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What happened to Notion?

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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby thorrild » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:33 am

Apparently, the astounding pace with which Notion staff supplied us with incremental updates for a while has created a demand and sense of entitlement I haven't seen before among software users. My most recent public version of Notion is dated October 28, 2010, which makes it less than 8 months old. I will be satisfied if Notion Music manages to crank out a decent update once a year, just like other software companies. I don't think it is realistic to expect bug fixes and new features to appear on demand, although our access to this forum sometimes leads us to believe that we have special insight into the workings of Notion Music. As a longtime Finale user and beta tester, I vividly remember waiting several years for some irksome bug or shortcoming to be addressed by the company.

Personally, I am happy with all the work I can get done with Notion, even as it is — work I couldn't have imagined five years ago. Whether or not I will be working on a tablet, a phone, or something else in another five years, or even in five weeks, is just something I'll have to decide when the opportunity to do so presents itself.

Musicians, of all people, know that the value of patience and that gratification is not always instant.

Best wishes,
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:46 pm

thorrild wrote:Personally, I am happy with all the work I can get done with Notion, even as it is — work I couldn't have imagined five years ago. Whether or not I will be working on a tablet, a phone, or something else in another five years, or even in five weeks, is just something I'll have to decide when the opportunity to do so presents itself.

Musicians, of all people, know that the value of patience and that gratification is not always instant.


Absolutely! :)
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby pcartwright » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:31 am

thorrild wrote:Apparently, the astounding pace with which Notion staff supplied us with incremental updates for a while has created a demand and sense of entitlement I haven't seen before among software users. My most recent public version of Notion is dated October 28, 2010, which makes it less than 8 months old. I will be satisfied if Notion Music manages to crank out a decent update once a year,


I agree with you on the whole. Though I can't speak for everyone on the thread, I think there is a difference between an update adding features and an update correcting bugs. I have no issue waiting for new features, but bugs that result in improper playback (see these two threads for examples: viewtopic.php?f=2&p=6852#p6852 and viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1111) should be addressed quickly (especially the first example which involves Notion's own bass trombone sample).
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby thorrild » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:10 am

pcartwright wrote: I think there is a difference between an update adding features and an update correcting bugs. I have no issue waiting for new features, but bugs that result in improper playback (see these two threads for examples: viewtopic.php?f=2&p=6852#p6852 and viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1111) should be addressed quickly (especially the first example which involves Notion's own bass trombone sample).


I would like that too. However, it is my impression from countless visits to various companies' support websites that the term "known issues" features prominently on most of them. Sometimes the companies choose not to highlight bugs in this way, and you'll have to call tech support and describe your problem to a representative before you get the reply, "We are aware of the issue and are working on it."

Whenever I contact Notion by email about a specific issue, I always get a prompt and intelligent reply (thanks, Brian!), and I hope that the people posting their bugs to the forum will get similar attention, even if the reply is just of the "working on it" type. I see that the Bass Trombone bug was posted about 20 hours ago, as of this writing. How fast should we expect a resolution?

Bugs can be frustrating, and I am always convinced that my bug is the most pressing issue of all. Sometimes Notion appears to agree with me, sometimes not. I am not privy to their to-do list. Months ago I reported a sample bug (Jazz Trumpet 2) and got the reply that it was a bug and that I should use Jazz Tpt 1 until it could be corrected. Should I have launched a tirade against Notion at the time, instead of using their workaround to get some actual work done?

Best wishes,
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:21 pm

pcartwright wrote:
thorrild wrote:Apparently, the astounding pace with which Notion staff supplied us with incremental updates for a while has created a demand and sense of entitlement I haven't seen before among software users. My most recent public version of Notion is dated October 28, 2010, which makes it less than 8 months old. I will be satisfied if Notion Music manages to crank out a decent update once a year,


I agree with you on the whole. Though I can't speak for everyone on the thread, I think there is a difference between an update adding features and an update correcting bugs. I have no issue waiting for new features, but bugs that result in improper playback (see these two threads for examples: viewtopic.php?f=2&p=6852#p6852 and viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1111) should be addressed quickly (especially the first example which involves Notion's own bass trombone sample).


The first "bug" involving the bass trombone has a fix, which is to use the original bass trombone from the Notion 3 sounds DVD, so while it is a "bug" with the updated bass trombone, it is a low-priority "bug" . . .

