Windows 95 start up music composed on a Mac

For many of us, the music used in the background while Microsoft's Windows 95 started booting up is still locked in our heads. That music was actually composed by well known ambient music composer Brian Eno. In a newly discovered radio interview with the BBC from 2009, Eno revealed that he actually composed the Windows 95 start up music on an Apple Macintosh machine.

Eno got a list of what the music should sound like from Microsoft, which included 150 adjectives. Some of those adjectives included words like "inspirational" "sexy", "driving", "provocative", "nostalgic" and "sentimental", which is a lot to project for just a few seconds of music. But the big revelation came when the BBC interviewer asked, naturally, if Eno had written the Windows 95 music on a PC. Eno replied, "No I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them". Ouch.

Apple's Mac machines have always had the reputation of being a better computer to create content like music and other entertainment products, and whether that reputation is justified is a matter of debate. Regardless, it must sting the higher ups at Microsoft a little bit to learn that every time Windows 95 started up on a PC, it had a little bit of Mac inside those sounds.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple pulls Big Fish Games streaming app from App Store

Next Story

The future of TV might just be Apple-shaped

83 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

"Apple's Mac machines have always had the reputation of being a better computer to create content like music and other entertainment products, and whether that reputation is justified is a matter of debate"

This was true a decade ago but now it is not true. Adobe works better in Windows than in Mac, Mac (as a hardware) is not professional (crappy audio and video card) and so on.

Wow, this is so technically relevant...

PC users listening to a sound created on a Mac...

It is almost as ironic as all GPUs in Mac since 2002 use Microsoft technology, and without the GPU designs from Microsoft engineers that are the basis of all DX10/11 GPUs with unified shaders and new onboard DMA concepts created by Microsoft, OpenCL could not exist for GP-GPU operations.

I wonder if iPad and iPhone users thank Microsoft for the GPU architecture they use everyday, as they are also based on Microsoft GPU architectural designs, and the games that have shaders are using Microsoft's creation of user shader code and language.

Or the fact that Mac cloud services, and even iTunes is and has been using Microsoft server technology and Microsoft Azure Cloud OS.

Or that playing most video content on the internet from Netflix, Hulu, etc are translated using Microsoft's video server technologies.


Ah, but that is too complex for people to grasp, so it seems the Win95 sound being made on a Mac is far more important and relevant to the world...

Really?

yeah, it's ironic and Mac fanbois must have gotten a lot of satisfaction from this, but what's way more ironic, mind-blowing, and devastating to them is the fact that Microsoft OWNED a portion of Apple's shares in 1997, made a cash investment when the company was desperate for funds, and the IE was the default browser on Macs under the same deal!

seriously. does it matter? if the o.s. is crappy (and win95 was good. not the best. but good), no amount of over-cross-platform-fornicated start-up music is going the save it.

Panda X said,
"I've never used a PC in my life; I don't like them"

So he dislikes something he's never used?


Obviously many Apple haters (not all!) use the same tactics when hating on Macs...
So, I guess sometimes it either works or it doesn't and a lot of hating is based on void arguments.

I put my bet on the side of the coin.

Some "definite no"s you can tell even without using the item, some things not.

Everyone must make up their own mind, and surely you can kick out options even without testing them, if there is some base criteria that don't meet your standard or wishes.

GS:mac

Here's a fascinating ****ing fact that's very similar that no-one in their right mind should care about; The old 'sample music' from the old DirectX 6 and previous versions was composed in MS's DirectSound Producer.
And hell, was it hard to convert to midi.

Is it just me, or was the only real version of Windows before 95 like 3.1? And I'm pretty sure that at the time the Mac OS was a hell of a lot better for musical production in '94. As other people have said; it was the best tool for the job.

Matthew_Thepc said,
Is it just me, or was the only real version of Windows before 95 like 3.1? And I'm pretty sure that at the time the Mac OS was a hell of a lot better for musical production in '94. As other people have said; it was the best tool for the job.

Depends what you call a real version of Windows.

