Pete Wentz – I Remember My First iPod
As with a lot of things, sometimes it takes an outsider to shake things up. That’s how it was with Steve Jobs and the music industry.
Jobs singlehandedly changed the way people interact with music more so than most people within the music industry this century. He proved that music could not only become hyper-relevant again, but that it would become significant in ways that most people could never have imagined. Inexpensive. Portable. Easy. Fun. Sharable.
Music has always been a thread that runs through most people's lives, but with the invention of iTunes and the iPod, it could live and breathe anywhere. Everywhere.
I remember the first iPod that was released – I got it from my parents as a present and the first thing I thought was, “This thing looks strange!” It was nothing like a CD, a tape or vinyl, the things I always associated music with. I thought, I don't know if this is ever going to catch on.
Obviously, I could not have been more wrong. Steve Jobs married art, design and function together in ways that diehard fans and casual listeners would both find appealing.
I think that one of the most integral and iconic parts of this transformation was the way it affected both fans and artists. I remember being flown to Cupertino when iTunes decided to include the "Complete My Album" feature on one of their updates. I remember how they explained the concept to me and it excited me both as a fan of music and as an artist.
What was so revolutionary about his ideas was that he approached them as a fan of music and as a consumer would. It wasn’t about how fast it could go, how much RAM it had or what the processor speed was. But rather: Was it cool? What can I do with it? Where can I take it? How can it make my life easier and better?
Jobs once said, "My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts."
Musicians and fans alike have lost a great ally in Steve Jobs, but I for one, am grateful to have been able to witness such great invention.
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