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History of the Jukebox

Jukeboxes are used for playing music via inserting coins. Jukeboxes have come a long way from its original design.

Long before the jukebox was known as such, this coin-slot phonograph was used for playing music. This “coin-slot” phonograph can only play a song for about 2 minutes. It was later on replaced by some of the original models. Hence, these models could play much music through the use of vinyl gramophone records.

Jukebox is a word that comes from “jook”. This is a slang term for a dance which is popular in the 20th century. The first common jargon employing the word was “jook joint”. This so called jook joints were casual public houses.

The first jukeboxes used 78 rpm records until 1950. It was in 1950 when the 45 rpm was released. It became the standard for years until digital music and compact disk came.

You will even hear retro diner in almost all the cities in the U.S. In the mid twentieth century, the most popular jukebox was called the “Wall box”. A wall box is a remote unit located in each dinner table. Customers can pay for songs being played on jukeboxes placed at the center. Wall boxes became famous because they are fun and convenient for customers.

The advancement of technology changed such 45 rpm types of jukeboxes that were produced even until the early 1980s. Hence, Jukeboxes only differ in appearance. Later on, compact discs became usual for jukeboxes. Digital jukeboxes had taken its lead because of ease and speed. The music files can be shared and transferred from the digital jukebox.

Jukeboxes play a significant part in the American trendy culture. This is for almost 100 years. Although changes in appearance and performance were made, the operation of this jukebox remained the same.

The unvarying appearance of jukeboxes was the pay-for-play policy. The first step is always to receive the payment. Thus, the process of selecting a song was the same for all the early models. The song selections were categorized by letters and numbers. If you want a song, just punch in the letters and numbers of the song that you want. Within seconds you can hear your desired music.

The earlier jukeboxes do not play the selections in order. The models then were constructed playing the side A of the 45s first, and then they would play the B sides.

Now, most establishments have fully digital jukeboxes. You can navigate the music that you want using an interactive touch screen. The new digital jukeboxes have the capability to download any music from the main database using the internet.

Here are some of the manufactured jukeboxes:

The AMI Jukebox

National Automatic Music Company started the AMI Jukeboxes. This company originated in 1909 when they produced the automatic player pianos. This player piano uses vinyl music rolls same as with coin-slot phonograph. Later it was developed by employing the latest technology, via multiple music rolls.

The latest technology was adapted in 1927, creating the first AMI Jukebox. This jukebox became prominent because they could play both sides of the 78 rpm records. This technology was used for almost three decades.

AMI used accepted architectural styles to get the artistic feel of their jukeboxes. In 1936 and 1937, they produced the TOP FLIGHT model. This model has an Art Deco design and patronized by early New York City Skyscrapers.

They also produced the SINGING TOWER which uses the Art Deco and Skyscrapers artistry to new level. Singing Tower was topped with lights like those on top of skyscraper. The use of new technology makes the light to change color as the music played. AMI continued to be dominant in the design of their jukeboxes throughout its Golden Years.

In 1950, the company made a licensing agreement with overseas companies. This was done to produce and market jukeboxes in Europe. The most famous and successful one was the BAL-AMI. It was the largest British manufacturer of jukeboxes in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Musicmatch Jukebox

Apple completely changed how we buy, store and listen to music in October of 2001. Apple introduced the iPod in this time together with its operating system, iTunes. For almost one year after that, Apple introduced its PC compatible iPod and its operating system, Musicmatch Jukebox.

Musicmatch had undergone few changes in its appearance and functionality. It had also undergone some changes of ownership. Yahoo!, an internet giant gained the right to the software on October 19, 2004.

Musicmatch is a software program that has an interface similar with a jukebox. The difference is the fact that it has many features. Musicmatch allows the user to upload their whole library of CDs onto digital files. Musicmatch can also link users to an extensive warehouse of digital music. The digital library of Musicmatch also allows user to burn their music on CDs.

Lastly, Musicmatch Jukebox can function like a jukebox. The latest version having huge storage capacity can upload thousands of song files. Musicmatch jukebox can also retrieve album art for corresponding song and album files.
About Author Christa Kowalczyk :

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Article Added on Saturday, September 27, 2008
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