Would love to get a full version of Finale for iPad! I'm hoping to switch from Macbook to iPad Pro and want to continue using Finale...any chance this is coming soon?
I have just had to reinstall Finale including throwing all preferences files to trash, because I was not able to import music xml file from StaffPad for iOS (Music XML missing - you should reinstall Finale error).
Just another thought about iOS, Finale and importing xml files from other notation software...
The new version of StaffPad is making quite a splash.
- they did have a really lame version of Finale for the iPad many years ago. It was only to view scores, had a ridiculously convoluted and unfriendly/unusable way to get Finale files into the app from the Mac side, and couldn't do anything really that I couldn't already do by viewing a score as a PDF.
- Agree that they need to do this. I'm not sure how easily it would be to port it to iOS. For starters, there are enough issues with Finale on the Mac that are longstanding and partly because Finale is a pretty complex program. It would take a lot, I suspect, to get something on iOS that retains a reasonable amount of functionality.
- That said, Finale is honestly one of the only apps for which I really need my MacBook Pro (the others being Reason and a professional referencing program I use for work called Bookends). Even Office works reasonably well on iOS. So I'm not entirely sure why, with proper resources, Finale couldn't be ported to iOS. That said, as mentioned in #2, it would likely be nontrivial and until much more developed, would be a suboptimal program (even Office took a long time to really gain reasonably usability and functionality on iOS, as in several years).
StaffPad and Reader for iPad collaborating with Finale, XML Imports etc.
This product looks amazing! I am considering buying the top model of iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil 2, so that I can use it for Music Handwriting Entry anywhere, including on-the-go. Then Import XML into my Finale 18.104.22.1683, that's running on my MacBook Pro 15’, Late 2017, macOS 10.15.4.. And vs., Export XML back to Staff Pad, if I need to make edits and additions on-the-go!
I am going to watch that 27 min Video again, and try to think of any and all questions that might come up during that workflow!
It'd be great if anyone on here, or elsewhere on Finale Forum, already has first-hand experience with this product, StaffPad and Reader for iPad! I wonder which ''nuances" will or will not survive during such XML Export-Import round trips?
I've read many Reviews on Staff Pad for iPad at Apple Apps Store, and saw a lot criticism about the handwriting recognition! Of course that is a concern, because it's the Music Handwriting Entry that is a big attraction to me! At the same time, I saw that Staff Pad for iPad was named as One of The Top Ten Apps at WWDC 2020!
My other concern is the Timing Of My Purchase - Mac OS 11, a.k.a. Big Sur, and iOS 14 are coming soon. Will Finale and Staff Pad be ready for it, with the iCloud in between for XML Imports between iPad and Mac?
I wish it was possible to try all that workflow at the Apple Store! Obviously, the Pandemic doesn't help! Also App Store doesn't allow to Download Apps, as in 7-14-30 Days Demo, thus Staff Pad is a $89 + Tax Test. And Apple Store store has 14 Days Return Policy!
Also, Apple switching away from Intel Processors to its own is another Big Concern, because, eventually, all apps would have to be re-written, so that they can run natively, as opposed to Rosetta Emulation, which would slow them down! On other hand, since Macs, and iOS and iPad OS will be running on the same processors, maybe Finale for iPad could become a possibility? And, in that case, if it's better than Staff Pad, who would mind that?
It'd be great if Make Music, Finale Management, Commented on this Processors switch, and MacOS 11! Ideally, I'd love to hear their thoughts on Staff Pad too, of course!
It'd be nice to know that Finale is no less "receptive", no worse partner, as far as XML Imports from/to iPad than Sibelius, and other competitors!
Thanks in advance for your help!
I wouldn’t count on hearing anything forward-looking from Finale, and even if you do, I would give it a very low probability of actually happening.
StaffPad is cool. Notion for iOS is cheaper, I think, and has a handwriting module, as well.
XML should be pretty much the same, regardless.
Hello, Mike, Thanks for replying!
Staff Pad for iPad seem to have more Features than Notion. It'd be great if there was a Video "Death Match - Shoot Out - Cutting Session" Video between those 2 Apps, so that one could compare!
