Will the long-lost boot music return in Windows 11?

Press the switch, the fan will turn up and wait for the welcome screen and cursor to appear on the screen. At this time, a short and elegant start-up sound sounds to remind you that the computer is ready to enter the working state, waiting for your operation.

▲ Pictures with sound

This may be the scene when each of us first touched the computer. The Windows system boot sound has always accompanied us from getting started to getting started, but have you realized that since Windows 8, the iconic boot sound has disappeared for a long time.

From "seeing" to "hearing"

For a modern operating system, a beautiful prompt sound is as important as a beautiful visual UI, but when you go back to the beginning of the computer, you will find that sound was not standard for computers at that time.

▲ Xerox Alto

Xerox Alto, developed by Xerox in 1973, is considered by many to be the original form of the PC. Its large screen, desktop, and three-button mouse are still present on modern computers.


However, unlike modern computers, Alto did not have speakers. This "silence" lasted until 1981 before being broken. On the most popular IBM PC at the time, speakers appeared for the first time in the history of computers.

This speaker is not added to let you listen to music or play games. In fact, it is not so much a speaker, as it is a buzzer-it only emits a harsh "beep" sound to let you know Whether the hardware is operating normally.

In the past, computer downtime was a normal thing. When the computer was motionless, the harsh sound could help people judge whether there was a malfunction.

When the IBM PC is turned on, it will make a harsh and short "beep" sound. This may be the first boot "music" in computer history. Although it is not very pleasing, it can effectively help people confirm whether the computer is working properly.

At that time, the appearance of home game consoles such as NES gave people a higher demand for home entertainment. Compared with the rich 8bit sound effects of game consoles, the electronic sound of IBM PC speakers was simply terrible.

Fortunately, the advent of sound cards such as AdLib and Creative Sound Blaster filled the gaps in the PC's acoustic hardware, allowing the PC to finally have good sound.

▲ The boot screens of previous generations of Windows, including the canceled boot tone on Windows 8.

When the time came to 1992, the sound card had become the standard configuration of the PC. At this time, Microsoft launched their first truly popular operating system-Windows 3.1. This was the first time that the Windows system added a boot sound, which was short and powerful. "It's like Windows greets the world for the first time.

At this time, a new generation of storage media CD-ROM became popular. The larger capacity allows the software to store 16bit audio, which makes the software's prompt sound richer, from a simple syllable to a complete melody. .

Many people are also looking forward to the new system prompts while waiting for the new system. The epoch-making Windows 95 has not disappointed users.

Microsoft invited Brian Eno, a master of environmental music, to design a short but very rich melody for Windows 95. With Windows 95's global popularity, this 6-second boot sound has become almost synonymous with Microsoft.

What's interesting is that Brian Eno himself doesn't like Windows computers, and the post-production work of this classic boot music is also done on Mac computers.

After crossing the millennium, Windows XP became the next classic that swept the world.

As the light blue welcome screen entered the desktop of the blue sky and white clouds, a string melody co-produced by American composer Bill Brown and Emmy Award-winning sound designer Tom Ozanich sounded in my ears, which belonged to a generation of boot-up memories.

However, for many people, the save music "おやすみ" derived from the game "Double Star Story" may be more cordial.

This is because the piracy problem of XP was serious at that time. The famous pirated XP version Tomato Garden replaced the original string with this guitar melody. The melodious guitar sound matched the blue sky and white clouds, and there was no sense of violation.

No one expected that the boot sound on Windows Vista and Windows 7 is a kind of greeting from Windows and a goodbye.

The four chords of the boot sound of Windows Vista are played by the rhythm of "Win-dows Vis-ta". Because it is also in line with the rhythm of the "Firefly" boot animation on Windows 7, it has also been used in Windows 7. on.

Unfortunately, the iconic boot music never appeared on subsequent Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 10 and other systems.

Start-up sound is an important brand identity

Unlike the changeable style of the Windows generation that changed the start-up sound, the start-up sound of the Mac sounds much more uniform.

▲ Music for startup and downtime of Macs in previous generations

The start-up sound of Mac has gone through 4 main stages. In the Macintosh era, its start-up sound was just a simple electric Boeing. Although it was a little better than the IBM PC of the same period, it was also the difference between ugly and not so ugly.

When I arrived on the Macintosh II, the start-up tone used C and F-sharp chords, which sounded richer than the electric wave, but at this time the start-up sound became weird and uneasy, and it was called the "devil interval".

An Apple employee named Jim Reekes finally couldn't stand the anxious start-up sound under the day-to-day torture. When developing the Macintosh Quadra series, he secretly added the more Zen-like C major to the start-up sound. Chord, the start-up sound at this stage sounds much more comfortable.

Jim Reekes' unauthorized modification behavior was discovered by Apple and asked him to restore the boot sound, but in the end he made various explanations to keep this better sound of the boot sound.

Later, when Jim Reekes designed the startup sound of Quadra 840NV, he also added percussive sounds such as chimes to make the sound fuller, which became the basis for the adjustment of the startup sound of subsequent models.

After returning to Apple in 1997, Jobs proposed that all Apple computers have a unified sound. Therefore, iMac G3 has become the most familiar start-up sound for Mac users, because this is Apple’s last adjustment to the start-up sound. It has been in use since the beginning of the year, and it has completely disappeared and returned to macOS 11.

