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Vega, Like the Star?

After you install Leopard and restart your computer (or allow it to restart), Apple plays a nifty little movie that’s a bit over the top. As with Tiger, the movie welcomes you in many languages before settling down to allow you to perform basic configuration. But Tiger’s introduction seems sedate compared to the whirling trip through space in 3D you take with Leopard’s startup. Apparently, they want to make sure you understand this is a different animal.

What I noticed, however, was that a few moments into the “song” – revised from their “doo-doo-doo” music that’s been in use for a while – there’s a bit of human voice saying, “doot doo doo doo doot da doo doo.” It didn’t go on for long, but was clearly a reference to Suzanne Vega’s 1987 song Tom’s Diner.

Far be it for me to spin a crazy tale, but…

  • Leopard has a space theme. Vega is a star musician, but also a star in the constellation Lyra.
  • Tom’s Diner was the song used to tune the warmth of the MP3 music encoding format.
  • DNA, two British producers, created an illegal remix of Tom’s Diner in 1990, which Vega liked so much her label legitimized and released their version, which rose to No. 2 on the UK charts. See, there are compromises besides legal action?
  • Vega was the star chosen by Carl Sagan for his book Contact from which a first contact signal originates. (John Moltz of Crazy Apple Rumors Site provided this detail.)
  • The diner in the song is really called Tom’s Restaurant – I visited it once just before seeing Suzanne Vega perform in about 1987 – and was used as an exterior shot and interior model for Seinfeld. Seinfeld is funny.

In conclusion, Suzanne Vega is the Mother of the MP3.

Update: Reader Joost Schuur punctured my balloon, rather nicely. The post-install music is Exodus Honey by Honeycut. The “doot doot doot” in the song is clearly not an homage to Vega. Nice theory, while it lasted.

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