Installation and Licensing Questions and Answers
Installation and Licensing Questions and Answers
Purchase, Activation Keys, and Service Plan
- I do not have an international credit card. What other forms of payment do you accept?
- I understand by purchasing "Finale Business Edition" I can have the program in two computers but how do I buy the service plan?
- If I buy the software soon and download it on my old laptop, will I be able to transfer the software to my new laptop once I get it?
- I'm ready to set up a second computer in the office for my partner. Do I need another license or how do the activation keys work?
- My hard drive crashed. I want to reinstall Finale but want to save my second activation key for the future. What should I do?
- Troubleshooting: I know I get two activation keys, how do I put Finale on my home computer and laptop?
- How do I verify what version I have?
- When I purchase a new service plan, when does it expire?
- What does the $99/year service plan include? What happens if I don't renew?
- Why do I have to pay extra for the Pyromate Edition? I just bought a Nighthawk firing system and want to download to it.
Download / Getting the Software
- Do the two activation keys that come with Finale arrive in the mail or require me to telephone the company?
- I bought Finale as a package deal from Pyromate or ATF. How do I get it?
- I ordered Finale from the website and it hasn't arrived in the mail yet. Why?
- Troubleshooting: I can't download and install the application? What do the errors mean?
- Troubleshooting: I click on the download button and just get a "Thank you" message. Where is the download?
- Where do I download the latest pre-release?
- Where can I download the latest release, or does it download automatically?
- After installing an update, I get an f.leaf error message and the program won't run. How do I fix this?
- I am running Vista. After installing Finale I get an error "FWPlayer cannot load". Help.
- Troubleshooting: What does "network error: communication failure" mean when I try to login?
- What are the system requirements?
- Working Offline
- Purchase, Activation Keys, and Service Plan
Purchase, Activation Keys, and Service Plan
I do not have an international credit card. What other forms of payment do you accept?
Some credit card companies reject international orders even if the address information is correct.
The easiest payment solution for international orders is to create an account with Paypal at www.paypal.com using your credit card. This just takes a minute, and is free. Then you can buy Finale Business from our site using your paypal account.
Two other possibilities are by sending us a money order using Western Union, or doing a bank transfer.
All three options will give you Finale Business immediately. If you pay using Paypal, your account will be automatically updated. If you pay by Western Union or a bank transfer, just send me (Will) an email at email@example.com with the confirmation number and I'll manually upgrade your account immediately.
The first year of the service plan comes with your initial purchase for free. After the first year, we will send you a notice and provide a web page in which you can renew the plan for another year for $99.
Yes, each license is good for two machines. They will automatically activate on the first two machines you log in from. If you change machines or buy a new machine, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll reset your activation keys for the new machine.
Each license that you buy comes with two "activation keys" that automatically activate on the first two computers you login into with your user name. Most users use the two keys for a desktop plus laptop. To use the second key, just download of copy the program from www.finalefireworks.com/download to the second computer, and login with the same username (same account).
If you want a second account, which comes with an additional two keys, you can buy that at 35% discount in the bottom left of www.finalefireworks.com/buy page. When you buy an additional account license, you can have it connected to the same username (the default), or if you want a different username then just email email@example.com the username that you'd like to transfer it to and we'll switch it over.
Go ahead and use the your name and password on the computer after you re-install which will automatically activate the license on that computer. When you start using the laptop with Finale you will get a warning about using more than two computers. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org when that happens and we'll reset your activation records so that you can use Finale on the two computers that are active.
The two keys are attached to your username, the same username you used when you bought the program. The first two machines you log into with that username activate automatically. If you replace your computer or want to change to another computer, just send an email to email@example.com and we will reset your activation keys.
As long as you are logging in with your username connected with the purchase, you will always have all the features, independently of what machine you are on or whether that machine has been activated or not. You can verify this by looking at the words on the window title bar. If it says "Finale Business Edition" or "Finale PRO" then you know that you have access to those features. If it says "FREE Trial Version" then you know something's wrong -- possibly you are logging in with the wrong username or there was some problem with the purchase. If you are logging into a machine that is not activated, you will at first get a warning message and then eventually you will not be able to login.
How do I verify what version I have?
You can verify what version you have by looking at the window title bar.
When I purchase a new service plan, when does it expire?
Service plans are dated from the expiration of the previous service plan. We have this policy for two mains reasons:
- The service plan includes an update to the latest version of the software, including all capabilities developed while the service plan had lapsed.
- To reduce the incentive for a customer to allow the service plan to lapse until he actually wants to call us for customer support.
On our purchase page the service plan description includes: "Finale Pro and Business come with 1 year of service. Purchase an extension for an additional 12 months from the expiration of your previous service plan. Finale may charge a reinstatement fee in the future for service plans that have lapsed more than 90 days." http://www.finalefireworks.com/buy
What does the $99/year service plan include? What happens if I don't renew?
