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Bill Gates' Plan To Destroy Music, Note By Note

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the too-insane-to-ignore-forever dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 659

theodp writes "Remember Mr. Microphone? If you thought music couldn't get worse, think again. Perhaps with the help of R&D tax credits, Microsoft Research has spawned Songsmith, software that automatically creates a tinny, childish background track for your singing. And as bad as the pseudo-infomercial was, the use of the product in the wild is likely to be even scarier, as evidenced by these Songsmith'ed remakes of music by The Beatles, The Police, and The Notorious B.I.G.."

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Oh... who gives a fuck?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602459)

Go back to worshipping indian programmers you slashdot faggots.

Re:Oh... who gives a fuck?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602787)

You will not besmirch the mighty Shiva from Accounts Receivable!

It couldn't be worse (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602947)

than shit by Weezer.

Haha yeah. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602963)

Say what you will, but Windows is vastly superior to Linux on both desktops and servers. Get the facts [getthefacts.com] , people.

This is just awful. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602461)

I checked the links. Now I feel so dirty.

Hey Microsoft, will you please stick with the business that you are good at? You know, Operating Systems?

Oh, nevermind.

Re:This is just awful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602485)

Hey Microsoft, will you please stick with the business that you are good at?

Well, I think you know the answer to that...

Microsoft Sucks Checklist (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602549)

Music Software - check
Portable Music Players - check
Gaming Consoles - CHECK
Search - check
Online portals - check
Commercials - check
Mobile Phone OSes - check

Can't Possibly Be Worse Than Wii Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602475)

I still have nightmares about Miyamoto demoing Wii Music at E3 last year.

Re:Can't Possibly Be Worse Than Wii Music (5, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602885)

It is far worse!

If you have no strong heart, do not try watching the Songsmith Infomercial.
I REPEAT: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WATCH THE SONGSMITH INFOMERCIAL!

Re:Can't Possibly Be Worse Than Wii Music (1)

Paua Fritter (448250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602913)

I tried to watch it, in all honesty; I really tried, but I had to stop watching half way through ... it was just too awful to bear.

That laptop in the infomercial... (5, Interesting)

magsol (1406749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602483)

...it looks like an older generation MacBook Pro with a sticker over its logo.

Plausible deniability?

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (5, Funny)

justindarc (1046048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602609)

also.. how ironic is it that the girl's name is "Lisa"!?!?

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602657)

Yes, they are trying to use some of Apple's "coolness"...and they wish they could transfer some of the RDF that is surround them to their customers...

Microsofts other new foray into music:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090123-microsoft-misses-memo-launches-drm-laden-mobile-music-store.html [arstechnica.com]

If I hadn't looked at the URL, I would have thought I was reading an Onion article.

Crazy.

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (5, Informative)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602643)

...it looks like an older generation MacBook Pro with a sticker over its logo.

Yes, it is a MacBook. Techcrunch had a Story [techcrunch.com] on this last week.

It's inconceivable to me out they could let something like that slip thru.

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (5, Insightful)

protobion (870000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602761)

Its running Vista under Bootcamp.

Just saying...

Techncially, Microsoft is not in the hardware business for laptops so its not such a big faux pas and might even be their silly attempt to play nice with Apple, or to show that they aren't threatened by it.

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (4, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602795)

more likely the production company hired to make the commercial had an old Macbook for a prop and thought it looked better than any other notebook they had.

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602829)

Yeah. I know someone that works for MS that has vista on their iMac. News flash people: MS isn't competing with laptop and desktop makers.

Re:That laptop in the infomercial... (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602865)

It's inconceivable to me out they could let something like that slip thru.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

you think that's bad...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602487)

you haven't heard my wife in the shower

Re:you think that's bad...... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602555)

you haven't heard my wife in the shower

I have. She's not that bad

Re:you think that's bad...... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602797)

I'll say!

Fuck that pussy (do do do do)
Fuck that pussy (do do do do)
Fuck that pussy (oh god, I'm coming!)

Im gonna sing a demo song... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602489)

Somebody throttle this nance!

Sadly, I guess I was reading /. (5, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602509)

The day the music died.

