Wednesday, November 23, 2011

he did it again

a handful of years ago, itunes updated and changed their music layout options.  you could display your music as a song list, an album list, a grid list, or a cover flow.  at that time, i mostly just listened to playlists of hundreds of my favorite songs and singles and thought the cover flow was a pretty cool-looking way to do that.  but the new grid list option laid out all of your music by album and, you moused over an album, displayed the option, "play album."

i hadn't really listened to "an album" since i migrated to itunes and mp3s.  i just listened to a large pile of my favorite songs like it was kjef, all jeff, all the time.  but now that i was presented with this novel idea of listening to a whole album, i started doing just that.  and that got me looking into the great albums of music history.  i bought the who, david bowie, the clash, bob dylan, kraftwerk, the talking heads, oingo boingo, and whatever else sounded cultured.
the way i listened to music changed because steve jobs changed how itunes organizes its music.

a few weeks ago, i was whittling a few minutes before my dance class and meandered through the school bookstore.  on display near the entrance was the steve jobs biography.  i flipped through it, but it was $35 that i couldn't spare (fanny and alexander just came out on blu-ray, after all...) and while i consider myself a literate person, i'm not a big reader.

leaving the store, i pulled out my phone and opened up my kindle app.  a cell phone seems too small to be a practical reading option, but i downloaded the app last year because, well, because i could.  browsing the online store, amazon had the biography for $15, which still feels like a lot for something i'm downloading onto my phone.  but they had a preview i could get for free.

rather than the scrolling function like browsing the web, the pages flipped to the side, a feature that i hadn't thought about but which made reading much more convenient.  the book was wonderfully written, the small screen size broke up the text into convenient bite-size chunks and i loved that i wasn't carrying a three-inch thick tome but could just pull out my phone whenever i had a moment.  and i seemed to be looking for so many moments that, when i reached the middle of the second chapter where my preview stopped, i took less than a minute to decide that taking a lunch to school each day would justify that $15.  i downloaded the book and continued reading in the dark, the pages themselves being the only source of light.

being that my phone is essentially an iphone clone, steve jobs has now gotten me back into reading again.

note: if you're interested in biographies or in apple (i'm of the latter camp) and the book sounds in any way interesting to you, i highly recommend it.  i'm pulling out at every chance i get, in the moments between plays at a football game, when i'm waiting the drive-through at layne's, before tithing settlement... it's such a crazy story, i'd say it was too much if it was fiction.

1 comment:

The Former 786 said...

Did you ever see the film Pirates of Silicon Valley? I hear it's a very interesting look into the life of this remarkable man.