David Gatwood
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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]

1 Reply


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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