Steve Jobs, the co-founder, former chairman and former chief executive of Apple Inc., one of the world's pre-eminent computer software and consumer electronics companies, has died today at age 56. The Apple home page has been replaced with a tribute picture of Jobs, leading to a quote about the legendary innovator saying that the company had lost "a visionary and creative genius," while the world had lost "an amazing human being."
Though more of an icon in finance and technology, Jobs also had an incalculable effect on the music industry through his company's introduction of iTunes and the iPod. Jobs predicted in 2003 that the iPod would "go down in history as a turning point for the music industry," and he couldn't have been more right. Since Apple's innovations were introduced earlier in the decade, a previously unthinkable amount of music has come to be purchased, transferred and consumed electronically, allowing entire basements' worth of CDs, vinyl and cassettes to be contained within a portable, hand-held player. Meanwhile, iTunes has come to be the nation's pre-eminent record store, with waiting in line to buy the new Guns n Roses record at midnight at Sam Goody or Tower Records being replaced by waiting on line to download the new Rihanna single at midnight on iTunes.
What's more, Jobs was huge fan of popular music himself. The Beatles, whose music was finally introduced on iTunes in 2010, were not just a favorite band of Jobs', they were his personal inspiration. "My model for business is The Beatles," he once commented to 60 Minutes. "They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people." And in a more direct tie-in to the music world, Jobs also allegedly dated famed singer/songwriter Joan Baez in the early '80s—in her memoir, And a Voice to Sing With, Baez thanks Jobs for "forcing me to use a word processor by putting one in my kitchen."
Here's a YouTube of a series of Jobs mentions of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, two musical heroes he often took the time to pay tribute to in presentations and addresses: