Making good on a promise to release an upgrade this summer, today MakeMusic released the latest version of Finale, its 25th in the history of the notation software. In doing away version numbers by year, as had been the custom since the 1990s, MakeMusic has committed to “release more incremental versions, as we did with Finale 2014.5, which add new functionality (not just bug fixes) without charge to our current customers,” according to notation product manager and senior editor Mark Adler.
Finale v.25 does come with a price tag, however. Similar to past major upgrades, the price for new customers is $600 retail and $350 with valid academic or worship credentials. Existing customers will pay $149 for upgrades from previous versions of Finale. A competitive upgrade is available $149 for users of Sibelius, Notion, Encore, Score, or Overture. PrintMusic users wishing to trade-up to Finale can do so for $400. A free 30-day trial is available.
For months, in a departure from the usual secrecy around upgrades, MakeMusic has been sharing details of the new Finale on their official blog. Regular readers of that blog (or this one) therefore won’t be surprised at what’s included. The focus for this release has been “streamlining and modernizing Finale’s codebase,” Mark said. “We do this to improve performance, maintain compatibility with future operating systems, and to set the stage for future improvements.”
To that end, the most notable element of the new Finale version is the overdue but welcome transition to being a 64-bit application. Even the most entry-level computers are 64-bit machines, as are modern operating systems. The difference between 32-bit and 64-bit may not sound like much, but if an application is 64-bit it effectively means that it is limited only by the available memory on the computer, whereas a 32-bit application can only handle 4 GB of memory. Practically speaking, 64-bit applications are more efficient and, in the case of Finale, it will finally be able to accommodate 64-bit sound libraries.
Generally speaking, other than those described below, there are no major changes to Finale’s interface from 2014 or 2014.5, so existing users will feel comfortable right away with Finale v. 25.
Finale v.25 will only run on recent operating systems — Mac OS Yosemite (10.10) or higher, or Windows 7 (64-bit) or higher will be required. Full details about system requirements are listed on Finale’s web site.
The change to 64-bit means that all shipping plug-ins have been updated. Popular plug-ins such as Jari Williamson’s JW Freeware Plug-ins, Robert Patterson’s Patterson Plug-in Collection, and Tobias Giesen’s TGTools are all being updated as well, as the the 32-bit versions of these plug-ins won’t work in Finale v.25.
In addition to the update to 64-bit, Finale’s other notable new features are:
- ReWire support
- Correct transposed instrument audio on note entry
- Staff attribute to independently display time signatures in a score and part (to better facilitate film-score style large time signatures)
- Contoured dashed slurs
- Additional Garritan sounds and updated ARIA player
There are a number of smaller fixes and changes as well, which we’ll summarize later. A full list of what’s new in Finale v.25 for Mac and Windows may be found on MakeMusic’s web site. For now, read on for an overview of the more significant changes. Read the full article →