Since I don't yet have the Newest iPad Pro to compare both of them, I can't say anything!
Staff Pad website also seems to have better depth to it, but then, which one of these products Support folks will reply quickest, and in depth, when the Questions and Issues come up? I value Great Support, which is what always impressed me about Finale, when they used to have REAL Support - PHONE SUPPORT! Now we Make Emails, instead of Making Music!
I just want to have a Paper and Pen-like Handwritten Music Entry ANYWHERE on my iPad!
It's a drag to have a 14 Days Money Back Guarantee "gun to my head" at Apple Store, in order to try out $1,000-1,500 iPad, add $$ for Apple Pencil 2 , so that I can try a $89 + Tax Staff Pad App. IDEALLY, I should be able to Try Out a Demo a Staff Pad Demo at the Apple Store, and then decide if I want to buy the iPad and Apple Pencil! Or and, it'd be great if Music Stores had such Demos available! But then again, the Retail, the actual Music Stores, even without Pandemic, are not like they used to be! In old days, I saw Finale in the store, it blew me away, and I bought it! Such "in person" stuff is now mostly gone, I think!
As to you saying:
"I wouldn’t count on hearing anything forward-looking from Finale, and even if you do, I would give it a very low probability of actually happening."
I hope that you are wrong about that. But then, WWDC Big News about Macs switching to the New Processors etc, was on 6/22/20, and the developers are only now receiving the Test Hardware to try the New Mac OS 11, thus it's too soon for Finale, and most Apps to comment about the "future"...
In any case, I am itching, very eager to try that entire paradigm with Staff Pad for iPad , XML 2-way Imports, and see if it's all worth it, even with less than perfect Handwriting Recognition! Again, sadly, the Old Days hands on trying of such products, is no longer possible these days, unless someone knows someone near by, who would be willing to help with such demo! And then again, the Pandemic does not help, because there will be touching involved!
If you had used Notion for iOS, I wonder how it would work if you were to Enter, Write Music, so that it appears as Eb or Bb Instrument on the iPad Screen, and sound like saxes in those keys, and via XML, arrives into Finale as Alto/Tenor Sax (Eb/Bb) Notation, where they would appear in A Major and D Major, in order to Sound in C Major! I love that capability in Finale! Thus, I'd like to know that, if in Staff Pad for iPad, I would write in in A Major and D Major, in order for iPad to Sound in C Major, will such Transposing "paradigm" survive the XML Imports to and From Finale?
I am keeping my fingers crossed that eventually someone here will answer these Qs! And of course I'll be reaching out to Staff Pad directly! Ideally, Staff Pad should offer an Explicit Video Demo on such nuances, and other nuances! Or and they should have a Network of Specialists, where one could set up and appointment to Demonstrate this product!
Or how about Q+As at Apple Stores, after we are done with this Pandemic! Or FaceTime, Zoom Q+As, FaceBook LIVE, YouTube Live!!! During such Video Showcases they could and SHOULD be able to Demonstrate the whole Tutorial of How one goes from Music Entry by Pencil to XML Export To and From Finale, Sibelius etc!
Again - buying iPad and Pencil in order to buy a $90 App, and having 14 Days Return Policy at Apple Store, could be too stressful!
I hope that someone from Staff Pad will be reading this Conversation, and then does everything possible on their end to answer Pre-Sales Qs!
Thanks again, Mike, and EVERYONE in advance for any and all help!
Thanks again for replying, Mike!
I hope that such Forums do exist. By Forum, I mean a Discussion Boards like this here, as opposed to 1 or 2 people in the Product Support Department! I'll try to ask the same Qs there (see the Links below).
When I first looked at Notion site, it was very "weak". Then Staff Pad for iPad came around, and their site http://staffpad.net was a lot better! So now, when you reminded me of Notion, I see that their (Notion Site https://www.presonus.com/products/Notion-for-iOS ) looks obviously better!
Again "It's The Support, Stupid", comes to mind...
