Apple recently released a dedicated app for collecting and listening to podcasts. (For those not in the loop, a podcast is something like a radio show, but it’s distributed over the internet.)
If, while you’re looking at the main screen for a podcast, you touch the main image and swipe up, as though pushing the picture out of the way, you’ll be treated to a behind-the-scenes view of the app, which looks very much like an old reel-to-reel tape deck. You can make out the bottom portion of each tape reel, rotating as the podcast plays. It’s very cool.
But it gets better.
At the beginning of the podcast, the left reel rotates slowly and the right one goes faster. At the end of the podcast, the rotation speed is reversed: the left reel spins quickly, and the right one slowly. Do you get it? At the beginning, there’s more tape on the left reel, so for tape to feed off of it at a constant rate, it spins more slowly than the right reel because the circumference is greater. When the amount of tape on each reel is equal, the circumference is equal, and both reels spin equally fast. At the end, there’s more tape on the right reel, so it goes slower than the left reel.
Apple didn’t have to do this, but I’m glad they did. It shows that somebody there knows how these things work, and they care.