The story: Apple may have given users on-the-go access to thousands of songs with the iPod, but the device wasn't CEO Steve Jobs' preference when it came time to listen to music. "Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. His legacy is tremendous," said iconic rocker Neil Young at an All Things D technology conference on Tuesday. "But when he went home, he listened to vinyl." Jobs was reportedly working with Young to develop a new file format that approximated vinyl's sound quality, with 20 times the fidelity of a standard mp3. The Apple visionary was shocked that consumers were so willing to "trade quality... for convenience or price," said All Things D journalist Walt Mossberg, who interviewed Jobs before his death.
The reaction: It sounds like Neil Young found a kindred spirit to share his "extreme audiophilia" that "sometimes borders on insanity," says Matt Preira at the Miami News Times. But I'm hardly shocked that a perfectionist like Steve Jobs preferred vinyl despite "shilling iPods." The sound from those "tiny ear buds lacks the sonic depth and space" — and "warmth" — offered by a classic medium like vinyl. Yes, and Jobs was the "one man" who "would have been up to the task" of improving the mp3's horrid sound quality, says Christina Zibreg at 9to5 Mac. Sadly, he never got the chance. "You've got to believe that if he'd lived long enough," said Young, "he would have done what I'm trying to do."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
Subscribe to the Week