Saturday, January 31, 2009


This may be a shock to everybody, but I have to admit that I'm not generally a huge fan of most Microsoft software ("No, really, Linus? Tell us more!").

But I may have to admit that I was wrong.

No, I'm not talking about Windows 7. I'm talking about Songsmith, which is clearly a true work of genius. Yes, yes, the commercials are painfully cheesy, but when used right the end result is undeniably art.

The thing that convinced me was hearing Billy Idol's "White Wedding" as re-interpreted through Songsmith. Nobody will ever convince me that that isn't just impossibly brilliant. Sheer genius on just an incredible scale. I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome from just clicking "Replay" over and over again.

Thank you, azz100c.


Adrian said...

This is way better:

Marcello said...

I don't enjoy music, I'm not interesting in it at all.
I enjoy math :)
I never studied how to playing instruments.
But I, oddly, can play any instruments (not well, of course), because music is mathematic.

Songsmith is great funny applied mathematics.
Do you agree? ;)

RazZziel said...

Oh my god.

I'm pretty sure this is the very last thing I had to heard before being able to enjoy a pleasant death (and after watching the commercial, death is way more attractive than it used to be, I don't really enjoy the idea of sharing a world with... that.)

BRANKKO said...

Okay, now we're all waiting for Linus to sing the song :)

Erbo said...

Thanks, Linus. Now I have to invent something along the lines of "AAAHH!! MY EYES!! THE GOGGLES...THEY DO NOTHING!" for a completely different one of my five senses. How about "AAAHH!! MY EARS!! THE IPOD EARPHONES...THEY DO NOTHING!"? :-)

Seriously, that sounded like really bad bluegrass. I'm thinking of playing it for my girlfriend, who is from Arkansas and knows bluegrass, just to hear her reaction.

CSouthwell said...

I think that it is impossibly bad software, that will ruin an awful lot of peoples lives thinking they can now make music.

Anonymous said...

What is Songsmith? I am 55+ and have "White Wedding" on a VHS cassette. Works for me.

alexhanschke said...

I also fav this one

Leshy said...

I've seen some Songsmith videos and the commercial. The general idea is interesting. However the effects are terrifying. I can't think of any time somebody raped music so much... T_T

Carlos Rodrigues said...

Well, It's so very psychedelic:

It's what the Sgt. Pepper wanted. ;D

david_king said...

Yo Linus, long time listener, first time caller. Kudos to Microsoft for this, have you seen the promo video? My god, that thing is beyond hilarious!

dogeatery said...

These Songsmith tunes have been floating to my cubicle all week. The Billy Idol one was probably the best, though there's real comedy in any of the Van Halen ones as David Lee Roth's high-pitched whooping loses all context.

It's a brilliant idea for software, though I'd say I'm patiently waiting for version 2.0 as the execution is somewhat lacking.

Unknown said...

Thanks ... I never had the chance to watch the commercial ... now my brain hurts.

As far as cheesy White Wedding remix go, I prefer the countryfication performed by The Twang

Jay Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pcleddy said...

You made my morning, LOL!

I have a new found love for Billy. I don't think I got the message back in '83 or so: "and there's nothing pure in this world". Amen, Bill!

infestdead said...

I find the music out of tune and very crappy. And personaly hate this, because it's gona be the next guitar hero thing - everyone playing a plastic guitar, only this time it's gonna be singing to the same crappy-out-of-tune-fake music.

Rp3 said...

That has to be the stupidest (is that a word) thing I have ever seen/heard. I happen to be one who likes Billy, and this is just horrible. What really could be the point, take someone else's music, change it into crap and say it's ART? Come on....


Zibri said...

Well, Linus, this time I don't agree with you.
This has nothing to do with music and it's not even fun to have a backing track totally out of tune..
Surely you can tweak it manually to desired chords then sing over.. but that was not the meaning of this.
Nice idea, bad implementation.
And again, this has NOTHING to do with music.

Zibri said...

Oh by the way.. check my blog for an unlimited trial time patch :)


Alexandre Linhares said...

I have it on good authority that Bono is now only releasing new stuff generated by SongSmith.

Erbo said...

Okay, I did play it for my girlfriend. Her first comment was, "Jesus." Her second comment was, "I know bluegrass, that ain't bluegrass...that's just hellish!"

