MakeMusic announced today that their upcoming release of Finale Notepad 2012 will once again be a free download beginning on February 15th just as it was back in 2008. No real details on the new version are available and I have not yet seen the finished product, but it looks as though the features and capabilities of Finale Notepad 2012 will be roughly the same as in past versions.
Finale Notepad 2012 will offer students, teachers, and music enthusiasts the ability to create, open, edit, and save any file created with the Finale line of music notation products. Previous versions were rather limited, sticking mostly to mouse based simple entry of notes and the basic general MIDI sounds. MakeMusic is marketing this product heavily at schools and teachers, perhaps trying to fight back against the growth of free online music notation editors such as Noteflight.
Other announced features in Finale Notepad 2012 include support for Unicode fonts, allowing users to print lyrics in other languages and font styles. Also included is access to the ScoreManager feature now built into Finale 2012 which allows users to quickly switch staves between instruments.
MakeMusic also has announced the pending release of a free Finale notation viewing app for the iPad. No release date has been set though and the press release only refers to it being available â€œlater this year.â€