the last year around music scanning.

The inclusion of SmartScore Lite in Finale for so many years was a great benefit to users such as Robert because of how much time one can save during note entry! That's why we had originally planned to expand its capabilities to include PDF import. But when the announcement of this planned feature raised concerns over copyright, the conversation changed, and we made the tough decision to remove SmartScore from Finale. Clearly this had a big impact on many legitimate users, so even though SmartScore is no longer "baked in" to Finale, the ability to trade MUSX files between 2014.5 and v25, along with the relatively wide reach of the MusicXML format still gives folks that depend on scanning for note entry a lot of options!

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Hey Chad

Appreciate the comments, but I would really like you to explain the options that XML format gives to people like Robert, William and myself.  I too have tons of older works that I would have like to be able to scan into Finale.  Newer versions of software are meant to improve as they update.  Seeing that Finale was initially designed to be a notation software, how does this "newer" "better" version help composers and arrangers like myself. 

So far, you've had several music writers complain about this backwards change.  Are we not the ones who would be most concerned about copyright?   If someone is going to steal my stuff, they'll find a way.  William above said it best "The solution of eliminating this function to prevent plagiarism is like eliminating the automobile to prevent drunk driving".  I love this quote and thank William for saying it.  I have to agree  wholeheartedly.  All Finale has done is tie the hands of those who use the software to create, compose and arrange.  This decision has done nothing at all to prevent plagiarism.  It has only made it more difficult for us to be creative.

Here's another way of looking at it.  Anyone immoral enough to steal intellectual property will be the type of individual who would steal the software to do it in the first place.  I doubt they would pay the fairly hefty cost of purchasing Finale, just to be able to scan music illegally.  I'm sure there's quicker money to be made elsewhere in that respect.  This decision to block the scanning feature has done nothing at all to curb theft of intellectual property. It would be great to see MakeMusic's statistics on the number of cases of plagiarism they studied before making this decision.  After all, any company who would make such a big decision would have done extensive research on the issue before taking a step back and removing a very important feature to composers and arrangers.  They must have had quite a lot of complaints about the issue proving that what they had was hurting writers like myself. 

Please don't come back saying that I could purchase the newer SmartScan to do what your software used to allow.  That's like biting off the hand that feeds you.  In one breath you say you've taken away the feature because you have undeniable proof and documentation that it protected copyright, and in the same breath you suggest purchasing SmartScan thereby encouraging us to do exactly what you're trying to prevent.  It would be interesting to see what the true motivation is behind this decision.  Shares in SmartScan perhaps?  But, hey, if you say it was a good idea, then I insist you back it up with those statistics, studies and proofs that it reduced the obvious onslaught of theft caused by the feature.

And back to a comment Lawson made above: "While there are certainly many users of Finale out there who use Finale as you mentioned, primarily for notation, there are also other users to whom playback is an important feature."

Yes, there is some truth to this.  Finale is the number one notation software out there.  It's certainly the most flexible notation software there is on the market, but as for playback...there are loads of playback software that do a better job than Finale.

So, it's a shame that Finale has moved in this direction in my opinion.  That's what happens when any organization or business tries to diversify.  Their initial purpose gets clouded by all the extra stuff and then everything including the reason for being, become mediocre.  Oh and have to mention, the new look has definitely taken a huge step in the wrong direction.  When Finale was more geared to its true purpose of being notation software, you could identify the tool icons and see what they were.  This whole dark grey on light grey is so drab and as I age, the symbols are become less identifiable.  I looked back on a old Mac Laptop that has Finale 2011 on it and wow, so easy to see, so clear, faster and easier to use.  Fewer gears to clog up the mechanism.  Wish I could go back as I said before, my new MacBook with Sierra just won't let me..

Yup, Pierre again on a rant.

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I agree with Pierre and William.  This is ridiculous.  

I would add that you are inconveniencing many music teachers as well. Your company also owns SmartMusic and the only easy way to get scores in there for students to practice is through Finale.  Those of us in public school with limited life minutes used this feature to import our LEGITIMATELY and LEGALLY purchased octavos/scores into SmartMusic for rehearsal, makeup, and assessment purposes.  I used Finale way back in the late 90's and switched to Sibelius  and found it much more intuitive.  I only switched in order to import scores into SM and was delighted to see the progress in the software in 2012, particularly the improvements in OMR . 

The lack of east Tiff/PDF import is a very big problem for choral directors in particular, since your SM choral catalog is limited to say the least.  Now that Smartmusic is seeing serious competition from practicing software competitors who promise access to the entire Hal Leonard catalog, which would involve much less importing, I would think you would want things to be easier for teachers who may be considering a switch. How sad that you are moving backwards.

Now that there are other options you risk losing not only SmartMusic subscriptions, which renew every year, but also the Finale business of Music Teachers who use Finale primarily for creating Smart Music exercises and assessments.

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This is insane.  This decision just upped my workload tremendously.  If I need to make some small vocal edits to music I purchased legally (and finale files are not available for purchase) I now have to manually input everything.  This decision needs to be revisited immediately.