Re:Sadly, I guess I was reading /. (2, Funny)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602619)

You could actually try to feed the lyrics into the software. It just might interpret the text correctly and go on deleting itself from the harddisk permanently. That song I'd like to watch.

Re:Sadly, I guess I was reading /. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602937)

Feed this [metalmaker.net] into this [att.com] into this [microsoft.com] .

Spot the difference (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602515)

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No! No! No! (5, Funny)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602523)

What is needed is to do some of the worst songs ever like those were done and see if improves the worst ones.

drew

Re:No! No! No! (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602779)

Stop! Collaborate and listen. Gates is back with a brand new invention.

Re:No! No! No! (1, Funny)

ddillman (267710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602931)

I don't think even this could make Shatner sound good...

Bill Hicks Nailed It (4, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602525)

This is what I think music would sound like without drugs [youtube.com] . (NSFW, but WTF, it's Sunday...)

Re:Bill Hicks Nailed It (1)

yuda (704374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602997)

You insensitive cold! for some of us it is Monday. But for this day ahead of the rest of you types, Today was too nicer day to go into work and a three day weekend was in order - so as you were....

that cant be real can it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602527)

I mean no one, not even Microstoft would think of something that bad

Re:that cant be real can it? (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602833)

no, it's real. They're having a contest to see who can make a worse video than the Bruce ServicePack [youtube.com] one.

Oh lord (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602533)

And I quote from the demo video...

"Now I'm gonna sing a demo song, it wont be short and it won't be long! Ohhh I'm gonna sing a demo song for youuuu hoooo"

Please don't listen to it, you won't be able to unhear it. It's like audio goatse!

Re:Oh lord (0)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602875)

Ok == caveat: I don't have a single Windows based computer anywhere around and I'm clearly not a MS fan. Still, the software concept seems interesting to me and I have no doubt that many teens the world over will have a grand time matching bad music to bad poetry. Nothing really dangerous about that, just that there will be a larger volume of it as the computer lowers the barrier to entry as compared to piano or guitar playing.

What will be interesting however, is if serious musicians can make use of it. Plainly not directly, but by some musical flanking maneuver -- like using the sounds from a Speak and Spell, or other electronics (circuit bending [wikipedia.org] ), to make something entirely new and unforeseen.

Come on (5, Insightful)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602543)

This is supposed to be a news site. Is there any purpose to this article other than blatant Microsoft bashing?

Re:Come on (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602559)

This is supposed to be a news site. Is there any purpose to this article other than blatant Microsoft bashing?

Slashdot = News for TURDS, Stuff that SPLATTERS!

Re:Come on (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602579)

Humor?

Re:Come on (1, Redundant)

f33dback (1458941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602817)

Its hard not to bash them when they come out with utter tripe like this.

Re:Come on (1)

eaa428e6f46aa9f93f47 (1236204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602825)

The New York Times essentially covered the same story today in the business section, which has to make it news, right? Its kinda "man bites dog" thing, I guess (with a back beat).

Re:Come on (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602877)

There are many sources of information that will tell you how great Microsoft is. It is advertising dollars at work. As one of the few places where it is possible to express an opinion about the product that is ultimately technically based, this is the place.
Ms is not a company that is in the business of producing good software, they are in the business of making money with software. They sell product "composed" of software to make money and that is quite a bit different than designing a software for a purpose.
It seems appropriate to bash here as this is about technology and not fluff posing as technology. As far as bashing, I often use Bourne Again SHell programming to express my technical dislike for Ms.

Re:Come on (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602961)

I think that is about it. It is a freaken R&D project. Not even a complete application. There are ton of R&D projects out there.

I don't see the problem (0, Flamebait)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602557)

The remakes don't sound any more hideous than the originals.

But what does it do do if you don't (or like me, can't) sing? What if you just talk or make random hooting noises? (Oh, wait. We know what it does if you make random hooting noises: the "remakes"). Seems to me that this thing has possibilities, though. We need a Free Software clone that runs under Linux, of course.

Re:I don't see the problem (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602889)

... What if you just talk or make random hooting noises? ...

So you're a pop musician?

