I hadn’t realized it’s an entire genre: Music made from Windows system sounds

One. Two. Three.

Pre-emptive snarky comment: "That's about all Microsoft is good for: making a song out of their critical stop and error tones."

Comments (22)
  1. squidbot says:

    The first video has the extra added value that it looks like the music is being played from an Excel spreadsheet. I realize it’s some sequencer software, it just struck me as funny.

    This was funny… I would have been slightly more impressed if the pieces were done without pitch shifting, just using the sounds as they came. That would be much more of a challenge to make listenable.

  2. Spire says:

    The first example I saw from this genre was this one, from a few years ago: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/noises

  3. Mikkin says:

    Actually, it is only a sub-genre in a longer tradition. I will never forget hearing the Star Spangled Banner on the operator console of a CDC 3600, with a bank of tape drives providing percussion. Does Windows even do snare drums?

  4. It’s possible you missed the most disturbing one,  50 Cent vs XP – Windows in Da Club


  5. Jordi says:

    Thanks for the link. Especially the first one, as it has some links to additional great songs in its comments.

  6. Xepol says:

    There is an Apple OS version as well, but it doesn’t sound anywhere near as musical.

  7. Xepol says:

    Incidently Raymond, you might want to add a little something extra to your pre-emptive snarky comments…

    "But I’m not bitter."

    Of course, only Canadians are likely to get the reference.

  8. Michael says:

    "Pre-emptive snarky comment: "That’s about all Microsoft is good for: making a song out of their critical stop and error tones.""

    Let me add "Nitpickers Corner":

    "…using Warezed versions of audio editing software, as seen on http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2004/11/13/wmp_sound_warez_claim/"

    SCNR ;-)

    On a more serious note: That stuff is fantastic. That "Error Sound" is one of the most annying sounds, but in such a composition, it clearly has it’s place. The first track is truly a piece of Art!

  9. Nawak says:

    It took me at least 30 secs to recognize "Da Hool – Meet her at the love parade" from the last link… That clearly brought back memories from the 90’s :)

    What’s interesting/frightening is how these windows XP sounds are deeply entrenched in our brains. Even for someone like me who has sounds disabled on his home profile, they somehow manage to cause "Pavlov" reactions, especially the error sound.

  10. Jonathan says:

    "Windows system sounds"

    I first misread this as "Windows Sound System", a 90s sound card which competed – and lost – to the then-mighty Sound Blaster.

  11. Farcer says:

    "But I’m not bitter."

    John Nunziata? Is this where you’ve been hiding?

  12. Anonymous says:

    That first one sounds remarkably like clouds.mid.  Anyone remember who wrote it?  I only ask here because I think Raymond linked an interview…

  13. Enjoy the "mis-using" of the windows system files to reduce executable sizes:


    People used to use gl.dms as basis samples for sound synthesis… but they can also be used for texture synthesis and/or general random numbers ;)

    disclaimer: the one writing the article is a group colleague

  14. Celvin says:

    Sometimes I agree to the guy who develops Virtualdub:


  15. Worf says:

    Actually, I think the snarky comment is "That sounds like the office during the day" :-)

    But I think this genre started probably when MODs (the music format) were popular. Sure anyone could sample regular instruments, but the oddball samples made for the most fun (a MOD file is basically like a MIDI file, except all the samples are bundled with it, and within limitations of your playback, are supposed to sound pretty close to the way the artist intended).

    But heck, people have done it with MacOS sounds as well…

  16. Worf says:

    Well. the first YouTube link *IS* a MOD file (actually, Impulse Tracker, but good ’nuff unless you wanted to be pedantic). You see, I have slashdot affliction – no one sees the links until after commenting!

    Of course, my favorite MOD Player dates back to Win3.1. If I wanted to say what sucks about Windows, is that XP-64 and Vista 64bit won’t run it, and so much for all of Raymond’s hard work on backwards compatibility, yadda yadda yadda. Only on Raymond’s blog, can we make fun of those who make fun of Windows!

  17. poochner says:

    Yeah, I’m really going to miss playing Doom under Vista.

    Come to think of it, I probably will, since I still play it from time to time.

  18. SuperKoko says:


    Yeah, I’m really going to miss playing Doom under Vista.


    Just download zdoom, prboom, gzdoom, zdoomgl, doomsday, edge, doom legacy or vavoom.

    Pre-requesite: An IWAD

    (DOOM.WAD or DOOM2.WAD).

    Doom has many ports to many platforms…

    Personally, I use zdoom on Windows and prboom on GNU/Linux.

  19. Friday says:

    Celvin: you had to snitch! :)

    No offense meant.

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