A little while back I wrote about a project that Microsoft had in development called ‘MySong’. As you will recall, MySong was a software gew-gaw that analysed a singing human voice and then, supposedly, arranged a musical accompaniment for it. A YouTube video that was included with the breathless press release for MySong featured a tuneless singer showing us how MySong could manufacture a suitably tuneless musical arrangement for her atonal warbling. You will also remember not being surprised that I was fairly scathing of MySong and its potential.

Well, Mr Gates didn’t listen to me (he never does) and has ploughed ahead to commercially release the software under the name of SongSmith.™ Here’s a little ad about how SongSmith™ will Change Your Life!™

Now, get up off the floor and calm down. Because Reverend Anaglyph is going to astound you by declaring that SongSmith™ is a work of genius. I had mistakenly jumped to the conclusion that the aim of SongSmith™ was to try and make average normal Mary or Joe sound like a pop star, but I was wrong! It can now be revealed that Microsoft is much cleverer than I had ever imagined and that the real purpose of SongSmith™ is to show the average normal Mary or Joe that pop stars can’t really sing either! The only thing between the offerings of professional cash-earning musicians and the bathroom yodelling of the non-talented proletariat is the musical arrangement of their songs!

Not following me? Here, take a look at this and all will become clear – this is The Police, performing Roxanne, as Songsmith™ reveals Sting’s true talent!

I know exactly what you’re thinking – how did this man ever go on to release a string of solo CDs, make millions of dollars and land a part in Dune?!

You may want to go on and do some further investigation on your ownsome – YouTubers have been busy concocting all manner of new arrangements of your favourite artists. Discover that Marvin Gaye was a toneless moaner; marvel at how Radiohead ever made it to Number One with this abominable whining; wonder how Oasis ever got Wonderwall played on the radio with this irritating caterwauling! (Oh, very well, I guess it does make Van Halen slightly more entertaining… actually, a LOT more entertaining…)

Apple raised the barrier with iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band to show normal, average people that they, too, could produce professional quality creative works with just some nicely produced software enablers. Microsoft once more has galloped to the fore to trump them, by demonstrating that in reality no-one has any true skill at all, and in fact the world is full of talentless schmucks.

I guess it helps make them feel better.


UPDATE: Sadly, the Sting video embedded above has been removed. But this moving version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ might serve to illustrate my point.