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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001131.txt from 2003/06

From: "Lelia Loban" <lelialoban@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] Grrrr - silly software!
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 10:17:52 -0400

Matthew Lloyd wrote,
>Am I right in thinking that Finale is the
>grown up product of choice over there
>whilst Sibelius is over here?

I'm a Sibelius user in the USA. From comments on the Sibelius technical
and musical chat sites (they're actually bulletin boards, not realtime
chats--and I recommend them, btw), I get the impression that many Sibelius
users in the USA are former Finale users. I think that Finale had a head
start here, but Sibelius seems to be catching up, to the point where the
company looks to me as if it's suffering from its own success, with
inadequate personnel to deal with the volume of web site traffic. I've
found the tech chat site to be the best place to ask questions. (The music
chat site is largely ignored by the staff and gets huffy about off-topic
technical questions, but it's a good source of peer group help for
questions about composing and music.)

Link to the chat sites:
http://www.sibelius.com/cgi-bin/helpcenter/chat/chat.pl?groupid=3

If you sent your e-mail to the webmaster address, don't be surprised if it
goes unanswered or if you get nothing but a link to the FAQ. I got nothing
better for several weeks when I had to sort out a simple error in my e-mail
change of address that I should have been able to fix myself in about five
seconds, if everything actually worked the way the FAQ said it worked. The
tech chat site finally put me in touch with a staffer who fixed the
problem.

Things do get done there, eventually, but getting scores approved for
posting has become a slow process; quality control over submissions is a
bad joke; a recent upgrade to the self-publishing site was bug-infested;
worse, the company clumsily tried to convince users that some of these bugs
were features; the professional review process has broken down; standards
for peer review--don't even get me started, but the more questionable rules
hardly matter, since they're not being enforced anyway; and the site is now
organized into such broad categories that unless someone's looking for a
specific composer, it's impractical to browse. Because I'm still learning,
my scores are available for free, but I get the impression that, aside from
the three favorites constantly recommended on the front page, most of the
very few musicians who succeed in selling for real money on that site
belong to a coalition of evangelists who pressure church members to buy as
a form of tithing. For me, the site is only functional as a place to share
my student-quality efforts with friends and relatives without having to
print the music, package it and schlep it to the post office. However,
I'm a big fan of the Sibelius 2.11 note processing program itself, and
therefore hope that these problems with the web site get sorted out
successfully before I die of old age.

About a year ago, while making up my mind which note processor to buy, I
had a good opportunity to look at both Sibelius and Finale in action,
thanks to a pianist and composer who plays in a trio with my husband. He
let me look at the programs while the trio practiced. Each had advantages
and disadvantages. For me, learning without an instructor, the extremely
good Sibelius manual made the difference. The Finale instructions confused
me. The Sibelius manual was written for musicians, not for people who know
more about the computer than they do about music. I understood what I was
reading, and could see that, by starting with the basics, I could begin
using the program right away, then gradually learn more features as I
needed them, the same way I learned word processing. I do love that
program!

Lelia Loban
E-mail: lelialoban@-----.net
Web site (original music scores as audio or print-out):
http://members.sibeliusmusic.com/LeliaLoban

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