Windows 3.1 was released a year before the Windows 3.11 update, and anyone in their right mind wouldn't be running 3.1 without the 3.11 update. It'd be like running Windows 95a when you could be using Windows 95c release.

But ignoring that, Windows 3.x of any kind wasn't a real version, in the sense of using real protected memory or anything (I assume this is what you're trying to get at by using the term 'real').

There was Windows NT 3.1, that was a real OS in the sense it used protected memory and didn't require a sub OS, such as DOS like its 16bit Windows 3.x needed.

In the same year as 3.11 was released most business users moved over to NT 3.5 even if it was 'Windows for workgroups', Windows 3.11 was aimed at small workgroups.

Personally, I consider Windows NT 3.1 Microsoft's first GUI, based 'real' OS. It provided the basic backbone structure to what became, Windows 3.5/4.0 and later Windows XP/2000.

sagum said,

Depends what you call a real version of Windows.

Windows 3.1 was released a year before the Windows 3.11 update, and anyone in their right mind wouldn't be running 3.1 without the 3.11 update. It'd be like running Windows 95a when you could be using Windows 95c release.

But ignoring that, Windows 3.x of any kind wasn't a real version, in the sense of using real protected memory or anything (I assume this is what you're trying to get at by using the term 'real').

There was Windows NT 3.1, that was a real OS in the sense it used protected memory and didn't require a sub OS, such as DOS like its 16bit Windows 3.x needed.

In the same year as 3.11 was released most business users moved over to NT 3.5 even if it was 'Windows for workgroups', Windows 3.11 was aimed at small workgroups.

Personally, I consider Windows NT 3.1 Microsoft's first GUI, based 'real' OS. It provided the basic backbone structure to what became, Windows 3.5/4.0 and later Windows XP/2000.


ah, thanks for the clarification

Big deal, my start-up sound back then was Darth Vader "What is thy bidding, my master?". I think I heard the factory-provided sound a half-dozen times on my own machine.

Will the next article be, "Apple used Windows CE devices to sell Macs, OUCH!"?

Apple stores used to use a motorola device running Windows CE for their POS system. Are such stupid factoids really FPN?

This article is pointless. It's a bit of interesting trivia that could wind up a sentence in a wiki article somewhere. It spurs on debates about which platform is better suited to a musician's needs, while everybody ignores when he would've actually composed the bit.

Back in '94-95, both platforms were shabby. You either had Windows 3.x, which was still breaking in its new-found multimedia support, or System 7 on the Macintosh, which had major quality issues due to Apple--for the first time--having to make it work for vendors other than themselves (this was Apple's post-Jobs open licensing period).

A much more interesting--for the historical perspective of it--question would be, was the Mac he wrote it on built by Apple?

DiamondFootprint said,

....what? Last time I checked a Mac is a PC ?

Nah it isn't. Just ask Apple. Once they've finished frothing at mouth in indignation at the sheer effrontery for even thinking that, they'll take you out back and have you shot.

Apples are Apples, PC's are Windows. Anyone saying any different isn't allowed to use iGear.

FloatingFatMan said,

Nah it isn't. Just ask Apple. Once they've finished frothing at mouth in indignation at the sheer effrontery for even thinking that, they'll take you out back and have you shot.

Apples are Apples, PC's are Windows. Anyone saying any different isn't allowed to use iGear.

I know I'm poking fun at my own use of words here (although I do count it towards PCs...) but...

What's Linux?
*CAMP BLOWS UP*

GS:mac

The music isn't locked in to my head as one of the very first things I have always done on ANY computer since Windows 95 is disable ALL the start up, shut down, login, log out, etc. sounds!!

No I wrote it on a Mac. I've never used a PC in my life; I don't like them"

Spoken like a true fanboy.

It's nice to know he doesn't like personal machines including the Mac he used.

Raa said,
Oh is that why it didn't sound that great?

Jokes aside, it wasn't really that good...

The real question is, what was clouds.mid made on?

Why do people biotch about how late the article was published? They didn't know either, so same goes for them :@
...

