I don’t know how I feel about Steve Jobs retiring. Mixed emotions, to be sure. On one hand he and his minions single handedly killed the ‘old way’ or, more specifically, ‘my way’ of listening to music. He created a world where the single is King. He created a world of too easy access to songs and bands and in the process took all the mystery, fun and discovery out of the equation, which was a very large, enjoyable and rewarding (sometimes frustrating) part of being a lover and collector of music. And don’t get me started on Apple playing the part of the Grim Reaper when it comes to album covers, lyric sheets and liner notes. They killed the art element, too.
On the other hand, I have to believe that the iPod (and it’s ear-buds, and it’s library, etc) is just a natural part of technological evolution and would have happened with or without him and his products. What is the iPod if nothing more than a smaller, more convenient and technologically superior cousin to the Sony Walkman? The reasons I have turned the way of the Luddites recently is not that I hate the new technology; it’s because I haven’t the resources to make it work properly. No MP3 jack in the car, no easy way to connect my slower than slow computer to my stereo without running wires through my living room floor and a thousand other reasons that would bore you all to tears in a matter of seconds. It’s not the sound quality of MP3’s, because I believe that if you’ve got a good enough system only the snobbiest of audiophiles are able to spot the differences in quality.
I actually really like the convenience of having access to all my music on a device the size of a credit card. Really. I just wish I had the means to use it.
So, congrats to Mr. Jobs, for all he’s done, good and bad.