Finale
Finale 2014.1.3627
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Music notation app.   Demo ($600.00)
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Finale is a music notation program that gives you control over every aspect of the printed page and provides control over MIDI I/O.
What's New
Version 2014.1.3627:
  • Defined measure bookmarks can again be selected in “Measure” text boxes in several dialog boxes.
  • The Reset All Groups & Brackets command is now available at any time.
  • The ability to copy via drag-and-drop between two documents has been restored.
  • Measures created via the Paste Multiple command are accessible in Scroll and Studio Views.
  • Document windows now respect tool palette boundaries when tiled or cascaded.
  • Finale no longer crashes if the Exercises folder is missing.
  • Creating a new expression places initial focus on the Text field rather than the Description field.
  • Pressing ENTER now confirms and closes the Expression Designer while focus is on a text field.
  • The baseline triangles are displayed in the correct location when switching between Page and Scroll Views.
  • Keyswitch expressions now affect playback for layers other than layer 1.
  • Running a script with the Save command no longer causes an error message when choosing File > Save.
  • Choosing the Reset Symbolic Fonts command no longer deletes MacSymbolFonts.txt.
  • Exported page graphics now include the correct page number in the file name.
  • Graphics are saved with the correct file extension and can have file names of more than 28 characters.
  • File names for exported graphics can now contain Unicode characters.
  • The Check Graphics dialog box now displays the full file path for linked graphics.
  • Clicking a bracket style button twice no longer deselects the style.
  • Adding actions to a technique no longer corrupts technique settings.
  • The HyperScribe frame and staff scale correctly with the view percentage.
  • No unnecessary accidentals are displayed on the latter of two tied notes.
  • Using the Extract Parts command no longer produces a File Manager error.
  • Display artifacts no longer appear when a syllable is elected while scrolling in Type Into Score mode.
  • A vertical scrollbar now appears when text goes beyond the bottom edge of the Lyrics Window.
  • The baseline triangles are displayed when moving across pages while in Type Into Score mode.
  • Pressing ESC dismisses editing for the current lyric.
  • Crosshairs now appear when dragging measure spacing handles.
  • Clicking a measure handle no longer causes all handles to be hidden.
  • Multiple display issues in the MIDI tool window have been corrected.
  • Start/stop times and key velocities are now retained when edited.
  • Documents imported via MusicXML successfully display flags.
  • Handles now appear during drag-copying.
  • Ledger lines are no longer displayed on percussion staves with rhythmic notation.
  • Choosing Leftmost Measure for Starting Point in the Playback Controls does not affect the Start measure.
  • Scanning older VST plug-ins on launch has been improved.
  • Switching to a different audio playback device no longer causes Finale to crash.
  • The audio engine now loads on launch when a Bluetooth device is plugged in.
  • The TG Tools plug-ins have been modernized (the only visual indication is the OK button replacing “Go”).
  • Pressing RETURN now confirms the Select Score and Parts for Printing dialog box.
  • Constrained vertical dragging is now functioning properly.
  • Documents are displayed correctly when moving them with the Hand Grabber tool.
  • Pressing COMMAND+SHIFT+A after closing and opening a new document activates the Selection tool.
  • Scrolling performance has been improved while an item is selected.
  • Outlines no longer appear after double-clicking an item.
  • Display artifacts no longer appear when dragging measures created with the Speedy Entry tool.
  • The selection rectangle now displays where the mouse is clicked in the drawing area.
  • The non-functional Text menu in the Shape Designer has been disabled.
  • The editing functions (Cut/Copy/Paste/Select All) are functioning properly.
  • Choosing Show Active Layer Only now updates the entire view.
  • The Simple Entry menu is immediately updated when customizing keyboard shortcuts.
  • The “S” keyboard shortcut has been added for the Combine/Split Rests command.
  • Pressing COMMAND+- (hyphen) now zooms out.
  • The Beam Width and Beam Angle tools are no longer capable of clearing each other’s adjustments.
  • The Speedy Entry frame now displays in the correct location.
  • Pressing COMMAND+SHIFT+F sets automatic tie direction rather than flatting notes.
  • Entering multi-stroke characters no longer exits ScoreManager-linked text fields.
  • Pressing ESC dismisses editing for the active text block.
  • Resizing a measure-attached text block’s frame no longer causes the block to move up and to the right.
Version 2014.1.3627:
  • Defined measure bookmarks can again be selected in “Measure” text boxes in several dialog boxes.
  • The Reset All Groups & Brackets command is now available at any time.
  • The ability to copy via drag-and-drop between two documents has been restored.
  • Measures created via the Paste Multiple command are accessible in Scroll and Studio more...
Requirements
  • OS X 10.7 or later
  • Intel Core 2 Duo or better, Intel i3 and above recommended



