back to article Microsoft Songsmith ad trumps Seinfeld shocker

Those of you who are still recovering from exposure to Microsoft's Seinfeld advertising campaign are advised to look away now, because Redmond has pulled off the impossible and produced something worse - a "pseudoinfomercial" so profoundly traumatising it could "make you want to kill your family", as puts it: …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Yet you've failed to notice....

    most people out there are saying the laptop is a Mac....

  2. sektah


    ...this ad is the best thing Microsoft has produced in some time. Utterly brilliant.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    ... all of them and their families!

    But it fits perfectly to Vista - crap all the way ;)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "Brought to you......

    By the team who created Microsoft Vista!"

    I might not want to kill my family, but I would like the 4 minutes odd that ad. took from my life, back!

  5. Tim
    Gates Horns


    Someone class this as a wmd and make it against human rights laws .This should not be allowed EVER

  6. Alexander Hanff


    They must have got the idea from Morrisey as all his songs sound the same too...




  7. Hugh


    Radiohead's Creep is sublime!!

  8. Paul
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear

    A bit of sick just came in to my mouth.

  9. John Carney

    Apparently Disney was a beta tester

    How else can you explain High School Musical's score?

  10. Alexander Hanff

    Public Nuisance

    If people start that sh*t on the train there is going to be murder committed I expect. First we had mobile phones - now we have SongShit^H^H^Hmith

  11. Jaap Stoel

    What Laughter?

    You mean as soon as the screaming dies down right? Gods that commercial was terrible!

  12. John Sager
    Jobs Horns

    OMG! All the neigbours too!

    After exposure to Wonderwall & Sgt Pepper, I've got to off the whole village now!

    Ballmer made me do it guv!

  13. iamapizza

    I used Songsmith to create this comment

    ♫♪ Well hey there Mr. Haines,

    Why are you so mad?

    Did Songsmith give you cranial pains

    Or did it make you sad?♫♪

  14. Edwin

    Lost the will to live, maybe

    but it's actually pretty funny.

    And from a software perspective, fairly clever too (aside from what it does to Rush & Metallica)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Die, Die, Die!

    My ears are on fire! Please make it stop! SongSmith is the first horse of the apocalypse, the end of the world is upon us!

    How stupid is this?

  16. Chris C


    Well, if that wasn't an advertisement for mandatory sterilization upon birth, I don't know what is. Couldn't they have at least found people who could actually sing? At least something better than fingernails on a chalkboard?

    I believe Metal Church put it best in "The Human Factor":

    I just need a sample cause no one says it's wrong / It's so easy to rip-off using someone else's songs / Everybody wants to be a star in modern days / But if I don't have talent then I'll just get by this way

  17. Alexander Hanff


    "Eurovision Song Contest - Sponsored by Microsoft SongSmith"

    Wonder what odds William Hill will give me for that?

    Question is will the software be "going for a song"?

    Mine's the one with bad jokes in the pocket...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Kill me


  19. Florence
    Gates Horns

    You forgot to mention...

    that Microsoft now advertises its products on what really looks like a Powerbook.

    Other than that I can only agree that the advert is truly traumatising, and even though you quoted gawker "it could make you want to kill your family" I'm not sure this is a a strong enough warning. I feel that in this particular case caps would have been appropriate, as well as a disclaimer so that the Reg cannot be held responsible for whatever may result from watching the video.

  20. Peter Richard

    PowerPoint For Music

    This is like PowerPoint for the Musically Deficient. Up to now, we had to nap trough PP presentation in self-defense. Now we will have to stick knitting needles in our eardrums to escape the agony of all our musically inclined f*iends.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Last One

    Remember "the Last One"? Some sort of app generator circa early 80's, billed as the last program you will ever need to buy?

    Or the game generators? Tools to let amateurs make their own video games? Circa 90's.

    These things come, these things go, nobody really cares. Having watched the video, can you hum the tune the girl was singing?... You can't really be traumatised if you don't remember the tune. So quit whining if some kid wants to sing along to the sort of stock cord sequences you get on most modern electric organs.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Johny Cash

    The funniest of all of these circulating round youtube at the moment has to be the upbeat calypso version of "Hurt" - pure genius!

  23. this

    Toe Curling

    That ad has indeed permanently curled my toes.

