Finale and Free Technical Support

MakeMusic today announced a change to their technical support policy for Finale, which will go into effect later this summer. This change only affects customers who have not upgraded since Finale 2009.  The statement reads:

“MakeMusic, Inc. has a long tradition of providing free technical support for our Finale® customers. In a world where most software companies charge for technical support, MakeMusic is committed to offering free personalized support to its customers. To do so, it’s necessary to limit support of older software versions.

As of August 15, 2012, MakeMusic will no longer provide phone or case support for Finale 2009 and earlier versions. Users of Finale 2009 and older products will still be able to authorize their software, search for answers to frequently asked questions, and use other self-service resources online. The change is only with phone and case support.

MakeMusic will continue to offer free phone and case support for Finale 2012 AND two previous versions Finale 2011 and Finale 2010.”

Read MakeMusic’s support policy here.

Avid currently charges $100 per year for Sibelius Support.

Sibelius UK Office Closes : Avid Selling Consumer Businesses

On July 2, 2012, Avid Technology announced it is divesting its consumer businesses and streamlining operations. The company will focus on its Media Enterprise and Post & Professional division. Avid will continue to develop and sell their Pro Tools® line of software and hardware, as well as some associated I/O devices such as Mbox and Fast Track.

The company’s “facility footprint” is also being reduced. The Sibelius headquarters in the UK will be closed.

As part of the restructuring, Avid will reduce the number of its permanent employees base by approximately 20%. As part of the transactions, certain employees of Avid will transfer to each acquiring company.

The company’s consumer audio products are being sold to inMusic, the parent company of Akai Professional, Alesis and Numark.

Avid Technology’s headquarters are in Burlington, MA, USA.

Gary G. Greenfield, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Avid Technology Inc. since December 19, 2007 and its President since May 2008 will continue serving his executive contract, which has a term of five years. According to the 2007 SEC filing, this executive agreement shall be extended in the event of a change-in-control of the Company or a potential change-in-control of the Company occurring in 2012.

Effective July 2, 2012, Kirk E. Arnold will cease to serve as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

On December 12, 2011, one employee of Avid wrote an anonymous review on the website Glass Door prophetically entitled “Stay Away and / or Plan Your Exit Strategy“:

“To the Board of Directors: employees assume you are looking to dissolve Avid and sell the company off in bits and pieces. It’s been rumored for years, it’s the buzz throughout the industry right now thanks to the mess you’ve allowed to happen internally…”

This is a sad day for the excellent team of employees at Sibelius, many of whom have been with the company since it was founded in 1993 by Ben and Jonathan Finn.

The implications of how this will ultimately affect these employees and also end users of Sibelius are not yet clear.

Sibelius was purchased by Avid in 2006 for $23m cash (£12.2m).


UPDATE : July 7, 2012


Avid’s VP of Audio Product & Solutions, Martin Kloiber, posted an open letter on the Avid community forum which says, in part:

“The (UK) office closing is part of Avid’s larger strategic reorganization, and while it does impact members of the Sibelius team, we’d like to stress that this should not in any way be considered a diminishment in our commitment to Sibelius.”

Read the full letter and add a comment in response here, or you can email directly to community_feedback@avid.com.


UPDATE : August 21, 2012

AVID : FINANCIAL

  1. Annual Reports
  2. Key Executive Salaries
  3. Stock Valuation (5 year overview)

PRESS RELEASES :

  1. Avid Technology to Expand Product Engineering Lab in Kyiv, Ukraine (11/29/11)
  2. Avid Press Release
  3. inMusic Press Release (PDF)
  4. Avid Technology Company Presentation 7/1/12 (4.3MB PDF)

NEWS ARTICLES :

  1. Arts Journal.com
  2. Wall Street Journal
  3. Reuters

DISCUSS : SIBELIUS FORUM

  1. Another round of musical chairs…
  2. Avid and Sibelius
  3. Avid requesting feedback on Sibelius UK closure
  4. Avid selling off Sibelius?
  5. Daniel Breaks the Radio Silence on SibeliusBlog
  6. On the closure of the office of England and the relation-Avid Sibelius
  7. Sacked Sibelius Team to be Replaced in Ukraine
  8. Save Sibelius – Crisis
  9. Sibelius London Office to close
  10. Sibelius UK to close?
DISCUSS : FINALE FORUM
  1. Recent Avid Events… (MakeMusic OT?)
  2. Sibelius UK closure is confirmed – killed by US owners on the 4th of July

DISCUSS : AVID

  1. Avid on Facebook
  2. Save Sibelius Page on Facebook
  3. Contact Avid’s Board of Directors (board member list here)
  4. Damage Control Statement to Sibelius users by Martin Kloiber of Avid

