Less blatant marketing, please?

It makes me sad when I see a statement like this:

[…] a set of unique books that David indicated couldn’t have been created without Finale.

(from this post on FinaleBlog).  This sentence suggests to the reader that it would be impossible to write the book “The Elements of Rhythm, Vols. I & II” without Finale – in other words, that no other notation software would be capable of doing this work.  And I’m pretty sure that this is not true.

I hope that this wasn’t done on purpose, but it’s worrisome anyway.  Sure, it’s great that you can use Finale to write music theory books and I understand the need to tell others about it, but can we stay closer to reality, please?

Actually, this makes me think wheter we aren’t doing the same thing.  I try to avoid such statements, and in my opinion the LilyPond community fares quite well in this regard, but in case we overlooked something please let us know!

9 thoughts on “Less blatant marketing, please?

  1. Dave Bellows

    I think it’s perfectly normal to use this kind of hyperbole in blogs dedicated to one specific product. And of course people often think that the software they’ve mastered is the only one capable of producing things in the exact way they like. For instance, I’m convinced that only Lilypond and LaTeX can produce documents as beautiful as the ones I make!

    What would be interesting would be to take the example that he mentioned in that interview and produce it via Lilypond and compare the results both visually and with respect to the amount of time taken. Not that this needs to be a competition but it could be a nice benchmark.

    Reply
    1. Urs Liska

      Actually, I’ve done exactly what you suggested. My replying post is currently in review and in the queue. I think that comparison is very favorable to LilyPond 🙂 Especially considering the time used. Well, for the one example I may have needed more time because I wasn’t ‘in the topic’ yet, but of course it scales well to hundreds of examples.

      Reply
    2. Janek Warchoł Post author

      Well, using such hyperboles is indeed common practice, but I don’t think that’s something good. How are we supposed to discern between hyperboles and actual claims?

      Reply
      1. Dave Bellows

        OK, several things. First, I didn’t realize that that blog was from the makers of Finale. That’s a bit more problematic.

        Second, it was the interview subject who made the claim (not the blog post writer or Finale) and he might really think it’s true. A more in-depth interview would have followed up with questions about what other software he tried and his level of mastery with those products, but that didn’t happen, which leads to ….

        Third, because there was no follow-up question that means the readers have to be savvier and take the subject’s claim with a grain of salt. I think it’s reasonable to expect readers to know that this wasn’t a robust investigation into the relative merits and power of various engraving programs but the expression of one person’s opinion.

        Fourth, the blog is there to promote Finale and since it belongs to Finale then this kind of blatant uncritical acceptance of a claim does speak to the journalistic integrity of the blog, which is not very high. It is common for companies to produce this kind of promotional material and it is at least a little uncomfortable but as long as readers know what they’re in for when reading the blog it is generally considered acceptable (at least in my part of the world), if distasteful.

        Finally, had the blog-post writer made that claim without anything to back it up then that would be a real problem since the writer clearly works for and represents Finale. That didn’t happen so I think giving a reluctant pass in this situation is fine. There’s definitely a chance that future readers doing an internet search for information about Finale vs. other programs will find this and not notice the built-in biases (that the blog is operated by Finale) and will thus be misled. That’s a problem and I think the best course of action would be for Finale to add a disclaimer to these kinds of posts that the opinions expressed are those of the people speaking and do not necessarily reflect those of Finale or Make Music.

        Reply
        1. Janek Warchoł Post author

          Hmm. Maybe I’m oversensitive and my reaction was exaggerated, but considering the discussion that followed (especially the soon-to-be-published post by Urs Liska) I think that the results are good 🙂

          Reply
          1. Dave Bellows

            I think somewhere between our two initial reactions is best — it was of questionable ethics when all things are considered.

            In any case I am really looking forward to Urs Liska’s post!

            Reply
            1. Urs Liska

              Posts to be precise. The first one is due tonight, and it turned out to become a series of three posts, showing how elegantly one can realize one of the tasks presented in Finale’s original post.

              I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did writing them …

              Reply
  2. Pingback: “Creating anything you can imagine with Finale” | Scores of Beauty

  3. Sebastian

    I think that most people get this kind of marketing-bla-bla.
    Of course every software publisher talks positively about his own product and maybe even bielieves it.
    We are working hard to make FORTE a great choice and of course we believe in it.

    Reply

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