times on microsoft songsmith: camp machine

Microsoft SongsmithWhen Microsoft announced Songsmith at CES this year, I cringed.

The very idea of a musical MIDIscape being auto-generated as one croons seems like something that could only be dreamed up by the karaoke anti-Christ. Then there was the video they released to demo the app. Just try to watch the whole thing. I dare you.

Fortunately, Randall Stross has written a piece in the New York Times (Microsoft Songsmith Is Easy (if Painful to Hear)) that perfectly defines Songsmith: camp. 

This one passage about sums it up (but the whole article is worth a read):

How satisfying are the musical results? Microsoft lets you hear for yourself in a promotional video titled “Everyone Has a Song Inside.” The video is getting more attention than the software because it’s awful, in unintentional ways. “Notes on ‘Camp’, ” the 1964 essay by Susan Sontag, identifies a category of art that isn’t campy, just “bad to the point of being laughable, but not bad to the point of being enjoyable.” The Songsmith video is exactly that.

One thought on “times on microsoft songsmith: camp machine

Comments are closed.