If you use a Mac or an iPhone, the various sounds the device makes have probably become so familiar that they have faded into the background. But where did those various beeps and clicks come from? An interview below with former Apple sound designer Jim Reekes reveals the role the Beatles played in two of the Mac’s iconic sounds, as well as what you’re hearing every time you take a picture with your phone.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


6 Thoughts on "Origins of the Everyday: Apple Sounds"

I guess irony really is dead. This fellow, a former Apple (not the Beatles Apple) apparatchik, cracks a joke that “Beatles Apple” (Apple no. 1, chronologically) sued “computer Apple” because “I guess the Beatles didn’t have enough money.” Stack up the respective Apple assets side by side, bro. You might want to work on the joke a little.

To be fair, the lawsuit dates to 1986, long before Apple was the behemoth it would later become. And Reekes left Apple in the late 90s, probably at the nadir of the PowerPC days (OSX was first released in 1997), and as he notes in the video above, he was not a participant in the riches that followed.

Point taken, thanks. But that makes me wonder: Apple was as closely identified with the Beatles as apple pie is with Americana. Why use their name? Why go up against a monster rock band if you’re a fledgling computer company? And why wouldn’t the Beatles sue? If only to encouragez les autres.

Yes, well that rather confirms my point. They knew it was the Beatles’ company and went ahead anyway. I doubt if I invented a new kind of printing paper for books and called them Macbooks or whatever they’d be too pleased.

. . . and they would surely sue me, “as if they didn’t have enough money already. . .”

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