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I am using Windows 10 and have the V-27 version.

Since purchasing several versions of Finale, I have a suggestion based on the recent decisions your company has made.  We, your consumers, are being forced to purchase new versions of your program because of the decision to discontinue technical service for older versions.  I have owned all the updated programs since 2004.  I am now forced to purchase a brand new program (with perhaps a 5% increase in changes). This means that 95% of my money is going toward replacing what I already have with what I already have.  Could you explore some annual service fee (for those who elect to continue the technical service)  instead of forcing the purchase of an entire program each time?  I believe your total revenue would increase compared with your current practice.  Your technical helpers are necessary for me and my limited ability with all things that have to be 'plugged in.'

Thanks for considering these thoughts  ...(mr.) Jeneal Teander

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So you should be aware that this is not a forum that has input from folks at MakeMusic. I’m just a user like everyone else here and have been using Finale since version 3.2 back in the early 90’s. But what you’re complaining about, to be honest, is true for probably every major software (and hardware) out there including operating systems. After a few years, they are no longer supported. You do not need to purchase new versions unless the enhancements are compelling for you personally. I’m still using, as one example, Reason 10 (it’s currently on version 12) because there is nothing to justify my spending a ton of money upgrading. And it would be pretty unlikely I’d need tech support for that specific version at this point in time. I suspect as most of the functionality of Finale is not changed, any questions you might have could still be addressed. So I’m not sure I understand your situation. 

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What are the chances that such an "annual service fee" would be less, per seat, than the cost of buying upgrade licences every two years or so?

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Ben, let me think about that.

Um...none?

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I am now forced to purchase a brand new program (with perhaps a 5% increase in changes). 

 

Perhaps the 5% increase is all you "see' in changes but under the hood most times there is extensive changes for the better. Code cleaned up and unnecessary code deleted, bugs fixed, etc. The bugs that do get fixed are not seen by everybody because everybody is different and we all have different needs. Yeah, there are, from what I read, long standing bugs that remain but in my world I don't really see them so if they get fixed I don't see them. You need to determine if that is you.

 

There seems to be a push by a lot of software companies to use the rental or pay by the month plan for their software. I don't think it is any less expensive for the general user that I have noticed.

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There seems to be a push by a lot of software companies to use the rental or pay by the month plan for their software. I don't think it is any less expensive for the general user that I have noticed.

Totally agree. On the plus side, some (not all) developers then have the capital to devote resources into more frequent and better updates. But some just do very little (Reason Studios, for example) and release updates with few or no real improvements and collect the money just the same. I have subscriptions to Fantastical (debated it but it ended up being well worth it in the end), 1Password (also worth it for the most part) and Quicken (suprisingly better quality with a subscription model) but also see things that have ridiculously high subscription prices that make these nonstarters for me.

If Finale went subscription, maybe they could finally improve some things. But I suspect that would be offset by people who would just not subscribe; it would have to be really really compelling to get many of us to subscribe, I suspect. But I also think that the current annual update model is tough for software as old as Finale; you get to a point where there are very few incremental feature enhancements or new functionality. What did F27 bring, really, other than a new font system and updated musicXML?

On the other hand, I'm not suggesting that there is nothing that is in bad need of fixing with Finale. Call me when there is a useful MIDI tool, or when I can finally customize the toolbar, or when playback is much more reliable. The fact that most of us have to use a fair number of plugins, some of which (TGTools, NotePerformer, etc) cost $, in order to use Finale in a truly functional and efficient manner, is just sad. And it suggests that there is a lot of missing functionality in the core Finale application from the start, as much as it gets more difficult I'm sure for developers to find new areas for updates to Finale every year.

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David the biggest fault and complaint I have with MM and Finale is the necessary use of plug-ins. They are at this point almost mandatory. MM needs to recalculate their standing on them. I use the JW Change plug-in as an example. JW Change just may be the most valuable plug-in there is. It is extremely powerful with the filters it offers. It should be the logical replacement for the Utility>Change found in Finale. But we have a problem, JW Change has not been updated since 2017, I believe, so parts of it don't work with smufl fonts.

The biggie in Finale 27 is the change to smufl fonts. XML 4.0 and the updated Smart Music ability. There are also some bug swats that are not as easily seen or noticed. If, you like me, don't need or really use any of these features I still think the reasonable cost to Finale 27 is well worth it. Remember the minor upgrades are free with the impending Finale 27.1 coming very soon. If you figured monthly that way less than $10 bucks a  month since the last upgrade. And, 27.1 or 27.2 or etc will be free.

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 I can finally customize the toolbar, or when playback is much more reliable.

 

I have no issues with Finale playback. It is working OK. I do have NotePreformer3 installed and I generally make two files. One a normal score file and the 2nd sound file where I tweak some NotePerformer3 instruments.

 

I would like a customizable toolbar, too. I especially don't like the tiny little layer icons. What's up with that MM? I also would like a decent, a real, text editor. Now I don't mean MS Word but perhaps something on the order of Word Pad like. I still feel the only two valid reasons why MM doesn't have the money to do so or they don't know how.

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Agree re: plugins. TBH, many of Jari's free plugins are mission-critical for what I use, especially JWRhythmCopy (saved me tons of time) along with some things done via JWLua (an easy way to make all my barlines dashed with one click). 

Playback, unlike notation, is always an adventure. I did get NotePerformer and do the same as you-two scores. But some things don't work well with NP (any score of mine using glissandi), so sometimes I mix GPO5 and NP since they have different strengths. 

Don't even get me started on how Finale deals with text. It's archaic. 

Also would be nice for them to move into WYSIWYG. For example, why am I still setting the positions of certain elements by typing in numbers rather than just moving them where I want, or at least having these elements change in real time as I change the number. The way Finale handles a lot of this forces us to do trial and error, which was probably acceptable for 1990 but not 2021. 

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