MacUpdate - Finale




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    +3

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    +3

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Finale User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 2014.x:
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(5)

sort: smiles | time
burypromote

+244
Monkeyjunkey commented on 05 Nov 2013
Finale 2014 is out.
[Version 2012.0.r3]

1 Reply

burypromote

+244
Monkeyjunkey replied on 11 Dec 2013
I keep being amazed to receive down votes for letting MU know about new versions. The logic behind that is beyond me. As Einstein said: two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity...
burypromote
+1

+214
lemon-kun commented on 05 Dec 2012
Everybody who gets into music notation/composing knows Finale. It's the quasi industry standard, in its segment challenged only by Sibelius. I use both apps (and some other, more specialised software), and both have their positive and negative points.

I think the key for using Finale well, you have to make your own templates, and find your own workflow. That takes time, as Finale allows for more customisation than any other app in this field, it is very versatile; many give up on it during this process, but once you have "set up" the app for you and your needs, Finale shows its strengths. The core of this app is brilliant, I love entering notes real time by MIDI-keyboard (if you're not very good at it, you can first tap the rhythm with the hyperscribe-tool and then the correct pitches with the repitch-tool), the "engine" for those things is very good. Anyway the input-methods are great, if you do composing, the speedy entry (with MIDI-keyboard) is fantastic (you can play/try your music at the keyboard and Finale will only write down when you type together the rhythmic values). And yes, this app can create really beautiful professional scores – the point here is that you can really make your own, individually styled scores – nobody will see what app you have used for it. The web is full with plug-ins and additional fonts for Finale, so you have lots of possibilities to make your scores look personal. If you want to write avant-garde music, with advanced new notation, you nearly *have to* go with Finale – the only other app I can imagine for this is NoteAbilityPro. So, if you want to seriously get into music notation/composing and you want to invest time and money in your scores, Finale is a good choice.

If you're a music teacher or student and want to write some etudes or compose something from time to time, then I'd recommend MuseScore. You can try with Finale, but probably you won't get happy with it. I mean, if you just use Finale's default templates, you won't be really creating professional-looking scores (for example, the default font of Finale is Times New Roman :-) and you will still use a lot of time learning it. The best, but also the WORST looking sheet music I have ever seen was made with Finale.

If you do composing with more traditional notation (film music, pop music, most of the classical repertoire) I'd have a look at Notion. It has muuuch better sounds than Finale (or any other notation app), which is great if you do orchestration. It is easy to use and also has a good iPad app. Version 4 is just out, but no demo yet. Maybe also interesting for music teachers.

No, I haven't forgotten Sibelius: great for quickly making professionally looking scores (with beautiful fonts), only little learning curve. Good input methods, stable app, aimed more at traditional notation, but still flexible enough for most music. Actually a great app, however given the current situation with Avid, I wouldn't invest time and money in it at this point (for further details see my comment at MacUpdate's Sibelius page).