    But, er, I just downloaded the free trial to, you know, take a look at it, that's all. Just a look, I mean where's the harm...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like every other American advert

    So full of cheese it would put Holland to shame.

    Apart from the dire script and the appalling acting, the software looks quite decent.

  25. Alexander Hanff

    Murder - The Musical

    ♫♪ How does the accused plead today, speak clearly before the court ♫♪

    ♫♪ How can I be guilty m'Lord? My brain just had a short ♫♪

    ♫♪ For 16 days and 16 nights I hear the same old ditty ♫♪

    ♫♪ I could not work I could not sleep - please bestow on me your pity ♫♪

    ♫♪ I loved my wife with all my heart 'til SongSmith was installed ♫♪

    ♫♪ But now she's gone because of song; the court should be appalled! ♫♪

    ♫♪ Show mercy Sir, please let me be! Blame Redmond for this crime ... ♫♪

    ♫♪ Just stop right there, now hold your tongue; sing not another line ♫♪

    ♫♪ Case dismissed, you're not to blame it's Redmond who'll do time! ♫♪

  26. Aaron Holesgrove
    IT Angle


    *beats head against monitor*

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Theatre School Kids

    Should be prevented from doing anything but West End Musicals

    So I can safely avoid them.


  28. Andy Taylor
    Gates Horns

    Was John Shuttleworth a consultant?

    If not he should sue.

    Please make it stop.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    something tells me...

    this will be huge in Japan.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Needs more cowbells...

    I'm sure theres a link out there somewhere..

  31. Chris Miller

    Let's kick M$ LOLZ!!!!

    I'm clearly alone in finding this a rather clever piece of software. It may be "the sort of stock cord sequences you get on most modern electric organs", but if I could hum a tune and expect the electric organ to harmonise, I'd be reasonably impressed. Of course, it's easy to take the tune from "An die ferne geliebte" and select an unsuitable backing to produce a 'funny' (peculiar or ha-ha, you choose) result, but that's no criticism.

    Oh, and if you find the ad especially cheesy, you probably haven't been exposed to much US TV advertising (lucky you)! Flame-proof clothing, donned ...

  32. Bill Cumming

    Coming to a Music chart near you....

    ....I'll give it 2 weeks before a song made by this is in the UK or US Top 10!!!

  33. Nick

    All it needs is...

    more cowbell.

    "Roxanne" though ? Absolutely fantastic. I shall certainly be having it at my next beach bbq.

  34. Dale

    Finally, some serious competition for the P2P monopoly

    Simon Cowell must be beside himself with worry over the future of his beloved industry. Mediocrity is no longer tightly controlled by music professionals, now ANYONE can Make Music.

    According to the video you just sing your words and the software works out an appropriate accompanyment to fit your melody. Have they not noticed the modern tendancy in music is away from discernable tunefullness? This is doomed to failure.

  35. John Carney


    Microsoft has discovered (Andrew Lloyd) Weber 2.0!

  36. adnim

    Microsoft do it again.

    They have dumbed down computer usage to such an extent that the average user has not a clue what their PC is doing behind the cartoon like interface. Dumbed down so much that accomplished retards and professional trolls have access to the Internet. This has resulted in newsgroups, forums and blogs being flooded by inane, childish, ignorant and often illiterate ramblings.

    Now they do the same for music... wonderful, I can't wait.

    Some things should be the exclusive domain of those with at least a modicum of skill, imagination, talent and intelligence. Normally I am one who would celebrate the removal of barriers, but it seems to me that this technology is just another step backward. It gives those who should never be seen, heard or allowed to have any influence on others, an avenue by which to irritate, annoy those with a discerning ear whilst encouraging the equally talentless.

    From microsoft:

    "We’ve partnered with one of the industry’s finest digital instrument producers – Garritan – and one of the leading developers of computer synthesizers – Plogue – to provide rich instrumentation for your song."

    Who the fsck are Plogue and Garritan? Yes I have heard of them but they are hardly the finest digital instrument producers or leading developers of softsynths as MS would have you believe.

    Why haven't Sony, Yamaha, Roland, Native Instruments, IK multimedia, Waves, Antares to name a few, partnered with Microsoft for this project? Could it be that established suppliers of professional kit see Songsmith as the gimmick that it really is?

    I'll stick with Cuebase, softsynths, my guitar, my imagination and the somewhat limited talent I have thanks.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I have flash block in Firefox and clicking on the PLAY icon in blanked middle of screen is optional. Also by default I have speakers muted.

