Neil Young: The Old Man Uses Java

Java enables an "Old Man" to take a look at his life.

SAN FRANCISCO-The old man took a look at his life ... and used Java technology to do it.

In his 1972 hit song "Old Man," rock legend Neil Young sings out: "Old man take a look at my life. I'm a lot like you ..." Indeed, it is Young who is now an "old man" of sorts and has compiled 45 years of archives about his music career on Blu-ray discs using Java technology.

Young joined Sun Microsystems CEO and President Jonathan Schwartz and Rich Green, the company's executive vice president for software, on stage during the JavaOne conference opening keynote on May 6 here to announce the new archive project and demonstrate some of the interactive features of his upcoming Blu-ray disc box set.

Young also announced his collaboration with Sun and Reprise/Warner Bros. for the release of the upcoming Neil Young Archive series on Blu-ray disc, powered by Java technology. Visit or for more information.

More than 15 years in the making, the Neil Young Archive will be a complete biography of Young's career in a timeline format, including a chronology of songs released and unreleased, he said. Through Blu-ray and Java technology, viewers will be able to navigate through Young's music, movies, videos, personal archives, memorabilia, photographs, letters and handwritten manuscripts while the high-resolution 192/24 audio is playing, giving viewers a chronological insight into the creative process and an opportunity to bear witness to the evolution of Neil Young's musical soul over the course of his life and work, Sun officials said.

Young said the Blu-ray format delivers both unsurpassed 192/24 audio quality and high-definition video, capturing the quality of the original analog master recordings in the best digital format available today. The first Neil Young Archive release will be a 10 Blu-ray disc set available this fall from Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, covering Young's career from 1963-1972.

"Previously, there was no way to browse archival material on a disc and listen to a song in high resolution at the same time," said Young. "The technology had not yet evolved to that capability. It is important for me that the user experience the high-resolution music along with the archival visual material. Previous technology required unacceptable quality compromises. I am glad we waited and got it right. "

Moreover, "We needed technology to go through this chronological thing like a video game," Young said. "And Java technology made it possible to do things we couldn't do just a few years ago. Java allows us to play the music and walk through the archives. We wanted to do this in the '80s, but the DVD wasn't good enough; we were defeated by the technology."