The Business On... Jeff Robbin, Apple engineer

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The Independent Online

Jeff who?

Ha ha. That's very funny.

I don't get it.

When Time magazine did a long piece about the development of the world-changing iPod, Steve Jobs told the journalist he could mention Mr Robbin by his first name only. One of the many things Mr Jobs was paranoid about was rivals poaching Apple's resident geniuses.

So Mr Robbin should be a household name?

He has certainly touched a lot of people's lives. He developed the iTunes software that Apple developed to play digital music, and now video.

An Apple lifer?

Actually, the software that became iTunes was developed after he quit Apple in the Nineties. It was originally called SoundJam, the first software for playing MP3s on a Macintosh, but Apple bought it, put Mr Robbin in charge of its own music software team, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, for his next trick?

Before he died, Mr Jobs put his star developer in charge of Apple's next big push – into TV.

Apple has been trying to crack television a while, no?

It has. So far, with little success. Its Apple TV box, which links the digital video library to the television, has not sold well, but now rumours are rampant that Apple might launch an actual television set.

Mr Jobs was talking it up.

He was. The company has created "the simplest user interface you can imagine," he told his biographer, just before he died. That simple interface? We detect the hand of Jeff.