Back to Finale: there are negative points. The complexity of Finale, that is often attributed to its rich feature set, is in my opinion to a large percentage caused from poor design. I am really sorry to say it: the whole UI feels like a gigantic workaround. OK, there have been improvements, Finale is much easier to learn then it was 10 years ago, but basically, the interface in its core hasn't kept up with the addition of new features and basically remained the same for the last 20 years. There have been only small steps of progress to improve the interface, like in Finale 2012 the new Score Manager – still, these attempts are only half-hearted and make the user experience sometimes even more inconsistent. People claim "you can do everything with Finale" – well, yes, if you like tinkering. Because actually, Finale does have its limitations (and not only for very specialised stuff); but if you know how, you can overcome those with workarounds; and since Finale has great support, useful forums and tutorials, and (most importantly:) a huge user base, it's quite possible that you will find solutions quickly and easily.

But: a whole different problem is that the developer has adopted this "workaround"-style as the basic design concept of the app; this way the developer doesn't have to work on good UI design. It's like a bleeding arm covered with tiny pieces of band-aid, and as soon as there is some blood showing, one is putting another tiny patch on top of it. I feel there is only little will to improve Finale in this regard (keep in mind there is also a sort of "Finale-help-market", with many people earning money by giving workshops, seminars, classes of "how to learn Finale"). It's funny, if you don't know where to find or how to change something, don't even try – check the manual or Google: otherwise you will never find it. For us Mac users that feels strange, as we are used to well designed software, where you can find solutions by thinking logically. But well, don't try that with Finale, you'll just waste time…

Resulting from that developer's mindset, the updates are often disappointing. Some of the new features are just beta-style implemented, often just new workarounds… Bugs don't get fixed, etc. etc. etc. At least, MakeMusic has changed its policy of throwing each year a new version on the market. But in the meantime I have given up hope for any major improvements, because somehow everybody who is still with Finale has arranged him/herself with the app and can live with it.

Well then, is Finale worth the $600? To be honest, I don't think many users have paid that much for the app. Most of us got it from an institution or with educational discount, or through a competitive upgrade. I mean, if you buy Notion 4 (now on sale for about 60$), you get Finale for 130$. And maybe you stick with Notion anyway… And well, there is some $50-hardware (M-Audio mini-MIDI-keyboard for example) that have an older version of Sibelius included, with which you qualify for a competitive upgrade of Finale too. So if you have time, I would recommend to look for a good deal, can save you a lot of money. I'd recommend NOT to use any of the "smaller" versions of Finale, like "Allegro" or "PrintMusic" or whatever. Since you will almost certainly need to google to get some help using Finale, and many useful (some even necessary) workarounds and also tutorials etc. probably won't work with one of the "little" versions.
[Version 2012.0.r3]


burypromote
+8

+244
Monkeyjunkey commented on 14 Apr 2012
A screenshot of the music devices section is probably the worst decision possible for a screenshot of finale. How about a screenshot of the software itself?
[Version 2012.0.r3]


burypromote

+27

--marc reviewed on 13 Mar 2012
As a new Finale user, I found the 2012 Finale to be quite useable. Good training videos, and I was up speed quickly.

... so, I switched from Sibelius to Finale. The tipping point for me was that Finale can export to MusiciXML versions 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 and better MusicXML imports (in my test). Sibelius only exports MusicXML 2.0.

I use MusicXML exports for SeeScore on the iPad.

As an adjunct to Finale, I use Harmony Assistant create midi with lyrics like the karaoke *.kar format files. and rich midi files for transport to Logic Pro and MainStage. (I've not yet found a way for Finale to put lyrics in the Finale generated midi file)
[Version 2012.0.r3]

1 Reply

burypromote
+2

+244
Monkeyjunkey replied on 14 Apr 2012
No longer true. Sibelius 7.1.2 exports MusicXML 3.0 as well.
burypromote
+2

