Apple’s music revolution: How Steve Jobs changed the art of making music

“Over the past few weeks, the death of Steve Jobs triggered a wild rush of fans to measure and celebrate the impact of Apple technologies on modern music-making,” Dave Bidini writes for The National Post.

“Web posts and chat forums hung heavy with long testimonials espousing the benefits of portable, one-touch recording systems, and the ability to fly tracks across continents via email so that world music could be drawn closer together,” Bidini writes. “One blogger’s take compared the seismic impact of The Beatles’ Apple era to Jobs’ Apple revolution. It’s a creative angle, surely, but one fraught with a conflicting paradigm: The Beatles made art, while Jobs made a tool to create art. Comparisons to da Vinci were equally conflicted, although a bigger question remained unanswered: Did Jobs’ spirited inventions work to improve art, or make it so that the best was never as great while the worst was just that much better?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Returning choice to music consumers is one of Jobs’ many achievements.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Steve Jobs was a visonary. he was a technological wonderkind whose taste and marketing saavy catopulted Apple to new heights. But, he destroyed how we “make” music by trivializing the creation of music by foisting a la carte purchasing on the public. while it may be ok to cherry pick the latest pop confection, it is not alright to destroy the artists’ ability to create albums and have those same artists control how they are consumed. “dark Side of the Moon” is an “album”, not a collection of singles. It should be treated as such.

    1. Record companies dont SPEAK TO ME. They know that it is US AND THEM and it’s all about the MONEY. They make it ANY COLOR YOU LIKE. Luckily not all have BRAIN DAMAGE. Let’s hope before the ECLIPSE we all make it to the GREAT GIG IN THE SKY otherwise we are ON THE RUN and out of TIME.

      1. On first read, I imagined Chris Farley in a tweed suit and thick black glasses emphasizing the bold bits with quotation gestures.

        Well maybe I’m not “the norm”. I’m not “camera friendly”, I don’t “wear clothes that fit me”, I don’t “fall in line”, I’m not “hygienic”, I don’t “wipe properly”, I lack “style”, I don’t have “self-esteem”, I have no “charisma”, I don’t “own a toothbrush”, I don’t “let my scabs heal”

    2. Total crap. During the 1970s Radio stations always cherry picked the most popular songs and played them *alone*. They would also shorten them or commissioned “Radio releases” that only played the best bits. For most listeners (not me), Dark Side of the Moon is a boring, semi-depressing experience from cover to cover, and that’s why the only song heard on the radio was “Money”.

      There is nothing stopping an artist today from creating one huge 30 minute “song” (or album if you want to call it that).

      1. Right.
        And only the stuff they play on the radio is good.
        Darkside of the Moon was on the billboard charts every week for over 20 years as a best selling album. Thats every week. It’s the best selling album in history. Period. Its loved because you can go back and relisten and always discover something. Its without a doubt the high water mark for Pink Floyd’s knob turning, and studio effects. But if you only listened to the FM staple MONEY you’ve got no clue. Do yourself a favor.
        Make a cocktail, put on the headphones and drop the needle to the vinyl. Its bliss.
        Or you can always go turn on your FM radio and listen to Steve Miller’s The Joker one more time…
        Your choice music lover.

      1. Bingo. Steve Jobs enabled choice. When given the option to blindly spend $14 on a new CD because you liked one song, or spend $0.99 on a good song, the answer is obvious. We just had no choice before.

        I’m really looking forward to choice in Television programming.

  2. I bought a lot of CDs. Some tracks I did not like. I did not import them into my iTunes music library. My playlists are exactly what I love. Thank you Steve! Streaming thru AirPlay to multiple speakers at once all throughout the house, raise the rafters with joy!

  3. “The Beatles made art, while Jobs made a tool to create art.”

    Jobs’ company, Apple, and the third parties that wrote software for Apple’s hardware products, made many tools to create art.

    The thing the author completely misses is that the various hardware that Apple made were, at the same time, works of art that Steve Jobs had a great part in designing/building.

    Steve Jobs was an artist too.

  4. I don’t like buying music from iTunes because of the lack of liner notes. Some have liner notes but most do not and for that reason alone, I still prefer CDs. Now, if I could somehow scan those liner notes into iTunes such that it would be associated with the music it represents…

  5. Steve Jobs didn’t change the ART of making music.
    That is just insane. Steve Jobs and Apple forced industry to change
    (to horrible) formats and processes – and though Apple was never an Audio/Music company it deigned itself one to cash in on a crumbling market – thus people were forced to adapt.
    That is all.

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