cparmerlee wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 am
Brian Roland wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:26 am
Dorico IS quite good. I just don't believe it's good enough yet to consider all the others 'DEAD'.
I should clarify. I referred to Finale as a dead product. What I meant to say was that there is practically no significant development of the product and it is being managed as a cash cow. The VC guy that bought MakeMusic views the acquired products like a repetitive training/coaching tool. They were in the business of making training software for athletics and he views making music as the same thing.
This struck me as a very ignorant point of view until I realized that SmartMusic is exact that, and that was the product he was interested in. Finale does not fit their mindset or business model, hence, virtually no commitment to development.
However, Finale is certainly not "dead" from the standpoint of a user base that lives in a publishing ecosystem that is tied to Finale. For them, the product is not "dead" if they can continue to use it in their business. The fact that it isn't getting any better over time does not equate to "dead" for these users.
It's hardly fair to suggest that Finale has not received 'significant development' over the past decade. Or that is even in a position to be considered a cash cow.
They've done quite a few things with upgrading the video support. Added an audio track. Featured support for things like EPUB and SVG exports, MSN Large Print support, and more.
Since Dorcio hit the streets in 2016, and since the Peaksware Merger, Finale has had something like 7 significant upgrades, many of them having to do with open standard archiving (MusicXML3.x support) of our scores and parts. While that might not be very important to the average composer, it is a big deal to archivists and publishers.
V25 was a paid upgrade that made a massive leap into the 64bit realm (also MUCH improved thread management for multiple CPU cores), we got something like 6 more updates for the price, and paid again in 2018 for V26. Finale is the primary tool for composing lessons for the Smartmusic platform, and then some. While Gear Fisher might not fully understand the eccentricities of music engraving and publishing, or the cognitive realities of teaching music to young performers, I'm pretty sure he understands that specialized tools for content development are very important, and that dev teams do have to collaborate with actual musicians to get the job done. I'm pretty sure he understood that there were several options on the market for building and playing scores...all synced up to production tools designed to produce passively consumed products. What the music industry did not have, and still doesn't really have, is a really good virtual learning platform. I'd imagine the man knows a thing or two about dealing with the out of control lobbyists in the US publishing, and eLearning sects for educational materials.
While V26 doesn't have a long list of new features, the ones it does add are significant, and the price of the upgrade is likely to cover several more updates before it approaches another paid upgrade cycle. In the past it's averaged out to a little less than $50 per year to keep a seat license up to date. For me at least...it's been worth it. Dorico has cost a little more per year in that same time span....but again, I'd say it's been worth it, as it was almost unusable for me beyond learning my around it and mentally prepping for the future until Dorico 2 hit the streets.
For starters, Finale V25 had to make a rather significant transformation into the 64bit world. Finale had been through MAJOR OS changes, on multiple platforms, many times over. Not once has the jump been 'insignificant'. Sibelius also had to contend with some significant foundational overhauls, and AVID has hemorrhaged quite a bit of money in the process.
Finale also got rewire support. A nice bonus, as the sync-ability of Finale with other apps was always quite good, but now it's a little bit easier to get Finale's audio output into the mix of another app. Sibelius had it for quite some time already. For people who need this, Dorico can't do it yet (without a lot of fudging and 3rd party hacks, unless I missed something about Dorico 3...another 100 bucks away for me yet).
It got Core Graphics support. Something Dorico was pretty much born with....while the older products have had to 'go back' and find ways to add it all, while maintaining some kind of 'legacy support' for the older approaches as well.
It got more sound libraries. Some of them close to useless unless you really know what you are doing, but some of them are actually really nice.
It got quite a few work flow enhancements.
It has had to contend with rather significant transformations to stay valid on new OS versions, and modern hardware, including, but not limited to brand new high resolution displays.
Third parties have continued to add and refine plugins and scripts. Some of the better packages rival the cost of Finale itself, but if you work with high numbers of large scores every single day, they pay for themselves in short order.
All of these have been major projects, none of which Dorico, a project that didn't hit the streets until 2016, has really had to contend with yet, but in time they will. After all, when Dorico came out, Windows 10 was already a solid year old, with dev kits having gone out well before that. It had started from the ground up, working with the latest protocols, and with the best of the best multi-platform coding techniques/compilers/etc. It had the benefit of having full access to bleeding edge Steinberg patented technologies like VST3 from day one. The old Plogue engine developers for Finale and Sibelius doesn't get that information until many months later, and when they do, it's often a major project to integrate such things into their products.
Despite it's age, the Plogue engine is still quite good. Despite it's age, and somewhat tedious learning curve, the score interpretation, groove and human expression capabilities are still very versatile powerful (perhaps most Finale users don't use it much, don't know how, and don't care). While it's true the GUI is often awkward, and the learning curve can be rather steep, the core of the software is highly capable, and much of it can be set it and forget it through project templates. Perhaps in time, the GUI will get some face-lifts that can make it all easier and more pleasing to use. Until such time, it is what it is, and it's still a long way from being dead technology.
So, at the moment, it is pretty impressive at how quickly Dorico is progressing. It's exciting to work with the product, and enjoy how through experience, and hindsight, it is setting right many of the design errors, and protocol limitations of the products that came before. Sooner or later however, they will begin to hit a lot of the same road blocks were considerable amounts of dev time don't seem much like 'significant development', but are actually MAJOR obstacles to releasing a stable and affordable product. While Steinberg has the advantage of control over the VST protocol, and while Dorico can take advantage of some really impressive effect and instrument technologies that have benefited from decades of development and wide scale professional use in the wild, such as the Cubase/Nuendo slate of digital effects, the HALion and GrooveAgent engines, it still needs a lot of technologies and code that Steinberg doesn't fully control...and those things often take considerable man hours and money to work out. I.E. What happens when Microsoft and/or Apple hit them with major OS changes? We've seen problems with Cubase and Nuendo on this end before...such as, multi-platform support for Apple Quicktime being pulled....and here we are more than a full version of Cubase removed from that glorious Apple announcement, and the new video engine, for both Mac and PC users, still has problems that break legacy support, remove feature sets we'd grown dependent upon....and ultimately caused users to have to jump through hoops because of it. Rolling back to earlier versions meant security issues...and more.
Again, I'm a huge Steinberg/Yamaha fan. I'm a big cheerleader for Dorico, and the individual humans who work on the project in particular. I've been using their stuff since the age of the Atari ST. I still have some of their earliest software and hardware products powered up in in my rack as I type this, and still use it from time to time (and would use it even more often if I could get modern printer interfaces, and modern e-publishing options to match up). We ST users were already printing and playing back impressive looking scores with personal computers, on affordable laser printers at resolutions above 300dpi, well before Mac and PC users could even think about doing the same...and we did it with a single floppy drive, and less than 4 meg of memory. As usual, companies like Steinberg, Dr. T, Hybrid Arts, EMagic, and more...had to sell out and merge with other companies, and needed to start all over for new platforms/OSes, due to circumstances beyond their control. It took them nearly a decade to catch the Mac and PC versions up to anything close to what was possible on a cheap Atari ST or Falcon.
So...for what it's worth...these days, simply keeping a product up to date enough to work with the hardware and OSes that are currently available, and affordable, is a monumental task in and of itself. A user base, and compatible data-sets large enough to justify doing that much is pretty significant. It means the products are still needed, and are still viable.