+2
Switmyer commented on 01 Jul 2010
There's been much commentary regarding Finale's steep learning curve. I've been using Finale since version 3 when the learning curve was much steeper than it is now. In my opinion, those who are still continuing to propagate this criticism are bit out of touch with current events. Thanks to competition with Sibelius, Finale has become much easier to use. Finale is to music notation what Adobe Photoshop is to image editing. Both are complicated professional-ware that require a high degree of skill. To learn PhotoShop, people buy "missing manuals," purchase expensive tutorials, or enroll in classes. Yet I have never heard a graphic designer or a photographer complain that Photoshop has a steep learning curve. While it may be true that Sibelius is initially more intuitive than Finale, at some point, just beyond "Mary Had a Little Lamb," you will have to consult the manual even in Sibelius. Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses so I won't get drawn into a debate over which is better. For me, Finale is now a breeze to use, although I have paid my dues with the program. I just wish people would stop all the bellyaching and read the manual and do the tutorials. As musicians, we wouldn't be anywhere if we hadn't taken the time to practice our scales. If you don't want to put in the effort to learn a professional program, then maybe you need a simpler, non-professional program or a copyist.
[Version 2011.0.r3]

1 Reply

burypromote
+1

+214
lemon-kun replied on 20 Nov 2011
You're right, but then again, musicians really should practice scales instead of practicing finale ;-)
burypromote

+1

PiotrGM reviewed on 18 Aug 2009
Finale has a very, very steep learning curve; it has irritating bugs that have been there for a long time and are not yet fixed; it relies too much on the user's own inventiveness in creating workarounds; some of its modules are clumsy; its help section is immense in its size - and very confusing. It is all true.
But what is also true is this. I have been using it heavily since 1994 to create a variety of scores - including graphics driven experimental ones - and during that time it crashed twice (yes, twice). Not bad, right? It makes it one crash per seven and a half years. I would like to see another Mac programme which is so sturdy. Finale offers unmatched flexibility in terms of advanced notations, MIDI manipulation and the like. It is very highly customisable - you can focus on some modules only, those which you know you will use. The other modules are always out of your way unless you need them. Once you've mastered it, Finale is a delight, many of its plug-ins saving the conscious user dozens of hours of potentially crippling, time-consuming work.
Finale is not perfect and never will be, but it is nonetheless way ahead of its competitors in terms of the sheer number of options it gives the user.
[Version 2010]


burypromote
+2

+23
Jmsuijkerbuijk commented on 24 Feb 2008
One simply cannot stick to a version that one is satisfied with, because there is not a single bug-free version in the history of Finale. Sure, they fix some of the bugs with the 'a' and 'b' updates, but the rest will not be fixed until the next upgrade, which in turn introduces new ones, etcetera, etcetera.
E.g., 2007 could not be quit with the cmd-Q key combination (probably THE oldest key command in the history of the Mac OS). This bug was never fixed in the updates on 2007. It wasn't even fixed in the payed for upgrade 2008, but only in 2008a. And there are bugs like this,
I'm a user since 3.0 and have paid the app SIX times over since, for 'upgrades' only. I am still satisfied with what I can do with the app and that's why I use it, but I strongly protest against the way MakeMusic declares us all morons and sucks us all dry with their abjectable policy that defies any etiquette of software development. They know their app is the best in the market, and they'll make sure we'll know it as well ... through our wallet.
[Version 2008b]

1 Reply

burypromote

+23
Jmsuijkerbuijk replied on 24 Feb 2008
JMSUIJKERBUIJK One simply cannot stick to a version that one is satisfied with, because there is not a single bug-free version in the history of Finale. Sure, they fix some of the bugs with the 'a' and 'b' updates, but the rest will not be fixed until the next upgrade, which in turn introduces new ones, etcetera, etcetera.

E.g., 2007 could not be quit with the cmd-Q key combination (probably THE oldest key command in the history of the Mac OS). This bug was never fixed in the updates on 2007. It wasn't even fixed in the payed for upgrade 2008, but only in 2008a. And there are bugs like this, in more or less serious degree, in each and every version that I have used todate, and that is ever version since 3.0.

