Tomlinson Holman using a Mac, circa 2007 (Source: Flickr)
By Clive Young.
New York (May 5, 2011)—Tech blogs went into a frenzy yesterday over a report that THX creator Tomlinson Holman has been hired by Apple.
The swirl of rumor began when Leo Laporte, tech pundit for Premiere Radio Networks, announced on Twitter midday, “I have it on good authority that Tomlinson Holman (of THX fame) is joining Apple to run audio. Major upgrade.”
As might be expected from the notoriously secretive company, Apple has not confirmed the reputed hiring, much less divulged what Holman would do there. With the absence of facts and the invitingly broad possibilities left open by the two words “run audio,” bloggers had a field day floating potential implications, with predictions ranging from hardware development—improved headphones or integrated speakers for iOS devices and laptops—to media playback software for various products such as Apple TV or long-rumored consumer AV devices.
Currently a film sound professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, Holman spent 15 years as Lucasfilm’s corporate technical director, and many of the company’s THX patents stem from his work and research. Holman received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his contributions to the development of cinema sound systems, and is the author of Sound for Film and Television (2001) and Surround Sound: Up and Running (2008).