It does something like this... (4, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602991)

But what does it do do if you don't (or like me, can't) sing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN9pGgg8YlQ [youtube.com]

What if you just talk or make random hooting noises?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7qyjLuWVU8 [youtube.com]

Re:It does something like this... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26603013)

Mod parent up!

This actually comes at a good time... (4, Funny)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602569)

... with President Obama's executive orders banning torture by US forces and requiring the closure of Guantánamo Bay, there's a dire need for alternative interrogation tools.

2 hours of those absolutely inhuman renditions of 'Roxanne' and 'Sgt Peppers', together with the MS infomercial, would be enough to break even the staunchest jihadist.

"Please, PLEASE NOOOO!! I'll give you current GPS coordinates for Osama bin Laden! Just turn it off PLEASE!!!"

Re:This actually comes at a good time... (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602611)

> 2 hours of those absolutely inhuman renditions of 'Roxanne' and 'Sgt Peppers', together
> with the MS infomercial, would be enough to break even the staunchest jihadist.

And if that didn't work you could threaten him with the originals.

Re:This actually comes at a good time... (1)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602615)

I think that still falls under torture though.

Re:This actually comes at a good time... (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602631)

They didn't need to wait for this, and there's already a stop the music torture initiative [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:This actually comes at a good time... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602927)

... with President Obama's executive orders banning torture by US forces and requiring the closure of Guantánamo Bay, there's a dire need for alternative interrogation tools.

2 hours of those absolutely inhuman renditions of 'Roxanne' and 'Sgt Peppers', together with the MS infomercial, would be enough to break even the staunchest jihadist.

"Please, PLEASE NOOOO!! I'll give you current GPS coordinates for Osama bin Laden! Just turn it off PLEASE!!!"

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm but you would get much better results in a lot less than two hours using a couple of Japanese tourists, a karaoke machine and a some carefully selected music from the 1980s. Cheesy period outfits with big shoulder-pads wouldn't hurt either.

Re:This actually comes at a good time... (2)

windsurfer619 (958212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602967)

Co-worker: "it doesn't work to well, and i think they botched the ad"

Me: "that's like saying Hiroshima got a few people hurt"

Art meet art. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602585)

"Bill Gates' Plan To Destroy Music, Note By Note "

Oh please. Next thing you know someone will be complaining that Youtube is destroying the video arts.

Great headline! (5, Interesting)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602605)

I like how, even with Gates gone, everything that happens at Microsoft is attributed to him. If he knew about this product, he would probably call it the dumbest fucking idea he's ever heard.

Re:Great headline! (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602671)

> ...he would probably call it the dumbest fucking idea he's ever heard.

He'd be wrong. It's going to sell like hotcakes.

Re:Great headline! (2, Insightful)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602721)

Nops. It's going to be pirated like... windows.

Re:Great headline! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602741)

The target market doesn't have the smarts to pirate.

Re:Great headline! (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602919)

Are you kidding? The dumb kids that think they can sing get Macs and buy Garage Band. This is for programmers who know they CAN'T sing.

Re:Great headline! (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602687)

I Totally Agree, now the guy that replaced him is doing a great job, i can't remember his name, that is how much he has done so far.

About the only thing i might accept been blamed on gates is the fall of windows, just like i bet any missteps of apple will be blamed on jobs leaving, instead of his replacements...

I have to post this anonymously... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602639)

(But I kinda liked the biggie remix) /just a little. //ashamed

Re:I have to post this anonymously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602763)

Yeah, come on -- who WOULDN'T have fun with this at least as long as with any other dumb toy, even if only to mock it? Does anyone really think that playing "Rock Band" (or whatever the fuck it's called) is any better?

Re:I have to post this anonymously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602803)

That's because some of the nigger was removed, improving upon the original.

Songwriting gone bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602673)

Everyone needs a place to start I suppose. This is about as flashy as an old Casio keyboard from 15 years ago, with the styles and sounds.

And I thought the Korg KARMA technology was a step in the downhill direction when humans were no longer capable of composing their own music, but KARMA is still arguably cooler.

