The Evolution of the Jukebox
- In 1890, inventors Arnold and Glass created a slotted phonograph. It had four listening tubes, and users inserted a coin and turned a lever to listen.
- By 1896, the new technology was ready to be introduced to the public as the Louis Glass jukebox in San Francisco. Records could not yet be automatically changed.
- In 1927, an improved version of the jukebox is debuted with a new patented automatic record changing technology invented by Hobart Niblack.
- The following year, Seeburg, a new jukebox company, improves on the product and incorporates an electrostatic speaker and calls it Audiophone technology. It featured eight turntables on a circular mechanism. Soon after, Seeburg improved upon this with a ten-turntable, vertical version for a greater variety of music selections. Around 1940, the term “jukebox”, slang for rowdy, is commonly used to refer to this product.
- In 1953, Seeburg releases the version of the jukebox that we commonly have used today with chrome, lights, and mirrored design referred to as the M100c model.
- In 1989, Wurlitzer improved upon this model and created the latest version with a compact disc included.
- 1998 saw TouchTunes created the first digital jukebox with internet capability and brought consumers into the 21st century with a jukebox for hire professional quality.
Improvements and New Features Over the Years
Some of the various new technologies that have evolved with the first phonograph-style jukebox to today are:
- Radio capability
- Compact-disc players
- Cassette players
- Front loading for external devices
- Multi-colored lights including current LED
- Digital Audio Support for External devices for MP3 players, Smartphones, and Tablets
- USB Flash & SD Card
- Built-in Stereo Speakers
- Programmable memory
- Song chart flips
Latest Versions of the Digital Jukebox
The prices of the newest version of digital jukeboxes vary for each digital machine and the features that each one offers need to be considered. Also, depending upon preferences for a manufacturer, there are jukeboxes offered from well-known companies including Crosley, Pyle, Ion Audio, and Sony to name a few.