I'm a longtime user as well and have paid the app SIX times over since, for 'upgrades' only. I am still satisfied with what I can do with the app and that's why I use it, but I strongly protest against the way MakeMusic declares us all morons and sucks us all dry with their abjectable policy that defies any etiquette of software development. They know their app is the best in the market, and they'll make sure we'll know it as well ... through our wallet.

[duplicate because of missing text]
burypromote


Anonymous reviewed on 25 Jul 2005
As a long time Finale user I've learned over the years that it's not necessary to upgrade to every single yearly version. If you're happy with your current version then don't bother to upgrade. This pretty much goes for any software in general.

However, for people to constantly put Finale down because they charge for their commitment to the product, in making it the absolute best notation program on the market, is simply outrageous.

Sibelius is great if you're a student or beginner, but nothing holds a candle to Finale for precise music notation. Sibelius simply produces sloppy scores. If you're a serious composer Finale is the ultimate tool.
[Version 2006]

1 Reply

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Anonymous commented on 25 Jul 2005
I've seen very sloppy Finale scores. It makes no difference which program you're using. Sloppy composers create sloppy scores. All I know is it takes me about 1/10th of the time to prep my orchestral scores for publication with Sibelius than it did when I used Finale.
burypromote
+1


Anonymous reviewed on 14 Nov 2004
Nice to hear that Sibelius is working on a "higher" level. Been using Finale for years, but am tired of the company reaching into my pocket for these so-called "upgrades." Will switch!
[Version 2005a]


burypromote


Anonymous reviewed on 12 Nov 2004
Isn't an update from 2004 to 2005 supposed to be a "major update" ? I mean, the two versions of the program look preatty much the same, except for a couple of functions that you don't even notice....Very disappointing. The last version of Sibelius is absolutely on a way higher level, from any point of view.
[Version 2005a]


burypromote

+1
Henry Oz had trouble on 25 Sep 2009
Finale 2010 DVD installer must install Rosetta if it isn't installed - even though Finale 2010 doesn't need it. Quitting the install just after the Must Install Rosetta warning leaves an incomplete install - even though it appears Ok at first. A second install from the DVD after installing Rosetta works fine - even though an updated version of the Garritan Aria Player is necessary to download and install before launching Finale. MacBook Pro/SL 10.6.1

Finale 2010 FTW - even though the installer is currently POS.
[Version 2010]


burypromote
-1

-1
dgatwood had trouble on 01 Jan 2009
Finale 2009 is a pretty significant regression from 2007 in that it won't even install if you use a case-sensitive HFS+ volume as your boot volume. The installer just sits there and does nothing when you click install.

I've posted a detailed list of Finale bugs (including some specific to case-sensitive HFS+) with workarounds over on VersionTracker, along with many other bugs for which no workaround is possible. Here's an abbreviated list:

0. Installer fails to work.

Workaround: In Terminal, type:

cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Installer.app
ln -s Contents contents
cd Contents/MacOS/
ln -s Installer installer

1. Finale repeatedly asks if you want to check for updates.

Workaround: In Terminal, type:

sudo chmod g+w /Library/Preferences

Next, run Finale and tell it whether to check for updates. Finally, in Terminal, type:

chmod g-w /Library/Preferences

2. Finale (since at least 2007) spews a bunch of warnings from the shell when it loads plug-ins.

sh: -c: line 0: unexpected EOF while looking for matching `''
sh: -c: line 1: syntax error: unexpected end of file

No known workaround, possibly harmless?

3. Finale installs 326 files with the execute bits set to true. Of these, probably only one (the main Finale binary) should be executable.

4. Finale help index won't open.

Workaround: In Terminal, type:

cd /Applications/
cd "Finale 2009"
cd "Help Files"
ln -s Finale_CSH.htm Finale_csh.htm

5. Very high CPU overhead and poor battery life. Basically, they keep their Core Audio worker thread running and providing audio data continuously even when no documents are open (much less playing). The result is 8-9% of the CPU wasted while the application is idle. This translates to a significant reduction in battery life on portables.

