Perhaps don't ask users to pay you in order to contribute high-quality transcriptions to your catalog?

I was excited to add a bunch of stuff last night but after one mulligan the midi in feature was disabled.

I was probably well on my way toward buying a subscription anyway, but I couldn’t stand to do so after that because I felt so offended at being asked to pay you while I’m donating my time and energy to building out your content.

You can contribute tabs to the database without subscribing. Is your complaint that you can’t connect MIDI instruments? Because that seems like a completely reasonable premium feature.

Also, you’re not entitled to get free things.

Sorry Kevin,

Hookpad is a tool with many uses; it’s a songwriting guide, an educational tool, and as you noted, it’s the interface used by our community to contribute analyses to the Theorytab database.

There should not be any feature that requires being a Plus user to contribute high quality analyses to the database. All chords are available and there are no restrictions in what can be analyzed.

Midi export is a songwriting feature that is used for creating personal songs and then importing into Ableton, Logic, etc. which is why we think it’s an appropriate Plus feature. It may not be obvious, but the majority of songs created with Hookpad are actually original private compositions that are not visible to the public.

We currently run Hooktheory on the side (we all have full time day jobs) and this isn’t something that is making us rich. Plus subscriptions support our hosting costs, development efforts, and hopefully could lead to something more one day.

We are incredibly lucky to have such a generous community that is willing to donate their time to make Hooktheory a great place to learn about music.

Sorry for any misunderstanding and hopefully this clarifies somewhat where we are coming from with regards to what we do and do not charge for.


Somehow I gave the impression to both of you that I was talking about MIDI out, and also that I was expecting free features for my own personal benefit.

I’m saying that if I had MIDI in, I would be able to add many many songs to your catalog, for free, which I assume is something that the operators of the site want. It’s a lot slower by computer keyboard and mouse and it’s just bizarre to have to do something the hard way when the features exist to be able to enter the song in the normal way.

I’m sorry for being grumpy! It just felt really bad to be trying to contribute my efforts to you and be told I have to do it the hard way unless I pay.

(Update: okay, I discovered that I can still use the piano to enter notes, just not timing, so I have to adjust note durations by hand. It is an awful lot better than just using the computer keyboard. It’s just… I would think that any feature that is used toward the end of contributing content to you would be one you’d like to let people use.)