    So I'm safe for now.

  38. Eddy Ito
    Thumb Up

    @AC "... to Vista"

    Brilliant! I think you have unintentionally come up with the new verb meaning "to envision or embody failure." Now if someone will be kind enough to come up with the pluperfect form, we'd be all set.

    I know, we could use "songsmitten" but I think that is better a band name than a verb.

  39. Stephen Bungay
    Thumb Down

    Clever... but...

    Gotta agree the software is clever, shame about the marketing. I guess the company that is used to being a monopoly doesn't have a clue when it comes to classy advertising. Reminds me of some of the old "Amiga" 500 commercials from the '80s (search YouTube, you'll find them)... they too were awful (and rare).

  40. Pierre

    Run for the (new) hills

    Imagine what kind of damage this company can do to your kid's brain. Now imagine that MS just subdued the Nova Scotia's Ministry of Education. Please, please, think of the children. We need a law to protect the kids from this extreme obscenity.

  41. Joe
    Thumb Up

    Dreadful advert...

    ...wonderful remixes! Absolutely hilarious, and quite interesting to see what Songsmith makes of these famous vocals.

  42. IR

    Took a while

    This cringeworthy video has been doing the rounds for a while. My ears are still bleeding.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Errrm... anyway...

    well thats 4 minutes of my life that I can't get back. The tech does look pretty good but can you imagine how many teletubby, tweenie and barney style characters there will be now!?

    evil gates because... that advertisement is just plain evil.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    More dumbing down

    LOLOLOLOLOL Kinda reminds me of the south park episode "Guitar Queer-O", when Stan and Kyle become obsessed with Guitar Hero II. Stan's dad attempts to impress the kids by playing on a real guitar (nice representation of a Gibson Les Paul, gold Top with P90 pickups) and Cartman says, "Real guitars are for old people."

    We've gone from "one click" computing to "one click" music making. The dumbing down is nearly complete, soon we won't need any ability to do anything.

    Paris, the ultimate dumbing down

  45. Matthew Barker


    I think this is s'posed to be competition for GarageBand and for the music tutorials Apple added in the new version. So you don't have to learn anything from those hoity-toity big-name musicians. Instead, the computer plays your own genius composition, as we've seen in the "You! Tube!" video.

    I can't wait to see what open-source project springs up to duplicate this thing on Linux. It'll probably have lots of techno sound accompaniment with creatures from some MUD to follow words across the screen.

  46. Thomas Baker
    Thumb Up

    My song.

    "I'm singing with my laptop,

    I'm making up a song.

    I'm in a public cafe,

    Searching for some pr0n"

  47. LaeMi Qian

    My family is safe

    But only because I could only make it into the first 15 seconds before closing the window.

    I'd rather pass another kidney stone than watch that through!

  48. Tim Brown

    Kill me now

    I watched precisely 32 seconds. With the sound off. The movements and sheer urgness of the guy in the red shirt was enough to make me decide to never, ever, watch it again.


  49. Anonymous Coward


    for i in `ps aux|grep family|awk '{print $2}'`;do kill -9 $i;done

    Family killed, now when does the hurting stop?!? I did what you asked... Please! Make it stop!

  50. Anonymous Coward

    The last time I felt like this....

    ...was when Charlton Heston said: "We've got to let them know...that Soylent Green is people!"

    What was Microsoft thinking (or do they think)???

  51. Charles Manning

    To twist a quote

    This takes the cunt out of country music.

  52. tom

    Can I buy a lot of vowels?

    My reaction to this video does not require consonants:

    Aaaaaaa! Oooooooh! Aaaaaaaa! (and so on)

    Also, when somebody has a moment, please kill me. Thanks.

  53. Michael MacAskill
    Gates Halo

    May not actually be the worst Microsoft ad ever...

    You want cringeworthy? Try this ad that MS designed for internal use only, presumably (and wisely) not designed to see the wider light of day:

    Brought to you by Bruce ServicePack and the Vista Street Band (it gets worse).

    Featuring lyrics such as:

    "See what's on employees' laptops

    with AIS and MDOP"

    and the chorus

    "Vista,gotta get me some".

    In more enlightened countries, people would be executed for this sort of thing.

