herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Jobs loved records over his iPod, reveals rocker

ROCKER Neil Young took his campaign for higher-fidelity digital sound to the stage of a technology conference, saying a giant of the industry was on his side -- the late Steve Jobs.

Mr Young said the Apple co-founder was such a fan of music that he did not use his iPod and its digitally compressed files at home. Instead, he used a physical format well-known to have better sound.

"Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. His legacy is tremendous," Mr Young said. "But when he went home, he listened to vinyl."

Mr Young told the D: Dive Into Media conference in California that he spoke to Mr Jobs about creating a format that had 20 times the fidelity of files in the most current digital formats, including mp3.

Such a format, he said, would contain 100pc of the data of music as it is created in a studio, as opposed to 5pc in compressed formats including Apple's AAC. Each song would be huge, and a new storage and playback device might only hold 30 albums. Each song would take about 30 minutes to download, which is fine if you leave your device on overnight. "Sleep well. Wake up in the morning. Play some real music and listen to the joy of 100pc of the sound of music," he added.

Mr Young did not have a practical plan for developing such a format -- saying it was for "rich people" to decide -- but he said Mr Jobs was on board with the idea before he died of cancer at 56 in October.

"I talked to Steve about it. We were working on it," Mr Young said. "You've got to believe if he lived long enough he would eventually try to do what I'm trying to do."

Mr Young's opinion of Mr Jobs was confirmed by interviewer Walt Mossberg, a journalist with News Corp's All Things D website, which hosted Mr Jobs at its conferences. Mossberg said Mr Jobs expressed surprise that "people traded quality, to the extent they had, for convenience or price".

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

hnews@herald.ie

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