APU grad in the process of creating a new music app

On Dec. 31, 2012, ThinkMusic Technology Company put out a promotional video to YouTube about a new app they are in the process of creating. This app is supposed to be a music notation app that supports handwriting recognition and connects notes played to sheet music on the app.

When ThinkMusic’s video appeared on YouTube, it received positive feedback of excitement for all it offers. But eight days later on SibeliusBlog (a leading music composition and notation software), a blogger declared that the video used none of its own software and that it, “used Sibelius to create dramatization.” The blogger, composer and orchesrtartor Philip Rothman, wrote about how ThinkMusic Technology used Sibelius software to create their video to cause uproar about the app.

“I am now certain that every single one of the music notation examples shown in the video, were, in fact, simply images exported from Sibelius using settings identical to, or very close to the defaults of the House Style ‘Standard Opus (Times)’ and modified using GoodReader, a widely popular annotation app,” Rothman said in his blog, Sibelius Blog. “No actual handwriting recognition, MIDI input, or other app functions were taking place. Everything shown in the video was a clever simulation, and not at all indicative of any working app.”

Co-founder of ThinkMusic and APU grad Brandon Shaw commented back to Rothman’s blog entry explaining the app they’re creating and how the video in no way says that what is shown is what the actual app is.

“Our coming-soon video is not an exhaustive list of specs and features, it is not a final product demo or an operating manual,” Shaw commented. “It is a preview intended to let fellow musicians know about our app, which is in development. We assure you this is not a hoax, not an experiment, and certainly not a joke. It is a very real project that will give musicians cause for celebration.”

The ThinkMusic promotional YouTube video that was shot at APU simply demonstrates how the app will work and the display of what it could possibly look like. Nowhere in the video does it say that what is displayed on the iPad is what the actual app will look and be like. On Kickstarter.com, ThinkMusic published exactly what their new app is and listed the key features of how it works.

“Our application will allow you to handwrite your music, or just play it. Then it will do the hard part for you, producing great looking printed sheet music,” ThinkMusic said on Kickstarter.com.

Shaw came back to APU to test out the basics of the app on music students. He had the students practice writing on an iPad and then seeing their own writing turn into sheet music.

“I think this app could be very beneficial, it would be so much easier to use it on the iPad because it seems more efficient and faster than when I write it out by hand,” freshman music major Ciera Bardowell said. “It allows you to do more with notation in a faster manner and just in general.”

On Kickstarter.com, ThinkMusic says their main concern is getting enough funding to make the app a reality. They’re hoping that they can have this app up and out on iTunes Fall 2013. Until then, ThinkMusic has left questioners of the app with this statement on Kickstarter.com.

“Developing the ThinkMusic App is a massive undertaking. And we’re perfectionists. We’re not going to put out a half-baked version and call it good. You deserve better than that,” they said, “…there is potential for delay but the bottom line is, we are going to give you the best app we can possibly make.”



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