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A Pentium Piano?

Techstination feature for Monday, May 15, 2000

Mr. Gates, your piano is ready. It is a marvel of a musical instrument. Yamaha has taken the marriage of music and technology to the extreme in creating what it calls the Disklavier Pro 2000. There are only a few prototypes touring the country. A cherry wood and brushed aluminum finish, a Plexiglass top, a touch screen LCD panel to one side, a DVD drive in the front and a Pentium III computer hidden underneath. A grand piano? Actually it's more like three hundred grand. I told you this is for Mr. Gates. Pop in a disc (sound) and it literally is like having Garrick Ohlsson play a waltz in your living room. The piano entertainment system can do a whole lot more. Yamaha's James Steeber...

"Without electricity this piano will do anything that great piano will do without electricity. That is, play acoustically." Plug it in and what happens? "Plug it in and you have more choice. Plug it in and anyone stepping up to it wishing to record a performance can do so from this very piano keyboard. If I were to play a piece of music for you with the recording mechanism on, it will record faithfully everything I played."

I think that's a hint... (sound) When the music is played back, it isn't through speakers, the piano plays. Gee, my computer only does Lotus Notes. You can find an archive of our compositions at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.