The second "bug" is more likely to be a problem with the KORE player than with Notion 3, and if there is a way to set the audio resolution of the KORE player, then it certainly can be an audio resolution problem, which is something I discovered when I was doing a few experiments with Reaper, where the Reaper generated audio was choppy when I had the audio quality set to 94-kHz at 24-bits but was fine when it was set to 44.1-kHz at 16-bits, with the CD quality audio resolution (44.1 kHz at 16-bits) being correct for the sampled sounds . . .

I encountered essentially the same problem with the Waldorf Edition PPG Wave 2.V synthesizer that I got last week for $50 in a Musician's Friend "Stupid Deal of the Day" purchase, but rather than mess with it, I decided not to use the Waldorf Edition synthesizer, even though it has some nice sounds . . .

The Notion 3 score with the Waldorf Edition synthesizer would not open after I saved it and exited Notion 3, so this suggests strongly that there is a problem with the Waldorf Edition VSTi, which is yet another reason not to use it . . .

All the IK Multimedia virtual instruments (VSTi) work very nicely with Notion 3, but (a) they do not require a special "player" and (b) they do not require USB keys or dongles, and when a virtual instrument requires a special "player" or a USB key or dongle, this adds complexity, which then gets into the patently surreal scenario where non-standard activities can occur, hence it becomes difficult to determine whether it is the sample library, special "player", operating system, or Notion 3 that is having problems . . .

Some of the EWQL products are moving away from requiring USB keys, which is good from my perspective, but they cost too much for my budget . . .

"Bugs" are categorized by software engineers and product managers according to severity, and the "bugs" that get the most immediate attention are the ones the prevent using the application, while less severe "bugs" get the least amount of attention, especially when there is a fix or "workaround", and this is the way it works . . .

I understand the logic that suggests every reported "bug" needs to be investigated thoroughly and resolved, but the reality is that it costs money to do everything, and costs tend to be a prioritizing factor, especially for a smaller company . . .

It is fine for folks to suggest that other companies investigate and resolve "bugs" rapidly, but consider Finale for a moment, and focus on its retail price ($600), which is similar to the retail price for Sibelus 6 ($595.00 – $615.83) . . .

Then, consider the retail price for Notion 3 ($249) . . .

QUESTION: Is everyone expecting a free update?

MOTU typically does a few updates after they release a major version, but they stop doing updates once the remaining higher priority problems are resolved, and then they switch focus to doing a major version, which happens every two years or so, and for existing customers major version upgrades typically cost $200 (plus shipping and sales tax where required), and this tends to be the way it works . . .

MOTU has a few Windows products, but Digital Performer is a Mac-only DAW (digital audio workstation) application, and the MOTU folks have been doing Mac software engineering for a long time (well over a decade), and Digital Performer occasionally has some gnarly crashes . . .

Notion 3 also has some gnarly crashes, and the way I put it into perspective is by comparing it to Digital Performer . . .

During the three or so weeks required for me to make sense of ReWire, there were a few sets of days when Digital Performer 7, Notion 3, or Reason 5 crashed so badly that I had to do a cold boot of the 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro, which is not something that happens very often in the Apple universe, but I eventually discovered the rules for doing ReWire productively, and everything is fine, but while for example it was spanky to listen to a MOTU technical support specialist share the view that Digital Performer 7 does ReWire perfectly, the reality is that Digital Performer 7 crashed with an unrecoverable error, which is not an indication of an application working "perfectly" in any universe (Mac or Windows). Instead it indicates that the application encountered an error that had no error handler, which basically is sloppy programming no matter whether it is a Mac or Windows application . . .

Sometimes, an application encounters an especially gnarly error, but I like to see an error message that at least acknowledges the reality and then does a graceful exit . . .

And there are some gnarly memory leaks in the Mac version of Notion 3, some of which cause Mac OS X system menus to go blank, which in the Windows universe typically is what happens when an application attempts to read or write memory outside its application space, where one way to get this type of error is to use a negative number as the index for a C or C++ array, since arrays in C and C++ have indexes that start at 0 and go higher but never lower, where the first item in an array has an index value of 0 rather than 1, but so what . . .

So what!

All software has problems, and from my perspective the practical approach is to determine what an application does correctly with absolute accuracy, reliability, and repeatability, which is what I have done over the past year with Notion 3 . . .

