The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53780   Message #829574
Posted By: JohnInKansas
19-Nov-02 - 01:58 AM
Thread Name: Tech: Finale or Sibelius?
Subject: RE: Tech: Finale or Sibelius?
I got trial versions of both Finale and Sibelius (on CDs) from local music stores a little over a year ago. Neither is what I would call "user friendly" for doing simple and routine things.

Neither of the trial copies is "current version" now, so I can't say what's changed. My choice, when I considered actually buying one, would have been Sibelius - partly because it seemed to be a little easier to "drive," but mainly because it seemed to have a more versatile tab utility. (Given the complexity of these programs, and the limited amount of "study" I did, it's entirely possible that Finale can do the same things with tab - but it just wasn't as obvious that you can do the same stuff.)

Any reasonably large music store that sells to band/orchestra, school, and church musicians should be able to get you a trial CD for either or both programs, so you can look them over before you buy. Guitar shops - and the ones that target the "teen rockers" might not.

I found it incredibly stupid that my demos of both of these programs disabled both printing and the help files. I would have expected that a "real" trial version should give you the help files and disable the program. The workaround - that actually did work in both programs - is to click anything on any toolbar, and hit F1, which is the "standard windows" key for "context sensitive help." This opens help for whatever function you selected, and if you're careful you can move throughout the whole help file once it's open.

I haven't looked recently, but a few months ago you could still download a "trial version" of Sibelius from their website. If you have a high-speed connection or some patience, this might be viable if it's still offered, but the installation from the CD was a little over 5MB, not counting the "promo" stuff that they insist on including.