Make Music With Floppy Disks

YES, WHAT YOU JUST SAW IS REAL. IF YOU WERE EVER to find transport with which to travel in a space-time continuum, the engine would (fingers crossed) sound like what is blatantly the disk drive equivalent of the Midmer Losh Pipe Organ. SolidSnake745 – gonna guess it’s a metal gear ref, guys – is the YouTuber behind this total pop cult phenom, having exploded form relative cult to global popularity.

Speechmarks was lucky enough to talk to the chap behind the vintage geekery.

Q: What first inspired you to use floppy disk drives to create tunes?

A: I had watched a video earlier this year where another person had managed to get two floppy drives to play the Imperial March. I wanted to do that. My original goal was only to get about that much done. I never planned on expanding past three drives, much less having more than a thousand views total.

It’s important to note that I did not develop the core of the software I’m using now by the way. While I coded something primitive and somewhat functional, I had stumbled across Sammy1Am’s code and found it to be far better than what I had made. While I have made my own changes to it, it still came from him. He also has a YouTube channel and I’ve mentioned him several times in comments and my FAQ.

His channel:

never forget

Q: Why did you choose YouTube as your platform?

A: I honestly didn’t think of any other platform when it comes to hosting a slew of your own personal videos. YouTube is pretty well known for allowing anybody and everybody to share their videos. It was an extremely easy and convenient option.

Q: Did you mean for the video to go completely viral?

A: As I said before, not really. I just wanted to do what someone else had done. Then I decided since I had already spent the time setting it up, might as well do a few more of my favorites. One thing led to another, I ended up doing “requests” and trying to improve the quality of my videos, and somehow ended up where I am now. Looking back I think I was also a bit jealous of Sammy1Am and how much more successful he was. I guess that also motivated me to try and do better. I really respect what he’s done and how helpful he’s been.

Q: What future projects do you have planned? Video, audio, both? Any more covers?

A: Of course I will be continuing to make floppy drive based covers. I’m not sure if I will ever stop until the drives finally seize up and die on me. I think there are still a lot of elements that can be improved on/added to my videos right now. I still have ideas and settings I want to play with to produce better videos. So I want to focus on that first. If I run out of ideas, I’ll start thinking about something new to do.

Q: OK, now introduce yourself! What do you do when you’re not making floppy disk drive music?

A: Well, my real name is Anand Jain. I’m 23 and pursuing a bachelor’s in computer engineering. Besides that I’ve worked as an intern at Citrix and am currently working for a company where I do tech support, QA testing, and a ton of other random things. In my spare time, I enjoy playing various video games, contemplating projects I want to do, building/fixing random things around my house, playing piano, and hanging out with my handful of close friends.

Art by Nick Gentry
Art by Nick Gentry

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  1. Floppytousb

    Basically, a Floppy Drive reads and writes knowledge to a little, circular piece of metal-coated plastic just like audio tape.

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