As with most internet fads, better get in quick as it will probably be over by next week. But until then we have an all-new meme-in-the-making with the help of Microsoft‘s new Songsmith software.
If you missed the priceless web-video about Songsmith, it basically takes any vocals you sing to it and then adds musical backing tracks in a variety of styles.
Now, (via Pitchfork) comes so downright genius “remixes” in which the lyric tracks of famous songs are loaded into Songsmith and the resulting backing tracks are, well, quite a departure from the original. Of the ones posted on Pitchfork, my favorite had to be this new version of Wonderwall by Oasis:
Aside from being pretty funny, it demonstrates both the possibilities and limitations of a program like Soundsmith. More importantly, it will be fascinating to see if these sorts of mashups become a true new internet meme or just a funny passing fancy.
Sure, it’s easy to pick on Microsoft, what with Apple making all those clever “I’m a Mac” ads (not to mention all those clever products). Still, it is hard to cut them much slack when you see something as monumentally lame as this long-form ad for their new DIY song-making software, Songsmith:
The saddest part is that the software is at least marginally cool. It certainly doesn’t replace authentic songwriting but it could be fun in a RockBand / Guitar Hero sort of way.
It’s hard to decide what is most surprising – that some company would actually pitch this as a way to sell Songsmith or that Microsoft execs allowed the video to be distributed once they saw the final results.
If you aren’t familiar with Machinima, it’s basically when people use the graphics of games like Halo combined with voice-overs and sound-effects to create original videos.
One of the best examples of the form is the legendary Red Vs. Blue series:
There are literally millions of other examples and tons of software to help you make your own. For the time being it seems like various videogame companies are taking different approaches but I am curious to see where the lines will be drawn.
Take a look at this post from Tilzy about another Halo-based series. Not only is the filmmaker using the game footage but he is also using “authorized” action figures.
Halo is made by Microsoft and I can’t imagine they are real lax when it comes to copyright infringement and one can argue that some of these unauthorized third parties are making some amount of money, however small, by making these videos.
At the same time, even if they were making millions of dollars from this sort of work, would they owe some of it to Microsoft? Have they re-imagined and re-purposed the original material in such a way as to make it a new, wholly original work? Not to mention how it acts as free publicity for Microsoft – but publicity with a message Microsoft doesn’t control.
Big questions to be explored. Stay tuned.
There are so many examples of when advertising goes wrong but it is hard to figure out who the hell approved the latest Burger King campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky – “Whopper Virgins” – in which they will travel the globe to find people who have never tasted a Whopper and then force them to actually taste a Whopper.
Not only is the name of the campaign – WHOPPER VIRGINS – pretty much the most obviously title for a porn film since “Debbie Does Dallas” but the idea of inflicting that horrible abomination of Americana on foreigners just beginning to like us again after eight years of GWB is downright awful.
One can only hope that foreigners will realize just how awful a Whopper is and fight hard to make sure that a Burger King does not open in their little hamlet.
Also, someone should be fired for letting them call this thing Whopper Virgins. Seriously. Their tagline is “Watch the Whopper Virgins Take Their First Bite” – I swear that’s the tagline line for “Monster Cocks 3.”
God, I really hope the rumor of a ZunePhone is true – I need new material for my one-man-show entitled OMG MSFT = FAIL. Zune Zune Zune
“WHAT DO YOU get if you take an Iphone, remove the clean UI, user friendliness, nice industrial design, battery life, cachet, functional OS, and in general everything else that makes it worthwhile? The new Microsoft phone, powered by Nvidia.” (via)
Oh, Microsoft, I do so love to hate you. Yet, I still use MSWord. I’m such a hypocrite. Sigh.
I met with someone from the giant media empire that is GroupM and he mentioned that they had begun to experiment with digitally implanting new product placements into existing content.
The example he gave with Jerry Seinfeld‘s fridge, originally filled with Snapple, can now be shown in syndication to have anything in it from Coke to Budweiser.
This piece in SAI has some video from a UK company called MirriAd that does a similar thing. The possibilities are endless – and a touch scary if these sorts of things were to scare one…
(sadly, snapple is not paying me to use their products in this post…)