{Newzik and Scanning PDF Files

So yeah, I know…. long time no see! I AM still around – and today…. well, today there is news so I shall point you in the correct direction!

Actually this is news from a couple of days ago. MusicFirst and Newzik are now partners! Very cool!

But….

Even more exciting is the news that Newzik will very soon (as in May 2021) allow you to import a PDF file into the app and then do an optical musical character recognition on the file! As in from a PDF Newzik will create a MIDI and a Music XML file! Your students can then control the tempo and key of this MIDI accompaniment to practice and improve their sight-reading skills. The converted version of your score can then be exported to any notation software for further editing.

What this means for teachers is we can take a piece of PDF music, open it in Newzik – perform the OMR process, then open that into an app like Noteflight to tweak and edit any issues that there may be. Then we can do all sorts of things with that notation file. Things like quickly creating a trumpet version of the alto saxophone part when your ensemble has no alto sax players. Printing individual parts from a score that had no individual parts for it in the first place.

NOTEFLIGHT LEARN INTEGRATION – Even better – NoteFlight Learn has SoundCheck capabilities – so take that file and send it to SoundCheck and assign a playing test for your students!

BANDLAB INTEGRATION – Take the MIDI file output and import it

This technology has been in other apps for awhile now but it appears that Newzik has developed this technology in partnership with Maestria whom I have heard nothing about. Jim Frankel (Music First CEO) claims that Newzik’s OMR is as good as any other software currently available if not better.

PRICING – So in general I am really not in favor of subscription based apps/services. With that being said I am coming around a bit and at our school we did pay for NoteFlight Learn this year.

Newzik itself is a subscription based app – $35 a year but if you are an Educator/Student then it is only $10 per year. Of course if you want to purchase multiple licenses than it comes down even lower to $5 per year. In all actuality this sort of pricing is slightly maddening – just call their customer service and talk to them because as of right now (April 2021) those are the prices I can figure out from their website.

oh, and wait… it gets better! Just TRY and get a straight answer from MusicFirst via their website about pricing. It’s not going to happen. Nope. You have to fill out a form and they will contact you. Ugggg…. Custom pricing for each individual school and your particular circumstances.

FINAL WORD ON PRICING – OK, so Jim finally talked about price at about 22 minutes into the YT video – $2 per student per year. Which if your organization has iPads is a no-brainer! BUT it seems like you need to have the MusicFirst service as well which is also $4 per student. so $6.

I do firmly believe though that if your school/studio/worship team is going to be going to 1:1 iPads/Chromebooks then MusicFirst is doing us music educators a huge favor in what they are offering! It’s just not going to be a simple visit to their website to find pricing!

I also feel that the real advantage of Newzik is the interactive portion – a group of musicians all using Newzik on a set of iPads. What an amazing glimpse into the future [which actually is not the future but is the present!]

Anyways…. if you want to see the presentation check it out on this YouTube: (and if the link doesn’t do it’s job like it is supposed to then you may have to manually jump ahead to 13:30 in the video to see the scanning in action.)

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