Steve Jobs Listened To His Music On Vinyl, And Neil Young Wants All Of Us To Follow

Steve Jobs listened to his music on vinyl.

Let that sink in for a minute. The king of digital music, the man who introduced the software that allows all of us now to play our music on digital hardware, would fire up the turntable and drop a needle on vinyl when he got home.

If you’ve read Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. This is a man who spent much of his formative college years as a hippie in California listening to everything from Bach to Hendrix in various states of consciousness. It was all about the experience. Even as he began to build the Apple empire, quality of the product was what separated him from the pack.

In Walt Mossberg’s interview with Neil Young at the D: Dive Into Media conference, Young said he spoke with Jobs about creating a format that has 20 times the fidelity of files in the most current digital formats, including MP3.

Several interesting quotes from Young throughout the interview, including his admiration of his record label, and his thoughts on piracy in the music business.

“What I like about record companies is that they present and nurture artists,” he said. “That doesn’t exist on iTunes, it doesn’t exist on Amazon. That’s what a record company does, and that’s why I like my record company. People look at record companies like they’re obsolete, but there’s a lot of soul in there — a lot of people who care about music, and that’s very important.”

Then why is it the case that some artists complain so much about the economics of the industry?

Said Young, “Those artists should go by themselves. They have a choice of what they can do. Artists who want to go it alone should just do that.”

Finally, Young discussed piracy, which he doesn’t view as the threat that some other musicians do.

“Piracy is the new radio,” said Young. “That’s how music gets around.” has the videos and some stories, HuffingtonPost has a good review of Young’s interview.


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