The first year service plan is free with purchase. After that it is $99/year. The service plan includes service, support, and upgrades for twelve months. My colleague Chris and I support customers with email and cell phone, and we incorporate customers' requests, feedback, and suggestions into a new upgrade every month. Since we are constantly working on the product and tailoring it to customer needs, you can look forward to it getting significantly better every month. The basic product works even if a customer does not renew the service plan, but some features -- mainly the inventory import/management features and sales video generation -- require the service plan to work since they rely on our servers.
The Pyromate Edition of Finale essentially replaces NiteTime or SmartShow. If you already have SmartShow or NiteTime *and* Finale Business Edition, then you don't need the Pyromate Edition of Finale except for the convenience. The Business Edition of Finale will support timecode also. If you buy a Nighthawk firing system, you do need to buy some software to do the download. Your options are either NiteTime or SmartShow or Finale Pyromate Edition. The advantage of getting Finale Pyromate Edition is that it works on Vista and Win7, and is essentially another full copy of Finale Business so it comes with two more computer activation keys.
Download / Getting the Software
NO, the two activation keys are automatic. The application identifies the first two machines that you run it on and connects those to your account. Later, if you want to change machines, you can just send us an email and we'll reset the activation keys to reinitialize on the next two computers you run the app on.
I bought Finale as a package deal from Pyromate or ATF. How do I get it?
First, download Finale from www.finalefireworks.com/download and choose a username and password. By default, the downloaded product will work in "trial mode", which has many features disabled. Then email your username to firstname.lastname@example.org and also include your name and the firing system company that you purchased from. We will promptly upgrade your account to and next time you login you will have access to all the features.
I ordered Finale from the website and it hasn't arrived in the mail yet. Why?
Finale is a 100% online product, so you can download it from www.finalefireworks.com/download. We come out with upgrades approximately once a month, and you get free upgrades for a year, so check the News and Announcements section of the forums regularly to get the latest. One benefit of the frequent releases is that you can request features or fixes on the forums, and we can implement those features or fixes with quick turnarounds.
Troubleshooting: I can't download and install the application? What do the errors mean?
The two most common causes of problems reported with installing the Finale application relate to either having multiple copies of Finale or the Finale installer running at once or problems downloading the software.
The first thing to check if you have an error while installing is to make sure that the Finale application and the Finale installer are not already running. Check this by looking in the task bar since the application's windows might not be visible if it is minimized.
The Finale installer is a small application that downloads and installs the complete Finale software. Problems downloading the software are often caused by security software that is blocking the small application from installing the complete Finale application. In this case it often works to download and install the complete Finale application directly from this link http://www.finalefireworks.com/installer/download/latest.
If you are unable to install from that link, you can disable security software by rebooting your computer in "safe mode with networking" and trying to download and install again. Instructions for that are here (as well as other places):www.computerhope.com/issues/chsafe.htm.
If you click on the green "Download" button and only get the "Thanks for trying Finale" message, then what is happening is your web browser is intervening before allowing you to download the file, as a precaution. Depending on your browser, it will have some text at the bottom of the window, or the top, asking you to confirm that you want to download the executable. Typically the text includes yes/no buttons. It is also possible that your browser has put up a confirmation window behind the main window, making it impossible to see unless you move the main window out of the way. In any case, one of these scenarios is the most likely problem.
If you look everywhere on the main window and behind it, and you don't see a confirmation dialog anywhere, then the two remaining possibilities are that your web browser's security settings don't allow you to download applications (such as it might be configured if it is on a work computer), or your anti-virus software is interfering with the download. In the first case, you need to reconfigure your browser or download a new one (e.g., www.google.com/chrome). In the second case you need to reboot your computer in safe mode with networking (explained here: www.computerhope.com/issues/chsafe.htm).
Where do I download the latest pre-release?
The latest Pre-releases are always in the "News and Announcements" section of the forums. Look for the top most post saying "Pre-release xxxx", with a link to download. Pre-releases often contain new features and bug fixes that haven't yet officially been released. After sufficient testing and validation, we take the last pre-release and make it an official release, at which point it can be downloaded from www.finalefireworks.com/download.
Where can I download the latest release, or does it download automatically?
The latest release is always available at www.finalefireworks.com/download The application's code does not update unless you explicitly run the installer that you can download from the download page. However, the new fireworks and public inventories of products by manufacturers will be downloaded automatically, so you only have to go to the download page to update the code to the latest release.
This rare error message results from an incomplete installation. Uninstalling and re-installing does not fix the problem, but you can fix the problem manually by deleting or renaming the "FINALE Fireworks" folder and installing again. For Windows 7, this "FINALE Fireworks" folder is usually in yourname/AppData/Roaming/ though it can be in a different place on different operating systems. You can find where it is by running the Finale installer. The location is shown in the first dialog in the "Destination Folder" field.
I am running Vista. After installing Finale I get an error "FWPlayer cannot load". Help.
The problem is that some versions of Vista do not allow programs to run out of the AppData/Roaming directory, so even though Finale may have installed correctly into that directory, Vista is preventing you from running it. If you turn off User Access Control from your control panel > users and permissions settings, that will enable Finale to run, though changing that setting may reduce your computer's security. An alternate approach that may work is verifying that your user account is an admin account, and then installing Finale in the Program Files directory.