So, I'll have to do a Deep Dive and ask at these 2 Sources!
Staff Pad Support
In the end, it's still Hands On Test that counts, as in "Gotta Be There... in person", as opposed to Make Emails instead of MakeMusic, plus Promises and Slogans, as in Trust Me :) 😊 !!! Yes, it still bothers me that Finale no longer has Phone Support, like it used to! But I want to stay on topic....
It's surely a question of personal taste and ability to invest money, time and effort to try and use something new like StaffPad.
I, as a mac user, even spent more than 2000€ and bought Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to buy and try StaffPad when it came out as a brand new product available for Windows only. I tried to use StaffPad as a substitute for handwritten notation since then, including buying the highest model of iPad Pro 12,9" when StaffPad became available for iOS. The results were and still are promising, but there is a long way to get to the state when it could replace paper and pencil, if we are talking about swift music scratch book. I am therefore still having my Moleskine music notebook, Pelikan pencil and rubber handy. It costs about 100€.
The most active StaffPad group is on Facebook. There's also a forum section on IV-Control:
And a book about to be released:
I haven't had much time for it, but really enjoy using it. Takes time to get the hang of. The included instruments are pretty good; certainly better than Garritan for Finale. Addon sounds are available for much better quality, but adds up to lots of $$$.
Thank you, JURAJ BARTOS, WILLIAM REED, MIKE ROSEN!!!
Now I have me some research to do with your Links suggestions. I also Bookmarked this StaffPad Group is on Facebook
Again, for me, the idea is to have a spontaneous input! If I hear a melody in bed, or while walking, or anywhere, I just want to reach out for iPad and Apple Pencil, and write it down, thus capturing the Moment of Inspiration! No Midi Keyboard, no typing, when I get home, no paper and pencil in between! Just an iPad that can instantly backup my latest StaffPad files via iCloud, or and email, as well as Share them!
As to XML Imports back and forth between StaffPad and Finale, I want the best of both worlds:
All the Engraving Nuances of Finale, which would hopefully remain undisturbed, unchanged, I decide to, let's say, insert a few new bars into an existing file from the iPad. Ideally, that is how it should work with All Main Notation Apps, like Finale, Sibelius etc. The Main File is in those apps, and occasional Edits, Handwritten Additions, could come from iPad! To me, that would be and a DREAM!!!
Better yet, No Imports at all! Make it as easy as Updating a Note, or Pages Document on iPhone, or iPad, or Mac! The Edit shows up on All Devices, because they are Synced via iCloud! Yes, I understand, it's "apples and oranges", when compared to the complexity of Finale and other Notation Apps, but, maybe at least the Handwritten Music Entry part could be allowed to sync that way?
If someone doesn't care about the Engraving, and how pretty, correct the music looks, after all Finale, Sibelius nuances, then they can stay with StaffPad, as their main tool for Notation! But, I want The Best of Both Worlds, that includes the Spontaneous iPad Input, Editing, etc.
If Finale's Bosses don't want to do iPad, maybe they can at least make Finale into The Best Partner for StaffPad, Notion, and whatever other iPad Notation Apps are out there! To simply ignore iPads might be too shortsighted, a mistake! iPads are not toys, or a fad! They are here to stay, as the part of Apple's larger "Echo System", add the possibilities with Apple Pencil! Whoever understands such future best will take a lead in this field of Music Notation! Thus I hope that Finale does not "miss that boat"!
Thank you again, everyone, for your replies!
But actually they don't have a choice anymore. The future is clear an arm computer and Ipad (witch uses arm). Remember Blackberry phones and Nokia? They dominated the market at the time and didn't make the changes - now they don't exist. I like Finale, but it stopped its development and other products are catching up and maybe already pass it. I also started to use Dorico (and many things are better than Finale). When I have the money to buy a new powerful iPad I will buy also Staffpad. If Finale intends to still exist in a future (5 to 10 years) it will need to evolve.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 1:41:05 AM, EST
It is nice to see that I am not alone craving a Great Notation App on iPad!
