Heralding the release of their new laptop, the SonicMaster, Asus has created the SonicMaster Music Box to show off the power of sound.
The idea is a bit tangential to the use of a laptop, but stay with us here.
Using the Music Box, site visitors can select a "box" which comes in several varieties - rock star, diva, Casanova and prince charming to name a few - each with a small character inside. Next, users can upload a face-on photo of themselves over the character's face, rotating and zooming it in order to make it fit. The Music Box then allows for the creation of a recorded greeting or the use of a stock one that will be played while the character dances around, along with sound "graphs" that are generated. Finally, a message and title for the box are selected and it is created, ready to be sent to a specific individual or shared on a broader scale.
There are really no words to describe this...
If you're wondering what exactly this has to do with a laptop, we're right there with you. Sure, the site showcases sound, but only the sound that comes out the speakers we're using, not the ones on the Sonic Master - since we don't own one of those.
The site is also buggy. When we first tried to read the instructions about how to create a box, some of the text descriptions cut off abruptly or made no sense. For example, details on step number two - uploading a picture - read as "upload a photo of yourself. Drag and".
Also hovering just above the instructions page is this interesting message: "A few simple steps, SonicMaster will deliver your greetings for you! From your heart to someone’s ear, let your moving good voice be heard and be seen!"
We're really not sure what to make of it all.
Nonetheless, we persevered and created a character, complete with photo, message and description and sent it off to be processed. On the way, we needed to make an account, but the page was broken in such a way that we couldn't enter any information. Not to be deterred, we tried again, and this time were successful in registering, but had no luck actually creating a box. After five minutes at the "loading" screen post-registration, we tried a different browser to see if that was the issue but with similar results.
Look, we get the concept here, and if it works this could be a clever little greeting for people to share on Facebook or Twitter, have a few laughs and generally marvel at the odd stuff that the Internet is used for. Asus makes a good laptop, and we're sure that the Sonic Master will live up to its name, but the Music Box web site really isn't cutting it at the moment.
We will try again in a few days to see if we can get this thing to work before making a final post, so here's hoping we have better success the second time around.
Update: No such luck.
For three days, we've been trying to get the site to work, but with absolutely no success. If we can manage to create a music box, it won't actually display it or let us get to the link. Yesterday, submitting our own photo caused the site to "hang" for 10 minutes doing nothing, and today we can't even login as the e-mail and password fields are incorrectly marked and not working correctly.
We tried, we really did, and there was one brief moment where we saw the Music Box actually work. It was slightly amusing, and if the site was a bit more consistent, there might be some utility for it. Until it's fixed, though, this is tough going.