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I agree 100% with those of you who are disgruntled about this loss of importing a TIFF file feature.

Yo, Finale people!  Are you listening??!!

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The decision to remove the rudimentary scanning capability from Finale is so obviously absurd that one suspects that there is more to it than has been made public. But it has somewhat damaged the trust that I personally have had in the company, although the present forum has to some degree restored that. 

In any case, anyone who uses scanning extensively might want to purchase good software, like the professional level of SmartScore. I have used it extensively as my preferred input for editing and arrangements, and it has saved me tremendous amounts of time. I never used Finale's version because the resulting scores required too much clean up.

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WHY DIDNT YOU MENTION THIS IN YOUR "NEW IN FINALE v25" promotions. This is so ridiculous... I would not have upgraded!

So npw my workflow.. Open FINALE 2014 and import TIFF.Save file and open in FINALEv25..

WHAT A JOKE!!  Put it back and stop being bloody ridiculous..

I am also a teacher and sometimes i need to scan my old arrangements in that I may lose the file... or simply a bass part from music purchased that I need to tab for kids..

 

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Secret? I didn't know anything about it. I agree with all the posters above, this is a terrible decision. Please bring back TIFF importing!

 

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I agree - I have just update from 2014.5 to 26, and was appalled to find out that import from tiff and scanning is no longer included. It is a very bad decision for me, and I would ask MakeMusic to restore this functionality.

 

 

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People, people, people...

 

You can still do it. But it will cost a little bit of money.

Option 1: Music-to-XML, from Musitek. Cost $100. This will read your TIFF file (or PDF), and convert it to XML, which you import into Finale. If you were satisfied with the results from the previous versions, this is fine.

 

If you weren't satisfied with the results from SmartScore Lite, causing you to join the Scanning Sucks crowd, go with Option 2: SmartScore Pro, also from Musitek, which is $400, but as a Finale owner, you can buy for $200. The big advantage is that you can do a lot of editing within the SSP program, before creating your XML. Most problems are much easier to find and fix in SSP than in Finale. In full disclosure, SSP is almost as complicated as Finale, so expect a learning curve. But once you've got over it, you will find scanning is much more productive.

 

I have scanned, edited, and generated learning tracks for hundreds of scores, ranging from simple lead sheets to SATB/SATB with double piano, and everything in between. So skip those lattes, and buy a program that's designed for scanning music.

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And until Finale 2014.5 gives up the ghost (or it will not work on your OS) you can use that just for scanning (if you already have the program) and then open the 2014 file in v26..

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Mac OS Mojave, v26.

Boy, do I agree with Pierre, William, Jillian and the others who put it so clearly! Finale is getting more and more expensive, for less and less features. It used to be that Academic license would allow for unlimited installations, back in the 90’s when I started using Finale. This is called helping the teaching community get access to quality tools. Not anymore though. My school board bought a limited amount of licenses, them being so damn expensive, so it’s first come first serve. Worst part? No extra licenses for teachers’ personal laptops, and definitely no Mac licenses (any music teacher will tell you that a huge amount of composing/arranging is done at home as unpaid overtime). So I just paid the hefty sum of 200$ CAD for an ’upgrade’... had to upgrade Office too, since Finale 26 doesn't play well with Office 2011... only upgrade I have seen so far is articulations stacking (way overdue, if you ask me. As a strings teacher, the precious time I lost over the years correcting articulations clogged together! Looking forward to see what the improvements look like). So this is me saying "enough with the corporate thinking!"

We need tools that work properly. We need accessibility, because myopia and presbyopia are a real thing. We need scanning and importing, because the music we legally buy isn’t always play ready for the ensemble we are conducting (for instance, I don’t have violas, and oftentimes neither cellos in my strings program. So I have to transpose, transcribe, re-arrange after buying.)

Finale, listen to us, because we are the reason you make a living, and we can go elsewhere. Oh, and Mike Rosen, with all due respect, 100$ to 400$ is NOT "a little bit of money".

A so far faithful customer for 22 years, Isabelle

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Isabelle,

 

Interestingly enough, I really dislike the stacking articulations! Let’s say that in SmartScore, I have a 4-note chord, with an accent. When I import the XML into Finale, I now have that chord with four accents above it. I didn’t have that, ever before. But I can understand how that feature works much better for you, and I can live with it.

 

Scanning and importing were removed because Finale’s attorneys were afraid they would be be sued, because even on purchased music, that use has not (so far as I know) been declared legal. (Yes, yes, I know all about “fair use for education” and so forth, but I’ve never seen that in writing.) And every piece of published music still under copyright that I have seen, indicates that it isn’t.

 

As far as cost, it’s all relative. $200 is certainly a lot, up front. On the other hand, considering how many scores I’ve done with it, fifty cents a pop isn’t much. And as time goes on, it will be even less.


Your need for accessibility and broader licensing, particularly for the education market, is certainly valid. I just doubt that it will happen.

 

Please, Finale, prove me wrong.

 

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