Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft Soundsmith Remixes – The Next Next Big Thing?

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.

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Songsmith Ad Secures Microsoft a Spot in Hall of Lame

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.

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Warner Blows Dark Knight DVD Opportunity – And Completely Lies to Buyers

Heath Ledger as the Joker.  The Joker's scruff...
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Along with all the other major studios, Warner is trying to figure out the best way to beat the pirates and keep a hold on the ancillary revenue generated by DVDs, etc.

In what looks at first to be a step in the right direction, the latest Blue-Ray release of The Dark Knight includes a “digital version” that can be played on your computer or PMP.  Sort of…

“I discovered Warner’s “anywhere” means an internet-connected Windows XP or Vista machine and PlaysForSure-enabled portable devices. So Macs or Linux machines, iPods and other portable media players without Microsoft’s copy protection (you know, the one they’ve been wanting to shut down), apparently aren’t included in Warner’s definition.” (via)

So, instead of providing the movie in a format that replicates the pirated versions, this is just another completely limited copy that makes you feel like a schmuck for shelling out your cash to “buy” something that turns out not to truly be yours to use as you please.

And they wonder why people still download pirated copies?

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Will Machinima Videos Be the Next Victims of Copyright Takedowns?

A scene from the popular machinima series Red ...
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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.

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Burger King and Crispin Porter Team Up For Porn Film Promos

picture-12There 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.”

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A ZunePhone?! An Idea That Can’t NOT Fail.

Zune logo

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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.

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Forgot to Place Your Product – No Problem

An assortment of Snapple flavors.

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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…)

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