.

Certainly a boring fact you can tell people on a rubbish night at the pub.

It would make sense he used a mac because at the time 95 wouldn't have been out so what would he have used to create the music? 3.1?

leave it up to john callaham to post this drivel. honestly neowin, when are you going to remove this fool's news-posting privileges?

Slayer said,
leave it up to john callaham to post this drivel. honestly neowin, when are you going to remove this fool's news-posting privileges?

If I'm not mistaken he posts 95% of the articles on Neowin, so...


God I haven't heard the startup music in so long.

Slayer said,
leave it up to john callaham to post this drivel. honestly neowin, when are you going to remove this fool's news-posting privileges?

Leave it up to people like you to complain about a service someone gives you for free. Don't like it? Don't read it. I'm grateful there are people like Callaham who keep writing articles like these. I find them interesting and it's nice to have something to read.

Jub Fequois said,

Leave it up to people like you to complain about a service someone gives you for free. Don't like it? Don't read it. I'm grateful there are people like Callaham who keep writing articles like these. I find them interesting and it's nice to have something to read.

i completly agree with you,

if u dont want to read it then dont, stop complaining on every single article he writes...

Yes, a scandal that will rock the PC industry's core.

Actually, it's nice to see the frontpage is getting updated on Thanksgiving.

Laslow said,
Yes, a scandal that will rock the PC industry's core.

Actually, it's nice to see the frontpage is getting updated on Thanksgiving.


Bet it's a test whether the news editors are still at work or just sitting at the table eating all the turkey!

GS:mac

Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

Reacon said,
Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

Logic

GS:mac

Reacon said,
Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

I am a 100% Windows user, and I disagree. At college we use all 2011 iMacs for Music and Video production.

Reacon said,
Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

So wrong.. Macs are much better, they have everything windows has (studio one, cubase, protools, fl studio).. and they have something windows will never have... Logic.

I've used them all and prefer Logic over all of them... and i'm a long time FL Studio user.

Reacon said,
Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

Yes I am afraid you could not be more wrong.

Uplift said,

I've used them all and prefer Logic over all of them... and i'm a long time FL Studio user.

Just wait until Logic X comes out!

Uplift said,

So wrong.. Macs are much better, they have everything windows has (studio one, cubase, protools, fl studio).. and they have something windows will never have... Logic.

I've used them all and prefer Logic over all of them... and i'm a long time FL Studio user.


Then you'd know Mac doesn't have FL Studio.

Coi said,

Then you'd know Mac doesn't have FL Studio.

There's a beta going on...

Maybe his point was though that the Mac can run Windows, hence just adding more to the table!

GS:ios

SuperKid said,

I am a 100% Windows user, and I disagree. At college we use all 2011 iMacs for Music and Video production.

What is used at any college has nothing to do with what is better. Colleges are susceptible to propoganda of advertising just like you are.

Edited by Beaux, Nov 24 2011, 5:57pm :

Beaux said,
What is used at any college has nothing to do with what is better. Colleges are susceptible to propoganda of advertising just like you are.

Last time I checked, colleges also try to represent the work environments of your latter employers.
And yes, they mostly use Macs there, common sense tells us that they probably have a reason for that, after all they have bookkeepers, too.

GS:mac

Reacon said,
Windows is far superior for music production. All of the professional sequencers are either solely Windows or dual platform. I can't think of anything Mac-exclusive save for Garage Band.

Wrong, unfortunately. As much as I hate everything that has to do with Apple and its products, Macs are the real deal when it comes to music production, live performances, dj-ing, etc. Windows doesn't really have good tools for this, except maybe Ableton and Reason, but that's not enough and both of them have downsides. I can only think of one audio tool (editor, to be more specific) that kicks the crap out of everything similar on Mac or Linux. And that's Sony's Sound Forge. I've been using it since it was made by Sonic Foundry and I never found anything better, I absolutely love it. But that's about it when it comes to Windows and audio editing / production.
About FL Studio...well, that's really a tool I would only use for drum patterns or sequences. Not multitrack stuff, synths and others. Yeah, you can do a "full track" in FL Studio, but that's not professional work IMO.

