Because of his songwriting credits, Pete Townshend — with an estimated net worth of £10 million (US $20 million) — has always been the biggest Who earner. Now he’s co-created a Web-based software program that allows the rest of us mere mortals to compose our own classics: Method.  

Long story short, the software — which launches tomorrow on a trial basis — asks users to input two audio samples (including, but not limited to, a voice), a rhythm sample, and a favorite photograph. Method then compiles the four elements into a piece of “musical DNA.”

“The Method is software that creates music, allowing you to ‘sit’ for a musical portrait just as if you were being painted,” says the software’s Web site. “The software ‘paints’ your music. It will only take a few minutes of your time.”

For years, software programs have existed to help screenwriters come up with their next movie, but is this a significant departure from such formulaic composition? I’m curious how a photograph might translate into music, but all I can (sort of) visualize at this point is a converse of iTunes’ Visualizer, which creates lava lamp-type graphics as the music plays.

The Townshend stamp of approval gives Method its own cachet, but don’t expect to get as rich as its creator. The copyright knots are still being worked out, but Pete has expressed hopes that everyone will share their compositions amongst one another.

Insert your own lyric here.