Songsmith enter the YouTube Piss-Take Arena

Ok, if you’ve not read this post have a look through it. But what’s happening has to be seen to be believed.

A few intrepid YouTubers are stripping the vocal tracks out of well known songs and feeding them into Songsmith.

The resulting music is bad, but in a purposeful, ironic way. Adding another jarring layer, they then sync these musical amalgamations with the original song’s music video.

The Police “Roxane”

Radiohead “Creep”

Survivor “Eye of the Tiger”

Billy Idol “White Wedding”

I can’t embed this video because of copyright content claim by Universal Music Group but check out Nirvana – In Bloom (Microsoft Songsmith Remix). It’s really something else altogether.

The hits just keep coming!

I still love YouTube Shreds though…

What do you think? Any more good ones?

Microsoft Gets Into Mobile Tagging

At CES Microsoft introduced Microsoft Tag, a system that enables users to instantly access mobile content,, videos, music, contact information, maps, social networks, promotions, etc. simply by pointing the device’s camera to a custom tag.

If this makes you think of QR codes, you’re not the only one.

Like QR codes, Microsoft Tags are unique two-dimensial codes that can be used to open URLs or multimedia files. The big difference is the technology behind it.

Tags doesn’t actually store any information, except for a unique ID which can fetch more data stored on Microsoft servers. That’s how they allow more information to be “attached”.

microsoft-tag.png

bb_iphone.jpg

They’ve already launched an iPhone app and a most other handsets have a mobile reader.

There’s loads more info over at  http://www.microsoft.com/tag/

via Techcrunch

Seadragon. Microsoft launch their first iPhone app.

I’m a Mac users who’s been desperate to give Photosynth a whirl. It’s always looked absolutely wicked.

Today Microsoft Live Labs got some massive brownie points with the release of their first iPhone app, Seadragon.

Seadragon is the core technology behind Photosynth. It’s designed for zooming smoothly in, out and around photos over the Internet, regardless of bandwidth constraints or image size.

It’s technological trick is to store images in multiple resolutions and deliver only the bits needed to present the view a user wants at any given moment.

Anyway it’s bloody brilliant, make sure you check out the Galaxy and Nebula photography.

Here’s a visualisation from Last.fm:

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More about Seadragon:
http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/Microsofts_first_iPhone_app_Live_Labs_releases_Seadragon_Mobile36113259.html

Download Seadragon:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=299655981&mt=8

Windows 7 Sneak Preview

Microsoft have dropped the word Vista from all their advertising; but under the hood they’re making changes too.

It was big news when they removed bundled apps from Window 7 so they can focus on the core OS; meaning faster development and quicker smaller updates.

They’re also making smaller important UI tweaks and improvements.

Windows 7 Preview Taskbar

http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=61761

Windows 7 Window Resizing

http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=61761

Window 7 Preview Gestures

http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=61761

Nice easy wins from Microsoft. I hope the Mac team are paying attention.

via Lifehacker

New Microsoft ads from CP&B

Did that make you stop and think for a minute? There’s something so simple and cunning about it:

Last night I watched some actual television, with the commercial breaks and everything.

So I saw the new Microsoft ads from CP&B about 14 times over the course of a couple of hours.

[Ad frequency in the USA is truly staggering.]

I had the weirdest experience: I could feel my feelings towards Microsoft changing, subtly, each time the commercial shamelessly, blatantly, tugged at my heart strings. I felt, perceptibly, that I liked PCs a little more.

I thought about my Sony Windows laptop, lying neglected, forlorn, in the other room and felt perhaps I should boot it up.

My brain began to reverse engineer my previous memories, eroding the evil empire positioning, re-positioning it as one of a number of perceptions, distancing it from being my belief.

This was an odd feeling.

Each time the ad washed over me I felt a little more part of a PC world, one that I have only recently in fact moved away from.

I started to feel connected to that girl with glasses and that guy who sells fish and the dude with the beard and Bill and Pharrell.

[Not Deepak Chopra though – his fusion of Indian mysticism and garbled expressions from quantum mechanics peddled as healing and self help gets my goat.]

And each time I became more aware of the sensation itself at a different level, at a stage removed as I wondered how this was working and considered the strategy sitting behind it.

[Speaking of misappropriating Indian mysticism] This reminded me of an Indian meditation concept called Vipassana. It’s a meditation that allows you be aware of what you experiencing, an awareness of the experience one stage removed, via introspection and that.

I had that, but with ads.

As Eric points out, the campaign is inclusive – most people are part of the PC world already. They just need a little something to let them feel proud about it.

I even liked the Seinfeld ones.

Part of what CP&B are so good at is changing, or re-framing, the conversation around the brand.

via Talent imitates, genius steals

Gloss and advertising aside… here’s some YouTube comments from the real world. Textbook.