Bloomberg News

Neil Young Worked With Steve Jobs on High-Fidelity Music

February 01, 2012

(Adds Neil Young comments starting in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Musician Neil Young said he worked with Steve Jobs on a high-fidelity music service before Apple Inc. shelved the project.

While chief executive officer of Apple, Jobs sought to offer uncompressed music digitally, Young said today at an AllThingsD.com media conference in Dana Point, California. Apple “pretty much” has stopped working on the project, said Young, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who is known for the songs “Harvest Moon” and “Heart of Gold.”

Digital music purchased through Apple’s iTunes or other online retailers contain a fraction of the original recording quality, Young, 66, said. Full versions of songs, which take about 30 minutes each to download, could be sent to devices with larger storage overnight, he said.

“The convenience of the digital age has forced people to choose between quality and convenience,” Young said. “They shouldn’t have to make that choice.”

Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment. The Cupertino, California-based company has released a limited number of albums with higher-quality audio, including recordings by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wilco.

Jobs, who died Oct. 5, listened to records even though he pioneered the sale of digital music, Young said.

Apple gained 0.6 percent to $455.75 at 2:54 p.m. in New York trading. The stock climbed 26 percent in 2011.

--With assistance from Adam Satariano in San Francisco. Editors: Romaine Bostick, Jeffrey Tannenbaum

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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