Outlaw hacker John Threat (aka John Lee, who operated under the handle Corrupt in another lifetime) recently unveiled a program called Music Pack. Music Pack takes any user uploaded mp3 or wav file (something under 5 minutes works best), as well as its corresponding lyrics, and spits out an incredibly unique/unusual music video, entirely made up of GIFS.
At the heart of the program, the simplest, albeit most ingenious thing about Music Pack is that the keywords that the software uses to select the gifs are the lyrics themselves. It follows that the styles and content of the music videos generated are endless, as each new set of lyrics presented to the program results in a different collage of gifs.
It is very simple to use.
1. Upload the song
2. Paste the lyrics in.
3. Watch your weird video.
Several weeks ago, when Threat showed Music Pack to me, I only had one mp3 of an interview on this laptop. I tried uploading the only mp3 file I had on this laptop, which happened to be an 18 minute long interview. Unfortunately it was too long, and the software (then still in beta) couldn't process such a large file.
So naturally my next idea was to try "Brick in Yo Face" by Miami rapper, Stitches. It turns out that it had the right level of intensity for Music Pack. After pasting the nihilistic lyrics into music pack, it spit out an interesting video made up entirely of GIFS. I had no intention of trying to top the original video (impossible), I was sure that whatever came out would be interesting.
I asked Threat some questions about it:
MN: What is Music Pack?
JF: "Music pack is a music video generator from animated gifs! I am a music video director repped by A.N.D. and I met so many artists who had great music and no money or wherewithal to make a video. I also saw so many hand assembled animated gif videos on YouTube, and I thought why not code one that makes it automatically? Animated gifs are a great way to communicate a trope or meme so rapidly. That's how music pack was born; to be exploited by the artistic few who see the link!
MN: Other than the amusement of making a gif based music video, what other possible uses can come from it? Art, or curating? Perhaps films?
JT: I think you can use it to create visual landscapes for poetry and other fine written works. I think with a few tweaks of code to the engine, anyone - or me - could create the first short or feature film made from animated gifs! That would be something wouldn't it? Telluride here we come.
MN: Are there any other projects like this in the works?
JT: Hells yeah - I try to code every weekend that I'm not directing - to stay sharp. Sometimes, it turns into a product or app, sometimes its just for the sheer hell of-it.The next coding project is to tackle bringing GBS.tv to life - by making a 24-HOUR, live user submitted content TV network. What's that gonna be like? Let's find out.
MN: I'd be curious to know what languages/frameworks you used to create the video and how your previous experience led to the development. I think it could really inspire/educate the kids
JT: I used python to code the entire thing - I coded something naughty before MiX did in England, to snatch video from every video cam on the planet and stitch it together into a music video. It had motion tracking and object detection all set to music, and some of that code made it into this tool which is a little more - umm aspirational and helpful. Hey I'm trying... At some point I'll release the code so people can build on it further and some kid can take the project to the stratosphere.
You can find Music Pack here.