Komp, music handwriting app for iPad, is released

I forgot to post this when it happened. Komp, a new musical handwriting app for iOS, was released in late April. Click here to download.

The Scoring Notes blog has a great review of it (read here). I have not spent nearly enough time with the app to review it fairly, but it did leave a very gut first impression on me.

The pricing model is subscription based (five dollars a month, fifty dollars a year). As someone who has embraced a number of subscription priced apps (Dropbox, Evernote, Microsoft Office, etc.) this isn't a bad thing. Whether you like it or not, this is the direction the industry is going. Komp is thinking forward with this model.

Komp is way prettier than most score apps out there, and this matters! Beautiful interfaces and intuitive designs have been made standard on iOS, and it is great to see professional music software by third parties coding with this priority in mind. Unfortunately, I do not find all of Komp's user interface very intuitive. It isn't so bad once you figure it out. I do wish the score setup screen would adhere better to some of the iOS interface standards for file management and new document creation. And I wish the introduction video did a better job showing where the finger/pencil are clicking and tapping. I saw what was happening on the screen, but not always exactly what I was supposed to tap to get there.

Scoring Notes also does a great job explaining how Komp interprets Appel Pencil input. In short, it interprets as you write instead of after you have completed a measure. This leads to some freedoms as well as some frustrations, all of which you can read in their review. In the short time I have used Komp, I still feel like I am fighting with it rather than writing freely and letting the software do it's work. Even though it is in some respects better looking and more powerful than competitors like NotateMe and MusicJot, I am not sure it has a place in my workflow yet. There were still too many mistakes in the processing of my pencil strokes that I would just rather write with real pencil and paper at first, and then later inputting into a piece of software like Sibelius or Dorico.

In other words, I am not sure Komp is a real revolution in handwriting notation on a tablet yet. But it is only a 1.0, and time will tell if this is a viable input method for composers.