Monday 9 December 2019

Bono told Jobs: 'iTunes looks like a spreadsheet'

Sam Griffin

Bono helped transform the layout of Apple's modern devices, he revealed on the closing day of the Web Summit.

Speaking on the main stage, the U2 frontman recalled being with Apple creator Steve Jobs in a house in France a number of years before iPhones or iPads had been built by the tech giant.

"I pointed to a flat screen TV where iTunes was up, and I said: 'Steve, you care a lot about the way things look. It's important to you, design?'" Bono recalled.

"He said: 'Yes, it is'. So I said, why does that look like a spreadsheet?"

Bono said he went on to ask why the layout couldn't appear more appealing - with album covers and lyrics appearing on the screen, and other features. Bono said Jobs replied: "We don't have the operating system for that right now, but one day we will."

Taking part in a panel discussion on how the music industry has been influenced by technology, Bono said he was delighted to be working with Apple following the release of U2's album 'Songs of Innocence', which automatically downloaded on to iTunes accounts. He indicated the band wouldn't repeat the controversial stunt again.

Speaking about Ireland's tax regime, he said: "I think we should be really sanguine about the fact that the 12.5pc corporate tax rate is a great thing, but actually what's going to keep companies here is the environment of tech-savvy, smart, talented, bright minds that is our workforce."

Turning to music again, he said he would still be very excited to be starting a band despite some of the excesses of the industry.

"The greatest way to serve your songs is to get them heard. I'm already paid too much. I'm a spoilt rotten, overpaid over-nourished rock star (but) if I was starting a band now at age 17 or 18, I would be very excited," he said.

Irish Independent

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