AIR Software Group, Akai Professional, Alesis, Alto Professional, ION Audio, M-Audio, MixMeister, Numark, Sonivox

Finale 2012b Update Released Today – June 26, 2012

MakeMusic released the update to Finale 2012b today, which includes several new features:

  1. Range Checking. Finale now alerts you when notes are outside of an instrument’s range.
  2. Automatic Transposition while Copying. Music is now pasted into the most appropriate octave when copied between instruments of different registers. Also, music is transposed into the most appropriate register when changing instruments with the ScoreManager.
  3. Accessible Text Inserts. You no longer need to venture into a dialog box to edit text inserts. You can now edit them directly in the score like a regular text box. When you do so, the text insert’s definition is updated respectively.
  4. SVG Graphic Export. You can now export Scaled Vector Graphics from Finale.
  5. EPUB Export. You can now export EPUB files from Finale for viewing on mobile readers.
  6. New Finale Lyrics Font. This font improves lyric spacing, and is the new default for scores created with the Document Setup Wizard.
  7. Automatic Font Annotation. Finale can now automatically generate Font Annotation Files to accommodate files with 3rd-party music fonts.
  8. New Aria Player. Finale includes the latest Aria Player from Garritan.

 

There have been some interface changes since the release of Finale 2012:

  • “Program Options” have been renamed “Preferences.” To access the Preferences, choose Finale 2012 > Preferences.
  • The File menu has been reorganized. Several File menu commands have been moved into new Import and Export submenus, as well as new commands added to 2012b. See “File menu” in the User Manual for details.
  • Undefined text inserts appear gray and do not print. Undefined text inserts, such as those that appear in the first page header after finishing the Setup Wizard, are now gray in color, indicating they will not print. You can update these inserts directly in the score using the Text tool. See “Text Inserts” in the User Manual for details.
  • Staff Styles now (again) support staff transpositions. The ability to include staff transpositions in Staff Styles has been restored (allowing Staff Styles to be an alternative method for creating mid-score instrument changes). See “Staff Styles dialog box” in the User Manual for details.

 

Finale 2012b also includes a number of bug fixes, including:

  • Audio – Audio files saved using Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) no longer stutter.
  • Fonts – (1) The missing Seville font has been added to MacSymbolfonts.txt. (2) Problems with results from Change Chord Suffix Fonts have been resolved. (3) The Font menu now reports all missing fonts correctly.
  • Inserting – Inserting stacks no longer cause a crash when Automatic Update Layout is unchecked.
  • Keyswitches – (1) Expressions with keyswitches are now correctly chased during playback when Chase from First Measure is selected in the Playback/Record Options dialog box. (2) JABB (Garritan Jazz and Big Band) trumpets and trombones now respect keyswitch commands for all muted sounds.
  • Preferences– Folders – Finale no longer defaults to the MacOS folder if the specified folder is missing.
  • Staves – Problems deleting multiple staves in Scroll View have been resolved.

 

If you have been thinking of purchasing the Finale 2012 update, now might be a good time.
Makemusic’s upgrade sale price of $99 has been extended through July 9th, 2012.

Dolet 6 Music XML Plugins for Finale & Sibelius are now Freeware

Yup, that’s right: Just in time for Christmas, MakeMusic is offering the Dolet 6 Music XML plugin for both Finale and Sibelius on their website as a free download. Here’s the link:

http://www.makemusic.com/Products/MusicXML.aspx

Cool, right? But wait, what is a Sibelius plugin doing on the Finale website?

In case you missed the official announcement, on November 2, 2011, MakeMusic entered into an agreement to acquire selected assets of Recordare® LLC, the Internet music publishing and software company.

Under the terms of the agreement, MakeMusic purchased the MusicXML™ open format and Dolet® software technology, including copyrights, source code, and trademarks. MakeMusic also announced that the founder of Recordare and inventor of MusicXML, Michael Good, would join MakeMusic as the Director of Digital Sheet Music.

In case you want to read the official MakeMusic press releases, here they are:

  1. November 28, 2011
  2. November 2, 2011

 

Additionally, the Recordare site has more information about the future of Music XML.

  1. Recordare FAQ
  2. More about the MakeMusic Acquisition

Both Finale 2012 and Sibelius 7 already have decent Music XML integration built in, allowing you to import and export Music XML files for collaboration with others, or, in the case of Finale, for back saving to a previous version of Finale.

The Dolet 6 plugins use the latest Music XML 3.0 technology, with support for additional musical symbols and lots of other goodies, so even Finale 2012 and Sibelius 7 users will benefit. And, if you are using and earlier version of your notation software, such as Finale 2010 or Sibelius 6, it’s a huge step up, essentially giving users a comprehensive file exchange feature.

robert