Roxanne - the calypso version (3, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602675)

That version is just so horribly wrong (a depressed love song to a happy calypso tune) that it's pretty much impossible not to laugh or at least chuckle and shake your head at the results

Roxanne - The Calypso Version [youtube.com]

Re:Roxanne - the calypso version (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602705)

Sorry for replying to my own, but if Roxanne doesn't make you laugh, this one should:

Intergalactic - Songsmith [youtube.com]

Re:Roxanne - the calypso version (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602771)

While odd and strange as it is not what we are used to. Songsmith seems like an interesting idea. Perhaps people rip on it and because of what they are used to.

Put aside your notions of what the original songs are. The music oddly *FITS* the lyrics. The Calypso version of roxanne made me chuckle then realize it FITS. To me it fits.

That it is making coherent MUSIC at all is an interesting feat... Im sorry but even though the quality is 'odd' at this point that it works at all is amazing.

Which makes me think that lyrics + music = song. Many people have been taking lyrics out of songs and putting in other lyrics and coming up with something just as good. Weird Al made a carer out of it for gods sake. Someone though why not do the reverse but automatically.

My critique on the program is that it could use a better set of samples. Hence the 'childs toy like' quality that it is spitting out.

Re:Roxanne - the calypso version (1)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602733)

Better than the original, which hasn't aged so well.

Hey good lookin'... (2, Informative)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602683)

we'll be back to pick you up later!

Umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602693)

Has anyone actually bought it?

Coltrane + Songsmith = ??? (4, Funny)

detox.method() (1413497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602699)

Someone should plug Coltrane's "Giant Steps" into Songsmith, and see if their computer explodes. (I'm not volunteering mine.)

"Good" Music is subjective (5, Insightful)

protobion (870000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602711)

There seems to be a lot of flaming here for how the songs sucked etc. , but...

1. Goodness of music is a subjective issue. There may be people who actually like the sound, or the ease of karaoke-ing through it. Kids, perhaps who can be thrilled at the substantial quality of their renditions.

2. I suspect a lot of people are complaining about the examples there because they are comparing it to the originals. Think about how new songs or tunes can be arranged by budding composers using this. Songsmith might offer a lot more customisability making it an important tool.

We should try to look at the bright side once in a while.

Re:"Good" Music is subjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602791)

It lets people that have no musical talent or creativity make songs. It's basically, "You write lyrics, and we'll do EVERYTHING ELSE FOR YOU!"

Re:"Good" Music is subjective (2, Insightful)

protobion (870000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602849)

In the same way that DHCP/Plug-n-Play/etc. lets people with no technical acumen get onto the Internet? Its basically "You plug the wires/flip the switch we'll do EVERYTHING ELSE FOR YOU!"

Re:"Good" Music is subjective (2, Insightful)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602945)

You mean like the recording industry?

Re:"Good" Music is subjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602999)

Your first point has some merit, in that this might find life as a children's toy. Your second point, politely, is pure hogwash.

Any composer, even a budding one, is a musician first. It's impossible to compose effectively without a firm understanding of the mechanics of music, and it's difficult or impossible to truly understand the mechanics of music without being a musician. All of the composers I know (myself included) play either guitar, piano or both and therefore such a tool is redundant and useless.

That demo makes me cringe.

this can only mean: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602713)

Bill Gates the Next American Idol?

R&D Layoffs Right on Schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602729)

Notice that Ballmer mentions R&D first in his email regarding MS layoffs:

"As part of the process of adjustments, we will eliminate up to 5,000 positions in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, LCA, HR, and IT over the next 18 months" - CNET "Ballmer's e-mail to employees regarding layoffs" Jan. 22, 2009

Coincidence?

I don't get the hate... (2, Interesting)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602769)

Ohwait, yes, I do. This is Slashdot.

A friend of mine makes music, and whereas the tunes coming out from Songsmith are quite corny, it has helped him in getting some nice chords together.
Of course he is not literally using the music output from Songsmith, but I can see how it might help a lot more (amateur) music makers out there to see what chords can be used underneath their singing.

