A hot music technology in the days of Buddy Holly and the British Invasion, the coin-fed music boxes were on the wane long before the iPod came along. But the digital technology that is electrifying pop culture in the early days of the 21st century is also proving to be a boon for its elder relative.
Thanks to broadband connections, according to the Boston Globe, a barfly can theoretically choose a favorite song from among 2 million tunes for just a couple of quarters. At one bar in Boston, the choice is somewhat more limited, at a mere 150,000 songs. But Wi-Fi on some jukeboxes allows laptop-wielding patrons to dash off a Billy Holiday-inspired e-mail, and tunes should always be up-to-the-minute, meaning no more worrying about whether the latest song in the jukebox is Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen.
One company with high hopes for Internet-enabled jukeboxes is San Francisco-based Ecast--whose Make Mine First service allows patrons to plop in some extra coin to hear their songs ahead of others that are already cued up. As if some folks needed an invitation to a bar fight.
It's unclear, however, what effect the new jukebox technology would have on a specter that reportedly is haunting a jukebox at a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. Apparently, the ghost in the machine is a big fan of Brit-pop sensation Robbie Williams.