Workaround: Always quit Finale when not in use and carry a spare battery.
[Version 2009b]

5 Replies

burypromote
-1

+2
MMD, LTD replied on 24 Feb 2009
A single workaround takes care of all this: competitive crossgrade to Sibelius ASAP. Why is anyone still futzin' around with this crapware?
burypromote

+1
PiotrGM replied on 18 Aug 2009
To call this excellent programme a "crapware" is truly rude and very inconsiderate. How much time have you spent learning it? How comfortable are you using it? What are you using it for? Show me examples of your work so that I can see you're so versatile in using Finale you have a right to make derogatory, nasty comments. I suspect you are not a pro because professionals do not use such language.
burypromote

+8
madmegdigitalltd replied on 19 Aug 2009
I used Finale c. 1995-2003…through two composition degrees. I used it because my teachers used it and I didn't know there was something better. I even engraved my doctoral dissertation with it…a 35-minute flute concerto. Preparing parts was an agonizing process. This program's all about clicking submenus and making the mouse travel to the palette. Then somebody suggested I try Sibelius. I've since been kicking myself for using Finale all those years, paying for "upgrade" after "upgrade." Getting useless new features when the fundamental underlying problems of the interface remained and the size of the program became more bloated.

I do make my living from engraving, arranging and original work, which makes that my profession. Nonetheless, I will stick with my original assessment of this "programme" (as you call it) as crapware. I'm not sure what being a professional has to do with it one way or another. I call 'em like I see 'em. I even tried 2009 thinking that after 10 years, surely they would have improved the interface. But no. It's still clunky as ever.
burypromote

+1
PiotrGM replied on 19 Aug 2009
Thank you for the explanation. Let us agree to disagree, then. Call those programmes what you will. I am not eager to use harsh words because two of my friends are programmers (one Mac, one Windows) and I simply know how much work goes into those things (regardless of how successful or unsuccessful software might turn out be).
I still think Finale is very good and yes, I have created a number of pretty complex scores using it, including pieces for orchestra such as a series of concerti (all performed) for violin and viola (double concerto), saxophone, and organ.
For a time, I supported myself as a copyist (or engraver, if you will) and used Finale for it. Finale is extremely flexible - and this is what I like. I tried Sibelius and was not too impressed. However, some people tell me it is easier to learn than Finale and hence its popularity with those who are not interested in extended notation.
burypromote

-1
dgatwood replied on 19 Aug 2009
For whatever it's worth, recent Finale versions are a lot better with regards to part extractions, in that they finally caught up with what Igor Engraver did a decade ago, keeping the part formatting as an integral part of the score. I think in terms of functionality, Finale and Sibelius are probably about on par with one another. I think that Sibelius does a better job of automatically getting the formatting right, however, while Finale gives more control for when it gets positioning wrong (which is crucial because it almost inevitably gets it wrong).

Finale seems pretty buggy to me, from a programmer perspective, and has really poor CPU performance, causing it to run down a normally six hour laptop battery in a little over two hours. IMHO, most of Finale's performance problems came when they moved to Mac OS X. It seemed like they did the port and then never bothered to go back and optimize it afterwards. I haven't done the same level of experimentation with Sibelius, but I would expect it to be better in both regards, if only because it is a much more recent code base with less legacy cruft lying around.

Finally, for what it's worth, Apple has a technical note, TN2096, that describes how to track down most case sensitivity issues. If MakeMusic hasn't read it, they should.
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Downloads:29,185
Version Downloads:418
Type:Multimedia Design : Audio
License:Demo
Date:08 Jan 2014
Platform:Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $600.00
Overall (Version 2014.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
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Finale is a music notation program that gives you control over every aspect of the printed page and provides control over MIDI I/O.


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