Songsmith Helps People Pretend They Can Write Music Songsmith is a new product from Microsoft that creates music to back any tune you sing. It has become an Internet sensation as people have taken classic songs like the Police's "Roxanne" and the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and let Songsmith work its magic.
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Songsmith Helps People Pretend They Can Write Music

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Songsmith Helps People Pretend They Can Write Music

Songsmith Helps People Pretend They Can Write Music

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ALEX COHEN, host:

Like them or not, at least Sonic Youth wrote their own music. For those who have some musical inklings but don't know how to craft a song for a full band, Microsoft would like to think it has come to the rescue. Earlier this month, the software maker introduced a make-your-own music program called Songsmith.

(Soundbite of Songsmith ad)

Unidentified Man: (Singing) All I had was words. My words, they couldn't tell her. Songsmith was the way to make her see.

COHEN: As this ditty in the ad goes on to explain, you sing into your computer's microphone, and Songsmith creates backup tracks to your tune. But the denizens of YouTube had other ideas. They plugged in some famous songs and let Songsmith work its magic.

(Soundbite of music)

COHEN: Joe Strummer, now turning in his grave. Another big hit on YouTube has been the ad for the software, which features one of the engineers who designed Songsmith.

(Soundbite of Songsmith ad)

Unidentified Man: (Singing) What are you doing, Lisa? I've never heard you sing.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) I'm making songs with Songsmith, dad, 'cause it's the cool new thing.

COHEN: You can download a free demo of Songsmith. The full version costs $29.99.

(Soundbite of Songsmith ad)

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Because Songsmith helps you make the music for the songs you write yourself.

COHEN: Day to Day is a production of NPR News, with contributions from Slate.com. I'm Alex Cohen.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand.

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