Apple Print
I wrote many, many headlines for Apple during my time there, but none as noteworthy as “Rip. Mix. Burn.” It was written to announce the launch of iTunes, which was, at the time, a small but exciting piece of software that we had high hopes for. The headline went through what felt like a million iterations before we got close to the three controversial words. The second to last version was “Rip. Spin. Mix. Burn.,” but Steve killed the Spin. At first I was disappointed, but I soon realized the favor he’d done me. Due to his fondness for the line, it appeared everywhere—outdoor, print, TV, etc.—gathering loads of controversy along the way. A year later, Wired magazine featured it on the cover together with the Hindenburg crashing suggesting the “end” of the music industry. We all know how that went. P.S. In 2015 I was contacted by a PhD student at the University of Adelaide in Australia investigating innovation in digital music technology. He wanted to speak to me regarding my experience with the Rip. Mix. Burn. iTunes campaign after having talked with other experts including Cary Sherman (head of the RIAA), Karlheinz Brandenburg (creator of mp3), John Chowning (creator of FM computer music), and Thomas Dolby (artist). Needless to say, after having a laugh over him calling me an expert, I said yes.
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