It's just a tool people: Don't think that the next Britney is going to use this... Come to think of it, her songs might even improve with it... Ok, the idea itself has already been around since about '96, and I also remember trying some software named "Whistler" that sortof did the same, only with you whistling. I'll leave you with an Songsmithed acapella David Lee Roth [metafilter.com]

I read and listened to the article (1)

juniorkindergarten (662101) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602789)

And my ears are bleeding!

Not only is this in bad taste, but somebody up the ladder in Microsoft should have pulled the plug on this abomination long before code was ever written.
This product is what happens when the focus on core products is lost. This is an example of employee bloat and the resulting crap it produces; uninspirational.

Re:I read and listened to the article (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602823)

(un)inspirational.

Inspiration... that's it! Let's use songbird to do Christian Rock!

Re:I read and listened to the article (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602873)

Not only is this in bad taste...

"Taste"? Come on, now! This has to do with popular music!

Rant of the week.. (1)

NfoCipher (161094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602805)

I teach Linux at a local college. I usually have my rant of the week, usually something stupid that microsoft has done. Songsmith was front and center up on my projector. They barely made it past the 2 minute mark of the 4 minute ad. It was.. painful to watch, yet funny to inflict on others.

Worse than Guitar Hero? (0, Flamebait)

rueger (210566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602811)

Seems unlikely to me. What that game does to otherwise respected tracks is truly degenerate.

A neat tool that can be used for great evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602845)

I took a 2nd-level music theory course in college in which we learned a (crude) set of rules to generate a (crude) 4-part chorale. This music, like all music in my opinion, only started to sound good when you began bending those rules and throwing in something that the listener hadn't seen coming a mile away. I could imagine plenty of horrible radio-friendly bands having all their chord changes predicted by a computer, but the Beatles for example could not. (Look up some of their guitar tabs, even from the mop-top days to verify.)
So I imagine the usefulness of this tool comes by being able to objectively demonstrate to the unwashed masses that certain "artists" have never contributed one thing of value to music. Or if that doesn't convince them:
1. Come up with something better than that chintzy MIDI backup.
2. Build a few songsmith boxes
3. Profit from your new crap music empire
4. ????
5. Die in remorse

Vocaloid is better (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602857)

And yet, the Japanese have virtual singers. Witness Vocalioid 2 (three is better, but there aren't many videos on YouTube):

Clearly, we've lost the digital song war.

Re:Vocaloid is better (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26603015)

Why do you know this stuff?

Wesley Willis (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602887)

It's a shame that Wesley Willis isn't around any more. I think only he would be capable of utilizing this technology to its full potential.

Rock and roll, Wesley. Rock and roll.

But, how does the submitter REALLY feel? (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602897)

I couldn't tell. ;-)

Latest in a list of bad ads (3, Interesting)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602905)

In other news, Microsoft is notoriously [youtube.com] bad [youtube.com] at singing [youtube.com] and advertising. [slashdot.org]

If this weren't coming out of MS Research... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602917)

...people wouldn't be ripping on it.

Obviously it won't create great art. Hell, it won't even create songs that I'd call decent. But what do you expect? It's like expecting the Photoshop painterize filter to spontaneously generate the Mona Lisa. For the most part, this thing is a toy, and I think it's an interesting novelty with some nontrivial programming behind it. So I have no intention of ripping on a CS guy just because Microsoft pays his salary. And as for "destroying music" -- well, real musicians will keep doing what real musicians do; in that context this simply doesn't matter.

This is actually pretty cool (4, Insightful)

Asmor (775910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602923)

Note that I specifically decided not to post this as AC so hopefully I won't be flagged as a troll...

But I think this is actually really cool.

Is it going to make any musical masterpieces? Probably not.

Does it sound like a fun little toy to mess with? Yes, yes it does.

Incidentally, I've never heard Sergeant Pepper before (yeah yeah, go ahead and -1 me for cultural illiteracy), and I thought the music worked rather well with the lyrics, even if it didn't sound particularly interesting.

