Thursday, July 30, 2009

My New Favorite Viral Video Series

OK, this stuff has evidently been around since March, but I just heard about it today, and I think it's great. I'm talking about the video series known as "Auto-Tune the News."

So what is Auto-Tune, and how is it applied to the news? This article from the website Politico describes it thusly:
With his mashup of news, music and video called “Auto-Tune the News,” Michael Gregory is taking political satire into the digital era. “Auto-Tune the News” is the brainchild of Gregory, 24, and his two brothers and sister-in-law. Using the software program Auto-Tune (which is used by musicians — like Cher — to simulate perfect pitch) and a green screen (which places one image on top of another in a video, as in weather forecasts) they’ve produced six videos — which have been viewed at least 6 million times.
Read more:
Want to make it six million and one? Check out the latest one:

(I should point out that Politico needs a better phrase to describe the Auto-Tune software; it doesn't simulate "perfect pitch," which is the ability to hear a note and know what it is. Perfect intonation, maybe? But I bet if you called it "that thing in the Cher song," everyone would know what you were talking about.)

It is interesting to listen to the sing-song cadence of the various speakers whose words have been adapted and realize that it probably didn't take much effort to turn their speech into song. And it appears that, unlike a lot of political satire, ATTN seems to be embraced by its subjects/victims, many of whom embrace the notion of being included in one of the videos. As the creators note in the article, this kind of thing won't last forever (what Internet meme does?), but it's a lot of fun while it's around.

Hat tip: Althouse, where I've probably found out about more amusing pop-culture things (lolcats, Buffalax and the Literal Video Version series among them) than anywhere else.

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