Listen to the Sosumi beep
I was interviewed for a documentary about the history of the Macintosh in San Francisco. They gave me free beer too!
Sadly, my favorite scene was deleted in the final edit of the movie. Fortunately, I found this clip on the cutting room floor. Here I am, telling the real story behind the urban legend of the infamous Sosumi beep.
This clip is from the movie: Welcome to Macintosh. In the next video below I tell a more complete version of the story.
Mac Startup Sound
Listen to the Mac startup sound
In an interesting twist of irony (and I do love irony) the Sosumi sound came about due to a trademark dispute. My most famous sound is now an officially an Apple trademark (what took them so long?). A sound trademark is rare. Some of the few examples are the 20th Century Fox orchestral fanfare, the NBC chimes (which also happens to be based on a C-Major chord), or the THX “deep note.”
The final chord of the Beatle’s “A Day In The Life” is an amazing moment, and was a key inspiration for my Mac startup sound.
Here’s another interview at a coffee shop near my home. If you jump to the 13:15 mark, I tell the story of how I created the Mac startup sound.
At 24:35 I tell the more complete story about the Sosumi beep, and the context of the new sounds I added to Mac System 7.
Mac and iPhone Camera Sound
Listen to the camera sound
One of the other sounds I created for the Mac is the one you hear when you take a screen shot (press Cmd-Shift-3). This is also more well-known as the sound you hear when taking a photo on the iPhone and iPad.
It is a recording of my trusty old Canon AE-1 from the late ’70s.
Links to these stories
- Hear the Evolution of Apple’s Iconic Startup Sound for the Mac
- How one Apple engineer fixed the Mac’s awful startup sound for good
- Early Apple sound designer Jim Reekes corrects Sosumi myth
- Let It Beep—the Secret Story of “Sosumi”
- The Story Behind the OS X Chime / Startup Sound
- A Brief History of Mac System Sounds – Eep!
- Review: Welcome to Macintosh, the documentary for the rest of us
- Mac OS X Easter Egg – Sosumi
- Urban Dictionary: Sosumi
- Wikipedia: Sosumi
- Wikipedia: Mac Startup Sound
- Apple’s Classic Mac Startup Chime is now a Registered Trademark
- Audio Branding: Apple Finally Trademarks Startup Chime
- Apple wins U.S. trademark for Mac boot chime
- 99 Percent Invisible – Episode 148: The Sizzle
- Former Apple Employee Reveals How He Sneaked The Mac’s Iconic Booting Up Sound Onto A Computer