Uplift said,

Thats funny because I'm running it native?

Native? Ok, if you call emulation native, I'm running Super Nintendo games native on my PC.

Glassed Silver said,
common sense tells us that they probably have a reason for that, after all they have bookkeepers, too.
I already told you the reason they have for that.

Enron said,

Native? Ok, if you call emulation native, I'm running Super Nintendo games native on my PC.

Sorry, wrong word to use but i just meant you don't need any Windows/bootcamp or other tools.. it will just work.

fenderMarky said,
This is a stupid thing from Microsoft just like an apple user who frequents a windows community...

Eh what? Care to name a single Windows DAW released before FL Studio which came out in 1998?

fenderMarky said,
This is a stupid thing from Microsoft just like an apple user who frequents a windows community...

ORLY?

So I guess my help with MS Software releated issues is not wanted anymore?
You know, cause you can be both, a Windows and Mac user... Or even more shocking: A switcher from Windows who's still up to date and can help out.
Then there's MS software on Macs, for example Office.

Oh and Neowin goes far beyond Microsoft talk.

this was to easy...

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

ORLY?

So I guess my help with MS Software releated issues is not wanted anymore?
You know, cause you can be both, a Windows and Mac user... Or even more shocking: A switcher from Windows who's still up to date and can help out.
Then there's MS software on Macs, for example Office.

Oh and Neowin goes far beyond Microsoft talk.

this was to easy...

GS:mac

Hey now, don't forget switchers from Mac to Windows!

E:win

Glassed Silver said,

ORLY?

So I guess my help with MS Software releated issues is not wanted anymore?
You know, cause you can be both, a Windows and Mac user... Or even more shocking: A switcher from Windows who's still up to date and can help out.
Then there's MS software on Macs, for example Office.

Oh and Neowin goes far beyond Microsoft talk.

this was to easy...

GS:mac

How dare you show some sense!?

/s

kavazovangel said,

Eh what? Care to name a single Windows DAW released before FL Studio which came out in 1998?


Modplug Tracker
Fast tracker
Scream Tracker
Impulse Tracker

Beaux said,

Modplug Tracker
Fast tracker
Scream Tracker
Impulse Tracker

Yeap. Still have my 1st tracker (Modplug), but didn't ran it in ages. I think I'll give it a test to see if I still "got it".

He has already "revealed" this years earlier. It's all over again because all tech journalist sites are all based on a common template.

Marginally interesting? Sure.
Worthy of a front page new item? Probably not.
Was there even PC software around at the time good for this sort of thing?

virtorio said,
Marginally interesting? Sure.
Worthy of a front page new item? Probably not.
Was there even PC software around at the time good for this sort of thing?

Well, ask an Apple fanboi & he'll tell you there never was. xD

Simon- said,
Not a big deal. At the time, the Mac was the right equipment for the job.

Totally agree, I bet this gets blown out of proportion though

Simon- said,
Not a big deal. At the time, the Mac was the right equipment for the job.

. But you can't deny it is a bit ironically.

Jose_49 said,

. But you can't deny it is a bit ironically.

It's not ironic at all. In '94, Mac's were what people used for non-word processing tasks. Windows was for Word processing. It's like complaining someone used a pick up truck to haul stuff when they could have used a sedan... there's the right tool for the job, and the mac was the right tool. In many respects, the mac still is.

Written by a true PC fanboy.

Glassed Silver said,
Haha. Nice tidbit, in b4 complaints this isn't news!

GS:mac

It isn't news, I can't believe people don't know this.

It's not really a "bit of mac" though is it. It must really sting them that every time somebody uses a PC, they're using a bit of Xerox.

jbrooksuk said,
It's not really a "bit of mac" though is it. It must really sting them that every time somebody uses a PC, they're using a bit of Xerox.

It must really sting them that every feature of any OS was done by someone else. xD