Words on World Music

Jobs, Well Done


Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The tributes continue to pour in for Steve Jobs. A friend of mine described his emotions as similar to what he felt when Jim Henson died. It makes sense when you think about it. Both men evoked a child-like wonder in us; one with the characters he brought to life through puppetry, the other with devices which far outstripped anything we had dreamed possible, beyond Dick Tracy watch-phones and Star Trek communicators. Editorials have likened Jobs to this generation’s Thomas Edison, but more accurately I think he could be compared to Henry Ford. One developed manufacturing techniques and product components to deliver on the promise of a car in every driveway. Jobs pushed the technology to deliver on the promise of an iPhone in every pocket, even if some of those are now androids. Both men offered their world-changing inventions in any colour you want, as long as it’s black (or in the case of the new 4S, black or white). Of course, today’s Nanos come more colours than a bag of Skittles. Music is another area where Jobs gave us not only the technology but the terminology to define it, hence this podcast. He also developed a new model for an industry that was being sucked dry by piracy. The iTunes Store, while not one of my favorite Steve Jobs innovations, is a benchmark for how music can be consumed fairly in the wild west of the internet. Then, there’s that annoying proprietary aspect of Mac products. Why, for instance, can’t I view the flash elements of worldbeatcanada.com on my iPhone, but I can on my buddy’s android? Apparently, that little pisser is going to be resolved this month with an upgrade from Adobe, the Apple competitor that developed that technology. Kudos to the Vancouver Courier newspaper’s Kudos & Kvetches writers who shamed headline writers all over for coming up with lame-ass missives like “iSad,” “iMourn,” and “Apple turnover (which they made up on the side)”. They also coined the best goodbye I’ve heard yet, “Jobs well done”. 

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