  54. Richard Freeman
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft Huh?

    Instead of "Microsoft Huh? so it's pretty easy to use" - shouldn't that have been:

    Microsoft huh? so your machine is about to crash... "

    And I am glad to hear Miles (red shirt man) has opened up and come out of the closet - I have to admit that despite being 'Dad' I had my suspicions at the beginning of the ad when I first saw him....

    Other than that pretty nauseating Ad really.

  55. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Clever, yes... Pointless, definately.

    As clever as it is, it's kind of pointless and a little scary. The ONLY thing it will do is enable the totally talentless to annoy us with their musical "abilities".

    There goes Youtube, anyway.

  56. Mighty Dosser
    Thumb Up

    Oh, the irony!

    "Microsoft huh? So it's pretty easy to use?" - GENIUS

  57. Steve Lubman
    Thumb Down

    Now I see

    Now I understand the article a while back about a drug that deadened hearing.

    At first I thought it was silly - I mean, why not simply use earplugs - but what if one of those suckers fell out?

    Jeeze, MS is in a death spiral for sure. Kind of like the GOP, but MS didn't wage an illegal war and crash the global economy in the process.

    Wait - I see a new ad slogan....

    "Microsoft - Hey, we still suck less than the GOP!"

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Fruity songsmith

    Inspired by the Tarantino analysis of Top Gun, I see a deeper message here. This man comes home, with the problems of work and with his daughter singing instead of talking, releases the inner show tune, Broadway original cast recording gay in him. He then takes his laptop to a gaybar and when approached by a young female waitress and a young man he only talks to the young man thus showing he has now made his "choice" and picks up the gay young man who likes using PCs and MS products.

    After his experience, he has coming out ceremony to his co-workers, where he talks, sorry, sings about how he was in the closet

    "Well, I used to open up the closet door,

    and struggle in the dark,

    but now no more"

    and now he is out, the dalliance with the young man was the glowing towels that showed him the light of the gay way and his co-workers applaud his courage to come out.

    The end scene has him singing to his "wife". That they are now singing instead of talking means that he is now openly flamboyant and gay and his wife has accepted his sexuality.

    How the young kids say it ? "Microsoft songsmith?, that is so gay."

  59. Ascylto
    Jobs Halo

    Whoever ...

    ... is responsible for Microsoft advertising had better watch out. They could soon be jumping from ledges.

    If you look at stock market reports, just watch Apple shares go up when Microsoft give out advertising like this.

  60. Roger Heathcote
    Gates Horns

    For the love of god stop!

    AaaaaaRrrghh.. aaarrrrghh... stop! please no more... NOOOO!... I'll buy windows 7... I'LL BUY WINDOWS 7 JUST MAKE IT STOP PLEEEEEEEEESE!!!!!

    And what a hunk of crap too! Only Microsoft could take something as inherently fun and graphically cutting edge as music software and make it look like an f*****g excel spreadsheet!

    I mean what is this supposed to be their Garage Band beater? In who's universe? Do they think this will somehow make Windows cool? That kids will turn the 'happy' up to 11 and buy a zune so they can export their "songs" to it?

    Idiots, this is an even stupider idea than "Windows Dancer", is it any wonder the cool kids insist on Apples???

  61. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    "Everyone has a song inside."

    Perhaps. But everyone has a liver inside, and that's where it should stay.

  62. Ascylto

    @ Michael McAskill

    I just watched the YouTube Microsoft internal video you gave a link for. I've now watched both videos and I can't see anything wrong with either of them.

    I have just killed my family.

    I have just killed my neighbour and his family.

    I am going to kill everyone in my neighbourhood.

    Please make the voices stop!

  63. Red

    Copyrights to the songs?

    I wonder - what's in the small print... who owns the rights to a Songsmith composition? I wonder what will happen when someone attempts to release a commercial album made with it (oh dear me).

    By the way, that advert when I first saw it a couple of weeks ago really got on my nerves, no, _really_.

  64. Sadie
    Gates Horns

    Dev's can't act

    The two signing guys are the dev's that wrote the thing!

  65. Will
    Gates Horns

    you must

    hit you tube and search 'enter songsmith'

    Metallica. Unbelievable.

    (shoots self)

  66. William Andrews

    Ha, Ha!

    Why would you even consider a sick ad like that? It's so vile and grotesque!

    I guess Microsoft Research made Windows, and all the other crap that's on the

    market today!

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