If somebody did that to a Garth Brooks song, and I played that anywhere in her earshot...IANAL, but the courts might just let her off on grounds of "justifiable homicide." :-)

George Bobeck said...

Now I am curious... what would Soundsmith generate if someone gave it the Linux kernel source code?

Unknown said...

... and you’ll need a Windows-based PC, running Microsoft Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 or greater) or Windows Vista. Nope !

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sanna said...

This made my day a lot more fun.

Tim said...

I'm azz100c on YouTube, and I'm flattered you linked to me.

You'll be happy to know that the vocal tracks are being fed into Songsmith by my file server, which runs Ubuntu Intrepid. The Songsmith computer is a Macbook running XP in Parallels.

Anonymous said...

Songsmith fed with stock charts

Gorpik said...

Up to now, The Secret of Monkey Island was the funniest program I had seen, but Microsoft managed to beat Guybrush Threepwood. Not an easy feat!

Artem Deykun said...

Hello, dear Linus.

I name is Artem Deykun, a teacher of computer science in Ukrainian
secondary school.

I decided to post your portrait in my computer classroom.
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Stuart Hacking said...

Thanks for that Linus: I just love this one though!

bproper said...

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Dave said...

Hmmm... You've probably hit it already, but my favorite is Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." It sounds so strangely... appropriate as a polka.

Louis said...

Microsoft has its fair share of hits and misses. I’m not too sure which is more frequent, well I am... but let’s keep it friendly. Personally I think Songsmith is cool, however I’m a geek so I don’t know if my vote should counts. Probably not.

Have you seen Microsoft Surface? There’s this geek I know who gets totally excited about that. *cough- cough* You should check it out.

tb323 said...

Wouldn't it be totally hilarious if you made an album with songsmith yourself and made it available free for download? I can almost imagine Ballmer's expression when he finds out. "It wasn't supposed to work like that.."

關鍵行銷 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sean said...

I'm going to have to check this out now, thanks Linus!

Eric said...

After listening to a couple of these songs, I find it reminds me of 'Weird Al' pop polkas.

lyonn said...

really???? I think Microsoft never did, never will software with quality, and the most inportant "utility"


Pablo said...

Oh, come on Linus, if this is music I'm a software developer. I'm an amateur musician trying to make music with Linux and I find wonderful libre software apps. They allow many people creating fantastic music. Look at this for example by a musician from Finland:
That said, thank you very much for your work. And for this interesting blog too. I enjoy reading it.

Miguel said...

Hehe, it seems that watching youtube videos is really important to the geek inside us!

This is devoted to all the rickrollers out there ;-)

babbler said...

Mr. Slug has seen this artistic medium, and yes, it can be considered art, however, Mr. Slug will be working on an invention that will protect his music from scrambling devices! All the best to you all! Love from Mr. Slug

Renich said...

</youtube session>... I can't talk much right now...

I can't believe anybody likes this... it's like a drunk organ player with a 70's old organ; with no idea of what he's doing...

This is definitely an activity... NOT music!!

I fear for future generations...

What's next, PaintSmith?...

I hated kareokee enough already... but this is waaaay worse!

Tim said...

T minus 10 until RMS puts a songsmith clone on the GNU high priority list.

The program (not its output) is indeed absolute genius, from every perspective. Make the program itself as viral as its output 'ought to be' and you have a winner.

I never said Microsoft was stupid, I simply said that they were brain dead :) Interesting to see some compulsory respiration, however voluntary.

Tim said...

> T minus 10 until RMS puts a songsmith
> clone on the GNU high priority list.

... forgot to add, at this point, we can all start singing "Ogg me Amadeus!"

Sorry, could not resist. :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

GNU clone? nah! he cant do it :-o gnash or whatever he uses for flash wouldnt play this properly would it xD ?

oh wait wait..
he wouldn't use gnash..
rms doesnt play proprietary formats even with free software!


lovely, im gonna convert all of my videos to proprietary formats then, just to make rms angry :P


_Darth_Indy_ said...

Wow. Just wow.

Although, I think "Never Gonna Give You Up" worked a lot better. Heck, it improved on the original song enough to where it was actually tolerable!

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unused account said...

i use ubuntu so i havent tryed songsmith, but it looks cool. i think windows 7 isn't bad though