Floppy Drive Music: Geek Goodness With The Soundtracks Of Our Times

We hate to admit it, but where old tech is concerned - tech we grew up with - not everyone feels nostalgic about it with completely fond memories. It could be because the newer tech is just so much better, or more common sense. Take the old IDE cable interface, for example. Plugging that thing in was a true chore. So too was the need of having to manually set the dip switch at the back to treat a drive either as a slave or master. Who ever thought that was level of complexity was a good thing?

Floppy Drive

While the SATA connector dramatically improved our storage's I/O connection, so too did optical media serve as a better replacement for magnetic media with floppy drives. Floppies came in all shapes and sizes, and ultimately, they were slow, sometimes fragile and, not unlike a dial-up modem, were incredibly noisy when in use.

Soft Cell Tainted Love

Well, while IDE cables and dial-up modems have limited use nowadays, there's been an odd resurgence of the floppy. No, not to store data, but rather to take advantage of that obnoxious noise to create music. This is made possible thanks to the fact that the noises will differ based on how the floppy is being used - written to or read from - at a given time. Some incredibly creative people have taken good advantage of this interesting design feature by pairing up many drives to work together to create recognizable music score. Such as Soft Cell's 80s classic Tainted Love... Oh the joy.

OK, so that's not the best representation of the song. It's definitely the most unique, though. While that particular track was done with a dozen or more drives, there are some tunes that can be played just fine on one or two drives. Such as Star Wars' Imperial March:

When floppy music first hit the Web, we're not sure anyone expected that it'd become such a hit and that others would come up with their own melodic recreations. Today, sites like YouTube are littered with floppy music, and it's not hard to find extremely well-done presentations. A particular favorite of mine is of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit:

Here's a helping of other recreated classics: Doctor Who's theme, theme from Phantom Of The Opera, as well as the theme from Ghostbusters:

There's something about that grind and buzz that somehow brings back memories of the good ol' days of computing, along with the soundtracks of the times. Are there any particular favorites you have?

Tags:  music, floppy