The unified start-up sound of the Mac family gives the Mac brand unique recognition. Even if you close your eyes, you can recognize the maverick Mac from a crowd of computers.

The power-on tone is no longer the basis for judging the status of the device, but has become part of the brand identity. The recurring start-up screens are impressive. From the perspective of the brand, there is no better place to convey the brand image than this.

Nokia used the "small hand in hand" to make the world remember the 5 syllables of Nokia Tune. In the era of feature phones, as long as someone plays this melody on the road, people will always follow the sound to see if the owner is N95 or N96.

In addition to Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers will also equip their mobile phones with pleasant start-up ringtones as an auditory extension in addition to the visual logo.

▲ The boot screens of previous game consoles (Xbox, PS, Nintendo)

In the design of the boot sound, the game console manufacturers should be considered the most playable. The boot screen of each generation of game consoles has been carefully designed by the manufacturers. For some experienced players, the game model can be distinguished only by the boot sound. Numbers are not difficult.

Wired once selected a ranking of the best home game console boot screens, and Sony’s first game console, the Playstation 1, won the subjective ranking.

Unlike Nintendo, which emphasizes the family atmosphere, the more powerful PS1 is clearly aimed at young people who are looking for cool and high-tech. Therefore, Sony adds a low buzzing sound to enhance the futuristic atmosphere when it is turned on.

Players can feel the three different brand concepts of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony in the use of the boot screen and music.

▲ The boot screen of GBA will display "Nintendo" only when the card is read correctly.

For example, Nintendo’s start-up music is always a brisk and joyous melody, and the player’s mood has become relaxed before playing.

▲ Worthy of being an elegant "three princesses"

Sony’s start-up sound is mainly string music, supplemented by a simple system picture, taking the noble and glamorous "princess" route.

Microsoft likes to use fast and smooth transition animations and minimal startup sounds to show the power of its performance.

In other words, the classic start-up screens of different models deepen the players’ impressions and at the same time allow players to establish a stronger emotional connection with the brand. When players hear the familiar start-up music, they also have good memories in their ears. Speak softly: Welcome home.

How many people hate the boot sound, so many people miss it

The cruel fact is that the boot sound is leaving us.

As mentioned above, the boot tone of Windows no longer sounds, and the boot tone of Mac is also turned off by default. Among mainstream mobile phones, only a few manufacturers such as Huawei still keep the boot tone.

Even the game console manufacturers who love to manipulate the boot screen are trying to simplify the boot sound as much as possible: the boot sound of Nintendo Switch has become a crisp "click", and the string music of PS5 is no longer grand but simple.

Why is boot music no longer valued by manufacturers?

Jensen Harris, who once led the Windows user experience work, is known as the "culprit" who removed the boot sound from Windows 8. He recently explained his bold behavior that year.

Jensen Harris said that he suddenly encountered some problems in the middle of the night and needed to use a computer to solve, but his wife and his children were already asleep. If they turned on the computer, they would wake up with the boot sound. At this time, he suddenly thought that maybe many users There have been similar embarrassing moments, and the boot sound may no longer be suitable for everyone.

Indeed, in libraries, classrooms, offices and other public places, the disappearing start-up sound can avoid the embarrassment of sudden sound. In fact, if you search for "start-up sound" in a search engine, the top search result is often "how Turn off the boot sound".

▲ "Salute to the hero who allowed me to play on the computer in the middle of the night without avoiding men's and women's doubles"

The start-up sound has changed from a kind of assistance to a kind of interruption. Many people expressed their heartfelt thanks to Jensen Harris after they learned that Jensen Harris deleted the start-up sound.

However, not everyone hates the start-up sound. There are still many users who are loyal fans of the start-up sound, hoping to hear the computer’s cordial response every time they turn on.

Jensen Harris also gave more explanations for this. He also believes that the boot tone is an important "tradition". Soon after he decided to delete the boot tone, he also regretted it and hoped that the technical department could add the boot tone back. .

However, things are not that simple. At that time, Windows was trying its best to improve the boot speed. The technical department found that removing the boot sound can not only reduce the number of codes running on boot, but also delay the wake-up of the sound and other controls, making the boot speed faster. A relatively large improvement, so in order to quickly boot the target, the boot sound had to give in.

This is also one of the main reasons why mainstream devices such as the iPhone cancel or simplify the boot sound. The cumbersome boot process is no longer a ritual link, but has become a "cumbersome". People hope to skip the boot screen and enter as soon as possible. Desktop instead of spending time waiting.

When the boot process becomes faster and faster, the time left for the boot sound will obviously be compressed. At the same time, the boot and shutdown process itself is becoming insensitive.

On computers and game consoles, compared to the switch operation of clearing the record, the operation record can be kept and the faster "sleep" and "quick start" are more efficient ways to turn off the screen. On the mobile phone, people have developed to keep the screen off. The habit of being online 24 hours a day, no one cares about booting.

As a common memory of an era, is the opening concert gradually disappearing in our lives?

Microsoft recently released an official "rehabilitation" video, which clips the boot sound of previous generations of Windows together and slows it down by 4000%. It sounds like ambient music listened to during meditation, and the length of the video is exactly 11 minute.

This may imply that on Windows 11, which may be released next, the boot sound may return, just like macOS allows users to choose whether to turn it on.

In the comment area of ​​the video, many people called on Microsoft to really add boot sound to Windows 11. If the right to choose is returned to users, this may not be a bad thing.

Higher, higher.

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