MakeMusic, Inc., the makers of Finale have done a good job of producing music notation software solutions specially targeted to the Music Education Market. In recent years, Smartmusic has, literally, transformed how instrumental and choral music is taught in many schools throughout the country (this deserves a separate post soon).
My beef with MakeMusic is this:
1-WHY must loyal customers shell out loads of money EVERY YEAR to upgrade to the new version of Finale? Granted, making the upgrade from Finale 2003 to 2005 was absolutely necessary because, at long last, the company figured out how to cross the MIDI/MP3 divide.
Some companies have figured out how to build customer loyalty by giving them lifetime membership and free upgrades. FL Studio (aka Fruity Loops) comes to mind. Their looping software is one of the best around and it is priced low. That, to me, is the way to do it.
2-The backwards incompatible nature of Finale is simply wrong. Here's a snag I have run into..I created some basic instrumental parts on Finale Notepad 2007 (free) at school and brought the parts home to tweak over the weekend. Since, Finale 2005 is the latest version I have installed on my home computer, I couldn't finish the work!! What!! Mind you, and it bears repeating, Finale 2005 was expensive and Finale Notepad is FREE. Not exactly an incentive to upgrade.
Carping aside, I much prefer Finale to Sibelius and other Notation products. I've been using it since 1994 and will continue to. Finale and Smartmusic combined make up a large part of our resource base for our school music program.
I just wish MakeMusic will address this issue in the future.