Finale NotePad 2012 will be FREE

MakeMusic announced today the upcoming release of Finale NotePad 2012, which will be available for download on February 15, 2012.

Even bigger news is that Finale NotePad 2012 will be free.

NotePad is, of course, entry-level music notation software. To use my favorite A&W menu metaphor, if Finale is the Poppa Burger, NotePad is the Baby Burger. Or maybe the Teen Burger.

Finale NotePad 2012 will also include select features new to Finale 2012, including Unicode font support (providing access to all characters in any font and facilitating the creation of music in any language) and aspects of Finale’s new ScoreManager™, which simplifies the control of playback sounds.

While this is clearly great news for folks who want to create music notation who don’t currently own any software, it’s also great news for people, like me, who already own Finale. A free NotePad simplifies collaboration with nearly any computer owner: I simply remind my co-conspirators to download NotePad to view, play, and print Finale files I send them AND to make any necessary edits. My music educator friends can create assignments and tests with Finale that thier students can open and complete in NotePad.

I can also make great use of NotePad when I’m away from my computer (but near anyone else’s) and inspiration strikes.

How will you put a free NotePad to good use? Which A&W menu item offers the best metaphor? Please share your thoughts by clicking on “Comments” below.

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