This is a great announcement from NAMM, reported by the Sibelius Blog. I am thrilled to see handwritten music apps get more competitive, especially since StaffPad is absent from iOS.
The little tidbit below gives me high hopes for the app. Handwriting, and all creative software for that matter, is all about the user experience. It has to feel natural.
I asked Gene how he would compare Komp to the other music handwriting recognition apps that have emerged in the last couple of years. “We are all similar,” he said, “in that we understand that musicians want a frictionless way to transfer their creative ideas into a computer using the input technique that they are used to; pen and paper. StaffPad, Touch Notation, NotateMe and the various apps that use the MyScript library all have my respect. StaffPad is especially a product of extreme quality. I actually bought a Surface just to use it.”
Komp is different, Gene said, in several respects. “The various apps have differing philosophies about figuring out what a user is doing. StaffPad and the MyScript apps all wait until the user has input a certain amount of notation and then signaled the application to process their input. The end result can be pretty surprising. When I was at Apple, I had weekly meetings with Steve Jobs and there were two things that he was passionate about: never surprise the user and do the right thing. If you wait until a user has entered a whole measure of notation and then try to process it, you are usually going to surprise the user. Even worse, you are going to have no practical way to communicate back to the user what has gone wrong.
The article also mentions that Komp will use the XML filetype, which is non proprietary. This means that users could feasibly get a simple, fuss free, handwriting experience that can then be easily exported to other more powerful software on a desktop. If you ask me, that sounds like the perfect place for a tablet notation app to be. I will definitely try this one out and hope it is a good experience in practice.