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Apple CEO Tim Cook talks Steve Jobs, Beats, and why TV is stuck in the '70s

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks Steve Jobs, Beats, and why TV is stuck in the '70s


The first part of his interview with Charlie Rose airs tonight

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Apple CEO Tim Cook recently taped a lengthy, two-part interview with Charlie Rose, and the first half of their discussion will air tonight. Thanks to some preview clips that've been released ahead of the show, we know at least three topics that will come up this evening: Apple TV, Beats, and Steve Jobs. Much of what you'll hear in Cook's responses to Rose isn't entirely new; Apple's chief is rehearsed to the point where you can almost predict what he'll say about a given subject. On TV, Cook said it's an area Apple continues to have "great interest in" — a common refrain — and reiterated that from his company's perspective, the entire industry has been left behind and lacked innovation for decades. "If we're really honest, it's stuck back in the 70s," he said. "It almost feels like you're rewinding the clock and you've entered a time capsule and you're going backwards."

When asked why Apple felt the need to buy Beats, Cook said his company gravitated towards Beats thanks in no small part to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, two people he describes as "creative geniuses." But it's now becoming very clear that Beats Music factored into Apple's thinking in a big way. "I went into the thing skeptically," he said of the subscription music service. "One night I'm sitting playing with theirs versus some others. And all of a sudden it dawns on me that when I listen to theirs, I feel completely different," Cook said.

"It's hard to describe. But you know it when you feel it."

He attributes that difference to the emphasis Beats Music puts on human curation. "The sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel. It's hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it." Apparently one night of listening to Beats Music was all it took. "I couldn't sleep that night, and so I was thinking 'We need to do this.'" Cook also said Apple can help extend the worldwide reach of Beats headphones and voiced excitement about their future collaborations.

Cook also discussed Steve Jobs during his chat with Rose, and it's by far the most genuine and heartfelt of the three clips that have been released so far. Again, he starts off with a familiar line. "He is deep in Apple's DNA. His spirit will always be at the foundation of the company," Cook said. But he then shared something that hasn't really been public knowledge until now: Steve Jobs' fourth-floor office at Apple's headquarters remains untouched, "left as it was" before he died — complete with his name on the door. That will either strike you as a nice token of remembrance or perhaps a little bit strange, but it's clear that Jobs' influence is still very real in Apple's halls. "I literally think about him every day," Cook said.

Part one of Tim Cook's interview on The Charlie Rose Show airs tonight. It's somewhat rare to see sit-down interviews with Apple's top boss, but he's currently on something of a publicity tour as Apple prepares to launch two new iPhones, iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and next year, the Apple Watch.

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