Troubleshooting: What does "network error: communication failure" mean when I try to login?
This error is the result of the Finale application being unable to reach the Finale servers. This could be because the computer does not have network access, there is security software blocking the Finale application, or there is a problem on our servers.
If you see this error, first verify that you can reach other websites in your web browser. If you can't see other websites, then the problem is with your computer's network connection.
Second, verify the you can open the Finale website at www.finalefireworks.com in your web browser. If you are unable to reach the website, then there is a problem with our servers or with your network access to our servers. You can verify the status of our servers by checking ourexternal monitoring service web page. If this says our servers are not working (red box in the status column), then we've been notified about the problem so please wait an hour or two and try again. If this says our servers are working (green box in the status column), then you have a network access problem reaching our web site which is most likely caused by your ISP. In this situation we recommend waiting an hour or two, and if the problem persists contact your ISP.
If you can open the www.finalefireworks.com website, then the "network error: communication failure" most likely means that there is anti-virus or security software, such as a firewall or a corporate VPN that is blocking the Finale application from accessing the network. To verify, disable the anti-virus, firewall or VPN and try connecting again. You can disable security software be rebooting your computer in "safe mode with networking" and trying to log in again. Instructions for that are here (as well as other places):www.computerhope.com/issues/chsafe.htm. If Finale can connect under these circumstances then you need to configure your anti-virus or security software to allow Finale to have access to the internet.
Professional and Business users should not see this error once they've successfully run the application on their computer, since the application will prompt them to work offline in this situation.
What are the system requirements?
The short answer is Windows XP or later OS, plus decently fast computer (1.6GHz or higher) and internet access. There is no 3d video card requirement. Macintosh users can run Finale under Boot Camp or Parallels.
The faster the computer, the more responsive the program is, but Finale pretty much works on everything (even computers slower than 1.6GHz). Finale uses software 3D rendering rather than the computer's 3d video hardware, even if the hardware is available. The benefit is that Finale is extremely robust, but the drawback is that the bigger your window and the more stuff on it, the slower the program will run. If your computer is slow, shrink the Finale window to improve performance.
Does the software work offline?
Yes, the software works both offline and online, but the first time you run the software on a computer, you need to be online in order for the software to download information and activate on the computer for copy protection purposes. If you launch the app without internet access it will start up in offline mode. Internet access is required to download initial fireworks, to add music, and for some inventory management and video features, but you can choreograph/edit shows and export reports and scripts while offline.
I try to run offline, but it doesn't work. What is the problem?
The first time you run the software on a computer you have to be online, so the software can download data and activate on the computer. Thereafter, you can work offline. You do need to be online to add music, so if for example you are starting a show from scratch to work on offline on a laptop while travelling, add the music first while you still have an internet connection.
How do I see my audio when I'm offline?
You can't add new audio files while you are offline, but you can use existing audio files. You just need to add your audio track on the computer that you are going to use offline. Then you can use the audio track while offline.
How can I tell what version I have, Business or PRO?
The version of the software you own (e.g., Business, Pro, Trial) will appear on the window titlebar when you launch the application.
What is the difference between the trial and Pro or Business versions? How do I download Pro or Business?
All versions of Finale are the same download, so if you've already downloaded the trial you don't need to re-download. When you make an order, your account is upgraded to the version you bought, and when you run the Finale application, it checks your account to see what features should be enabled.
What's the main difference between PRO and BUSINESS?
Business has 3D site layout drawings, plus the ability to put corporate logos on the generated videos, plus bird's eye view layout, plus the ability to import shows from other systems, and other features. However the PRO version is a perfectly fine standalone program for choreography; it just doesn't have the extra features.
If I recommend or sell Finale to other people, can I get a commission? How much?
We are willing to pay a commission of 35% of every sale to the person responsible for the sale. Our standard program is that each user has a "code". If you send an email out to folks that contains a link with that code, and folks click on that link to get to Finale's site to register or download, then if they buy the software (immediately or at a later time), you get a credit of 35% of the sale and we send you the money by Paypal. You don't have to do anything other than send the email. You can get the code from www.finalefireworks.com/partners.
Another option is that you can purchase physical "payment vouchers" for Finale at the same 35% discount, which you can then re-sell at full price. This option is available to partners who are able to purchase and resell in bulk. If you are interested in this program, please email email@example.com .
What are the steps to share projects so that we can all contribute, much like other software has versions of files/projects?
To collaborate, each person needs an individual copy of Finale Business, and one of the collaborators needs the Finale Inventory 1-magazine version ($29/mo), which he can share with the other collaborators. All collaborators will use this shared Finale Inventory account, which guarantees that all collaborators are using and seeing the same inventory items and simulations. If one person customizes a simulation in the inventory, everyone will see it automatically. The collaborators can also have their own personal Finale Inventory, which comes free with Finale Business, and they can switch back and forth between the shared and personal inventories.
The best way to share show files that you are collaborating on is to save them in a shared DropBox (free from www.dropbox.com), and to use your own naming scheme to keep track of versions and prevent stepping on each other's toes. As long as the collaborators are using the same inventory to construct the show, then everyone's views and reports will be consistent.