November 16, 2010
Before I start, I’m going to warn all you 20 and 30 somethings, or generally selfish people to stop reading now. You don’t care. You wanted the latest and greatest iDevice, or a software update, or a cloud service, or something just for you personally. You were disappointed because Apple’s announcement wasn’t for you. Get over it. Move on. There is nothing here for you. Or to quote the Beatles, “Let it be.”
As to the rest of us, the non-selfish and the baby boomer generation (and yes, boomers still make up 28% of the US population and we have $2.3 TRILLION in disposable income), this one’s for us.
I have almost all the original Beatles albums on vinyl. They are practically useless. Although I still own a turntable, my stereo system went long ago in favor of a cd player. At one point I decided I needed to rip all my vinyl to mp3. Do you have any idea how expensive needles are?! So I bought the needle. I bought all the necessary cables to connect my dusty turntable to my computer. And I bought software to capture the sound from said turntable and remove the crackles and pops associated with vinyl.
Then I ripped my first track. If I recall correctly, it took several tries. By the fourth attempt, I didn’t want to hear the song again any time soon, and wanted to turn the volume off. This meant that I would have to rip the album as one long mp3 and separate them later. It all became too much, and I abandoned my plans to rip my (extensive) vinyl collection to mp3. Some day I’ll purchase one of the newer digital outfits that do it all automagically.
But in the meanwhile, I can purchase all the Beatles I can listen to from iTunes. I was quick to purchase Rubber Soul, my personal favorite. I will wait on others, like the White Album, but only because I have not one, but two vinyl copies, and I did manage to get a good bit of it ripped before giving up on the project.
This is as ground-breaking as Steve Jobs claims, and you know I’m neither a big Apple fan, nor a huge Jobs fan. However, this is the first time that the Beatles have been legally available in digital format. Anywhere. Ever. And it’s huge.
You have to keep in mind that just like Apple, the Beatles changed everything. Music, clothing, hair – they embodied the 60′s, and contributed greatly to the culture. Just like people remember where they were when they heard the news of Kennedy’s assassination, many people remember hearing their first Beatles song. And with as much grief as with the former, we remember hearing the news of the death of John Lennon, the first of the Fab Four to die before his time.
So thank you, Apple. Thank you, Steve Jobs. You have reminded us of times when things were less serious, and when we knew we could take on the world. I hope it will be as easy for Apple to take on the me generation!