Notion 3 on the Mac is not perfect, but I am able to do so much more with Notion 3 than without Notion 3 that I simply do not care about all the imperfections . . .

I think it makes more sense to focus on what an application does perfectly, and if it does enough perfectly to be useful in a productive way, then it becomes an important part of the "system" or "formula" here in the sound isolation studio, and this certainly is the case with Notion 3, which now is the foundation for my new and vastly improved song factory "system" or "formula", which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

P. S. I read your reply in a different topic about doing mapping or routing MIDI ports with Reason 5, and it is brilliant, so I am doing some reading and experiments to see if it will work on the Mac, which I think it will . . . :idea:
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby dcuny » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:38 pm

thorrild wrote:Apparently, the astounding pace with which Notion staff supplied us with incremental updates for a while has created a demand and sense of entitlement I haven't seen before among software users.

As a recent user of Notion, I was unaware of this. I only intended to respond to what appears to be NOTION Music's temporary focus away from Notion and to the iOS.

I agree that there's often a gap between what a customer wants from a company, and what a company can reasonably provide. I personally don't know what NOTION Music's official bug fixing policy is, and I have no doubt that it's by necessity fluid.

What satisfies any given customer will obviously depend on how much a particular bug impacts them.

The irritation (how they "feel" about the bug), on the other hand, is probably a bit less rational. So I "feel" something should have been easy to detect/fix, I may be more bothered by it than I rationally should.
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby thorrild » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:36 pm

dcuny wrote:As a recent user of Notion, I was unaware of this. I only intended to respond to what appears to be NOTION Music's temporary focus away from Notion and to the iOS. [...] The irritation (how they "feel" about the bug), on the other hand, is probably a bit less rational. So [when?] I "feel" something should have been easy to detect/fix, I may be more bothered by it than I rationally should.


Well, welcome to this jolly mud bath, then! You are right, I know very well how buggy software can create irrational thoughts ;-). I, in turn, was responding to the title of this thread: "What happened to Notion?". A brief reply from Kyle at Notion set off a minor brush fire of pros and cons, with iPad opponents seeming to have the upper hand.

I am merely trying to calm that fire a bit, always bearing in mind that, as a Mac user, I really don't care much about how much development or bug takes place for the Windows version of my software, even though I realize that someone has to pay attention to that platform as well. But I am also mindful of one of Steve Jobs's recent keynote presentations, in which he made the point that for Apple, the lessons learned from the iOS platform were an integral part of development on the Mac OS platform. It was probably at least 50% sales talk, but it sounded acceptable to a gullible soul like me.

Again, I have no special insight into development at Notion, but I would imagine that iPad development somehow ends up benefitting the desktop product as well. I find it hard to believe, for instance, that a known issue would be ported to a new platform without being fixed first, and I imagine that fixing such an issue for an iOS build almost automatically generates a fix for the other platforms, without the need to rewrite code from the ground up.

I don't own an iPad and have no plans to buy one, but I think that Notion's embrace of it is a cool and edgy move. And I am perfectly at ease with the knowledge that Notion can't work on my personal complaints, on my personal platform, and according to my personal schedule, at all times. Let's all take a deep breath and get to work.

With much love to all,
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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby thorrild » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:19 pm

thorrild wrote:I really don't care much about how much development or bug takes place for the Windows version of my software


Uhh, I meant bug fixing...

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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby joswyl@telenet.be » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi there

I recognise your problem, as I've experienced the same. Correct filled measures and still incorrect playback... In most cases, this is caused by dynamic signs (hairpins), not matching the exact length of the measure. Try deleting all your hairpins in the measure. Save your piece and reopen it. Put then the hairpins in the correct place (starting on the right note and extending them to the next dynamic symbol (e.g. starting a crescendo from a P-symbol up to a F-symbol: you should connect both the symbols with your crescendo hairpin). This may solve your problem. It has nothing to do with the length of your notes (or too many notes in the measure).

Success!

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Re: What happened to Notion?

Postby klushund » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:12 am

Since Progression for the iPad is out now, I hope that the Notion people had enough fun programming and will concentrate on debugging of Notion 3. Though I own an Android tablet, I'd rather see Rewire working on my PC (Notion <-> Reaper) than Progression on my Android tablet ;)
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