Twenty Thousand Hertz Explores the Death and Rebirth of Windows Startup Sounds

Twenty Thousand Hertz Explores the Death and Rebirth of Windows Startup Sounds

Hear the second part of the award-winning podcast delving into the history of Microsoft Sonic, revealing two secrets Almost lost noise over time:


“Go listen to this podcast… it is good listening and a funny time capsule. You will know instantly when you started using computers as soon as you hear the right startup sound”

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The art of George Butler

today, Twenty thousand hertz – Leading podcast about audio versions “Windows_Logon.wav,” The second episode of a two-part series that reveals the epic and complex history of Windows startup sounds. In the first episode “Ta da! It’s Windows” – What you say The Verge go listenif you do not have – host Dallas Taylor He breaks down the sonic slogans that have introduced millions of computer users into a world of possibilities: from the triumphant “ta-da” of the early ’90s, to ambient compositions from both Brian Eno and British rock star, all the way to Microsoft making the drastic decision to scrap their startup sound together. In Windows 8 2012.

at “Windows_Logon.wav,” Taylor explores the forces that led to this choice, and deconstructs how Microsoft channeled the language’s music into the sounds of its new user interface, while revealing two Secret Startup sounds that almost got lost over time. View conversations with a former Microsoft Lead UI designer Jensen Harris and sound designer Matthew BennettThe episode takes listeners on a tour of the death and birth of the Windows startup sound.

Listen to “Windows_Logon.wav” here

Windows 8 It was a huge revamp, with a completely new operating system – so the natural tendency was to create new, exciting music to kick-start the user experience. But after designers went through countless iterations of subtle music and decided on a winner, they realized something: in the twenty years since Windows 3.1, the times, where and how people used computers have changed quite a bit. Back in the ’90s, people were sitting at their desks, pressing the power button and waiting for their devices to turn on – so part of the startup sound’s job was to announce, “Hey, I’m ready to go!”

But in 2005, sales of laptops surpassed desktop computers for the first time ever. Computer use is now a daily occurrence – booting up didn’t really need much fuss, it was just a given. With some sadness, former Microsoft Lead UI designer Jensen Harris I decided to turn off the new startup sound by default. But the new sound was still there, buried deep in a media folder, called Windows Login. Of course, the few people who found this wav file had no idea how much time they spent on it.

Removing the startup sound made UI sounds more important. Between Microsoft’s proprietary user interface and the myriad of online experiences people were going through every day – IM-ing, Googling, Facebook Posting and more – platforms were coming together to form an entire audio landscape of technology, stifling users with voices from all angles. With Windows 8, sound designer Matthew Bennett wanted to create a quieter and more intuitive experience for people. So he designed a set of nice, soft tones that all sounded remarkably similar—breaking the traditional mindset that user interface sounds should have a great deal of variance for users to understand.

With Windows 10, they pushed this concept even further. Embracing the idea that music is a universal language, the Microsoft team set out to explore the language’s inherent melody, aspiring to create sounds that make sense regardless of background or culture. Ultimately, every sound in Windows 10 is developed around a sensory-linguistic model, which combines phrases in countless languages ​​to form sounds based on the parameters of the spoken language.

Microsoft removed the startup sound from Windows 8 and Windows 10. But over the years, the team started listening to people they missed, nostalgic for older models — and then the designers realized that some people actually didn’t miss it. , but need it. Those who are visually impaired, for example, really need a startup sound to know when their system is booted up and ready for entry. even with Windows 11Microsoft decided to return the startup sound. Windows 11 startup sound was created by composer Phi Bui with the help of Josh Cain and Savoy Schuler petals, as in flower petals. It was meant to represent a small idea blossoming into something greater, and it seemed subtle, elegant and simple.

In the early days of the startup, it was trying to make an advertisement to celebrate the advent of technology, and to draw attention to the great phenomenon of starting the era of computers. In the decades since, the primary purpose of UI Voices has changed: now, it’s centered around functionality, to support people to be productive and creative.

“I think the future of sound design is not so much about sound and hearing as it is about sound and emotion,” Share Bennett. “It’s all about creating that immersive experience that supports attention and focus, giving people what they need, when they need it, and then getting out of the way.”

Twenty Thousand Hertz is an Ambie and Webby Award winning show about the world’s most famous and interesting voices. It was produced by the sound design studios of real soundThe podcast previously revealed the origins of “Ta-Dum” on Netflix For the first time ever, in addition to an autopsy HBO theme and fixed angelThe McDonald’s “I love it” Jingle, and much more is available here:

About twenty thousand hertz

Twenty Thousand Hertz is a well-crafted podcast that reveals the stories behind the world’s most famous and intriguing voices. With 20 million+ lifetime downloads, over 125,000 listeners per episode, and 3 Webby Awards to its name, Twenty Thousand Hertz is the world’s leading podcast about audio. Episodes of twenty thousand hertz have been shown on Planet Money, 99% Invisible, Endless Thread and Every Little Thing. The show has also been covered by The New York Times, Marketplace, Entertainment Weekly, Salon, Popular Science and many more.

Information about Dallas Taylor

Dallas Taylor is the host and creator of Twenty Thousand Hertz, an elaborately crafted podcast revealing the stories behind the world’s most famous and interesting voices. Dallas is also the creative director of real soundHe has led thousands of high-profile sound design projects – from successful trailers and ad campaigns, to major TV series and award-winning Sundance films. In addition, Dallas is a TED mainstage Speaker, regular contributor to major publications, and respected thought leader on the narrative power of sound.

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