Re:This is actually pretty cool (4, Interesting)

nmoog (701216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602981)

It is a damn interesting piece of shit software - i had a go: it would take any of my inane wailings and put some decently picked chords to it. Sure they they were played through some horrible GM sounds: but they tell you the chords (and the file format is just a renamed zip file with a .wma file and and xml file which contains all the chord info)

I don't know how good you are at listening to a monophonic sound source and deriving the key and related chords - but I suck at it. This software is a toy, but it doesn't mean you wont get something useful out of it!

Bill Gates Microsoft (4, Insightful)

klubar (591384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602929)

Bill Gates has not been actively involved with day-to-day Microsoft decision for at least a year. He is now involved with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [gatesfoundation.org] . This foundation has relatively little to do with music, although a number of musicians do work with the foundation.

The equivalent to ./ stories like this would be to refer to Apple as "Steve Jobs made music 30% more expensive" (do the math).

And besides the headline was a serious troll.

whoa. that's REALLY good for automated songwriting (5, Insightful)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602941)

Just listen to those demos, they're freaking amazing (not that I liked any of them, but just looking at the queues and matchings of everything, this is impressive beyond words). Specifically (and unsurprisingly) the rap song at the end was the clear winner, sounding eerily well-matched to the vocals. (Disclaimer: perhaps I'm impressed because I'm intimately familiar with the first two while I don't know the third song's original intended sound, but I do expect something with less acoustic range/complexity is easier to adapt.)

This gets negative vibe because it comes from our favorite enemy (at least while we transfer our hate to somebody more worthy of it these days), but I think this could be the start of something great, even if it means we have to listen to some crap on the way. Isn't that the big benefit to Creative Commons? Isn't that why we eat up Lessig's remix [lessig.org] argument?

This is a good first step. Sad that it's not Free Software, as the next step is incorporating remix and a larger (user-submitted) library of base music to the system (see the intro video on the microsoft.com article link), and perhaps the step after that is in getting the system to automatically figure out things like tempo and an optimized list of suggested music stylings.

To Microsoft (if you're actually reading this) or perhaps otherwise those who wish to re-implement the idea: even as a closed-source solution, if you create a system that would allow (advanced) users to create their own base music, you will start a music revolution.

Who knew that Men Without Hats saw this coming (4, Funny)

Yohahn (8680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602951)

Have a look here:
http://www.menwithouthats.com/micro.html [menwithouthats.com]

Men Without Hats knew this was coming.

Pop goes the world!

What's the problem here? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602955)

This doesn't preclude nor prevent creation of better music; it merely provides a simple tool to allow people, who aren't capable or inclined to create something more refined, to at least produce *some* kind of musical track. The people who *are* capable and inclined will certainly continue to produce more refined music. Why would anyone be so foolish as to suggest that those latter folks would "settle" for the output of this software if they know better and can do better? If they can, they will. Isn't that one of the same arguments we use to decry DRM and the MAFIAA tactics and the current industry economic model: that artists who can create and want to create will continue to do so regardless of anything else?

Get off your high horses and STFU, you elitist dirtbags.

What's with the flamebait title? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602973)

Here we have a software à la Band-in-a-box with note recognition and automatic music generation from a live recording ... what's so bad about it?

Sure you can cue jokes on it, it's funny to see a calypso version of Roxanne with crappy MIDI-like instruments ... but the user has selected this style of music to start off with so it's not has it has been generated out of the blue. And there seems to be an advanced mode to tweak the instrumentation as well ... so in theory I guess you can create something much closer to the real song.

These kind of softwares are meant to be a kind of canvas to practice music, not to publish songs ... or a fun "karaoke-let's-do-silly-things" thing as Songsmith seems to promote. So what's the big deal here? I find it to be quite an ingenious piece of software for what it's worth (it's a field of research where everything is far from being perfect!)

If this was some obscure Open-Source Project seeking founds people would be ecstatic ... what, you don't like Microsoft being creative for once?

Musical originality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602979)

There's an awfully good chance that the music you think is "good" is every bit as generic, cliched, and mass-produced sounding as this. Maybe your music has a veneer of "alternative", but to the ears of someone outside your social pressure group, it's stupid too.

Portal (1)

cab15625 (710956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26603009)

Maybe it's just me, but the Roxanne version reminds me of the music that came out of the radio in Portal.
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