Sunday, October 09, 2011

it's remarkable how little Steve Jobs impinged directly on my life

i own just one of his products, and hardly ever use it

indirectly, of course, he's impinged hugely on the world I inhabit

in so far as

the 2000s saw a revolution in listening habits

but no revolution in music per se

(with the two things not unconnected)

here's Eric Harvey in Pitchfork assessing the Jobs legacy

these two sentences caught my eye:

"by squeezing the equivalent of 100 jukeboxes into a device the size of a pack of cards"

and later

"it's likely in 50 years that the iPod will look as dated as the diner jukebox does today"

now there have been hundreds, possibly thousands of songs, about jukeboxes

("Jukebox Heroes", the "record machine" in "Jump" and "I Love Rock'n'Roll" etc etc)

but there is--as far as I know--not a single song about the iPod

and the reason for that isn't hard to work out: not only is the jukebox a broadcast medium (like a micro-range version of radio--and how many thousands of songs are there about the radio?), it is a social focus, a place around which things happen, in a way that the iPod hardly ever is

I mean, can you imagine Joan Jett singing "I saw sitting him there autistically insulated in his portable sound-womb"?