Eddy Cue: Apple’s internet software overlord on Spatial Audio, Justin Bieber and Steve Jobs:

Once when I was a kid, my dad brought home a quadraphonic hi-fi system.

It was this new format that was going to take over from stereo, but it never really took off. It’s amazing we haven’t really had a big shift in audio like we’ve had in video, so I’ve been waiting a long time for Spatial Audio.

Sometimes new technologies are gimmicks.

But this isn’t like that at all. It allows you to be in the room with the musicians actually performing right there.

The first person to show me Spatial Audio was Adam Levine from Maroon 5.

He called me up and said, “I’m going to send you something I want you to listen to. It’s a real gamechanger for music and it’s hard to imagine ever going back. ” I think we’re going to see Spatial Audio everywhere. It never happened before that there’s been a new technology where most of the equipment you already have – iPhone, iPad, AirPods – works already.

We really did not have this tech in mind three or four years ago.

The last couple of years we did, because we thought:
it was a real opportunity. Few people can tell the difference with Lossless Audio, but listen to the same song in Spatial Audio and everyone can tell which is better.

There are millions of songs to be converted to Spatial Audio.

But it’s not a simple case of taking your song, processing it through a piece of software and out comes Spatial Audio. You actually have to work and remix everything… but if you’re a musician and you haven’t heard this, the first time you do you’ll be amazed. And then you’ll know it’s a no-brainer.

I love Justin Bieber.

If you looked at my playlists you’d be like, “Why would he be listening to that?” – but he’s an incredible talent. But I also love Bruce Springsteen and The Weeknd, and one of the cool things about Apple Music and before that iTunes is that you’re exposed to all music. I do not remember my parents listening to the music I listened to… but I listen to music my kids like and they listen to music I like, because it is so accessible.

Music and Apple go way back.

That goes back to the Apple II days when Steve: [Jobs] always talked about how music had changed his life. He was a huge Dylan fan and a huge Beatles fan, and listening to music shaped his life. It was a big component when he founded Apple and it started with MIDI, providing tools to create music; and we continued down that path all the way to iTunes.

Voice Memos are a huge hit with musicians.

Of course you’ve got Logic Pro and GarageBand, but with Voice Memos you think of a lyric and record it right there on your phone. We’ve always tried to build tech for musicians to create and listeners to listen.

I’ve been at Apple 32 years.

When I started, the company was in the desktop publishing heyday. It was doing really well, then it did really poorly for a long time and we lost our way. I was lucky enough to meet Steve when he came back and it’s been incredible ever since.

Steve Jobs had a wish.

He wanted Apple to be what it was while he was there a hundred years from now. He always talked about that and I’m really proud the culture is something we’ve kept. We’ve taken products to incredible levels and I think he’d be proud and amazed. I look at the products we’re creating today, and more importantly get a glimpse at the products we’re creating for the future, and I wake up every day as excited about being here as I was 30 years ago.

Eddy Cue is Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio are available on Apple Music, from £ 9.99 / m.