Tuesday 22 October 2019

Ed Power

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Back in the day: With iTunes, consumers could buy individual songs. Photo: Getty

Ed Power: iTunes wasn't perfect, but it helped save the music industry 

One Sunday night early in 2005, I stayed up for hours watching a tiny download bar progress across my computer screen. I'd just made my first purchase on iTunes. The online music store was newly launched in Ireland, some two years after being unveiled by Apple as a potential saviour of a record industry ravaged by illegal downloads. Half a lifetime latter, iTunes is now set for the great recycling bin in the sky with Apple announcing it is to replace the ancient interface with a series of newer apps.

Dublin calling: The Clash played Trinity College in 1977

The Clash at Trinity: an education in punk 

The news broke just as the queue had started to form outside the exam hall of Trinity College Dublin on the evening of October 21, 1977. Half a world away, a plane carrying American classic rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd had crashed during landing, claiming the lives of several band members and backing crew. This seemed a grisly metaphor for the upheavals then gripping rock and roll, with the old dinosaurs of the genre being, or so it felt, violently deposed for the up-and-comers from punk.