VOCALOID is a Singing Synthesizer technology and application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by just typing in lyrics and melody. Yamaha announced its development in 2003 and in January 2004 the first application software product was launched. It was not released as a Yamaha product, but a software package of Vocaloid Singer Libraries developed by third party licensees which included Yamaha’s Vocaloid software. So far, Leon, Lola and Miriam have been released from Zero-G Limited, UK, while Meiko and Kaito have been released from Crypton Future Media, Japan.
In January 2007 Yamaha announced a new version of the software engine, VOCALOID2 , with various major improvements in usability and synthesis quality. Zero-G and others have announced plans to release products powered by the new software engine in 2007. PowerFX have released the first English package that is powered by VOCALOID2, Sweet Ann. Crypton has followed and announced a series of character VOCALOID2 packages to be released. The first being Hatsune Miku.
On October 18, 2007, a Internet BBS website reported Miku Hatsune became victim of censorship by Google. Also, Miku Hatsune was delisted by Yahoo! Japan image search, though it was relisted on October 19, 2007.
In November 2007, Hatsune Miku occupied places of the ranking from the top to the 15th at famous Japanese independent music sites ‘muzie’. In December 2007, she occupied the places of the ranking from the top to the 20th.