StaffPad is finally on iPads, and iPad Pro is now using M1 Chip, which is the same chip that MacBook Pro is using, or almost!
But there is a HEARTBREAK about StaffPad that I recently discovered, after reaching to their Support!
There is No Portrait, Vertical View Mode! It’s all Landscape, Horizontal, meant for Multiple Instruments.
In my case, I just want to be able to Notate some Melody and Chords On The Go, without being tied to a computer! Such PORTABILITY sounded like a DREAM, until StaffPad Support told me that this sad limitation - No Portrait, Vertical View Mode!
Thus, if it’s, let’s say, 8th Notes only, I’ll probably be able to see 4 Bars at a Glance, in Scroll View only, in Landscape, Horizontal! To me, such limitation would be too frustrating!
The Good News is that StaffPad does have the ability to Change Instruments on a Single Stave, as does Finale. Thus, if I understood StaffPad Support Reply correctly, I’ll be able to write down, let say, a C Major Scale notes, that I play on my Alto Sax, and StaffPad will display them in C Major, while sounding in Eb Major! Then I would be able to Change Instrument, from Alto to Soprano Sax, on the same Stave. Then, if I write down a C Major Scale, as played on Soprano Sax, it will appear as a C Major Scale in StaffPad, but when StaffPad plays it back, it will sound in Bb Major, Concert Pitch!
Then, all that Notation could be Saved to my iCloud as XML Export. Then I can Import that XML into Finale, which would create an Individual File in Finale! All those Appearances and Sounds from StaffPad would supposedly be replicated in Finale:
Alto Sax, and it will display them in C Major, while sounding in Eb Major.
C Major Scale, as played on Soprano Sax, it will appear as a C Major Scale in StaffPad, but when StaffPad would play it back, it would sound in Bb Major.
Since I don’t have an iPad to verify this XML Import on, I am yet to see this in person!
I’ve experimented with with XML Exports from Logic Pro! I did not try to Change Instruments in Logic, to mimic Change of Instruments in Finale! The Result was:
Every XML Import into Finale would create a New File in Finale, and then I could Copy and Paste from that New File into another existing File in Finale! That’s the only way to Update the existing File in Finale with XML Notation from Logic, or whatever the source!
But again, if StaffPad can do all those Changes of Instrument, and they look and sound correctly, and transfer perfectly into Finale, where I can make it all look pretty, THAT would be a HUGE HELP to my workflow! I’ve been DREAMING of SUCH PORTABILITY for a long time.
Unfortunately, the DEAL BREAKER for me right now is No Portrait, Vertical View Mode in StaffPad! And thus, that 4 Bars of Scroll View only would likely be TOO FRUSTRATING!
StaffPad Support assured me that they are aware of the need for this Portrait, Vertical View Mode, and will eventually plan to add it, but they would not commit to an even Estimated Date!
Their Replies were very impressive, detailed, but again, NO PHONE SUPPORT, like Finale used to have, which is what made Finale stand out for me, until Phone Support was discontinued!
Now, based on some Comments here, there seems to be doubts about Finale’s Future! Obviously, if they don’t make M1, Big Sur, OS 11 Versions for Mac, Finale would be A DEAD END! I really hope that such scenario would never be the case!
Ideally, it’d be great if Finale had a iPad Satellite App, for just Entering Music Notation on iPad, with Apple Pencil, and it would Automatically Sync with Finale on Mac, via iCloud, or DropBox! If such Paradigm was achieved, then I would not need StaffPad “to play nice” with Finale via XML! Of course, that would be based on my hope that iPad Satellite App from Finale would “get along best” with Finale on Mac, and or even Finale on Windows?
I really hope that Finale Bosses are reading this Comment!
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 1:41:05 AM, EST
MakeMusic has not updated Finale for many months now. 26 is still not declared compatible with MacOs "Big Sur".
So, don't expect them to concentrate their limited resources into the iPad (they communicated repeatedly about it).
On the iPad, a few music notation apps can export to the MusicXML format. That's a more realistic route to go.
MakeMusic has repeatedly said that it is not part of their plans.
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