YouTube Singer Follows Up 'iPhone Antenna Song' With Sticky MacBook Keyboard Tune

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Popular YouTube singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann has uploaded a humorous Apple-related tune that is currently doing the rounds on social media and tech blogs.

Mann originally rose to prominence among Apple watchers for catching the eye of Steve Jobs, who opened his iPhone 4 press conference by playing to the audience Mann's 2010 "iPhone Antenna Song", which criticized parts of the media for its "Antennagate" fixation. But it's unlikely Mann's latest song will receive a similar reception in Cupertino.


Titled "I Am Pressing the Spacebar and Nothing is Happening", Mann's new song centers on the singer's hatred for the "butterfly" keyboard on his MacBook Pro.

Apple introduced a revamped butterfly-mechanism keyboard on its first-generation 12-inch MacBook, and later on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro, which featured flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism. However, a significant number of customers have run into issues with both versions, the most common being sticking keys – the theme of Mann's latest song.

In the music video, Mann's chorus sees him persistently pressing the space bar of his 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, frustrated that it no longer works.

He refers to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide to express how long he waited to upgrade, and that his "very expensive" MacBook Pro is only about a year old, and yet here he is, victim to an unresponsive spacebar.


Mann laments that Apple has informed him that his machine will need "extensive surgery for a speck of dust lodged beneath the butterfly" mechanism – referencing Casey Johnston’s article in The Outline about a piece of dust breaking her MacBook Pro.

Mann's solo continues by explaining that Apple's arguably awkward-to-follow keyboard-cleaning instructions didn't work for him, leaving him feeling like an idiot.

If you don't fancy listening to this potential earworm, the full lyrics to the song can be found below.

I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / I'm pressing the space bar / And nothing is happening / This computer is about a year old / And it was very expensive / I had been waiting to upgrade / For a long time / And now you're telling me / It would need extensive / Surgery for a speck of dust / Lodged beneath the butterfly / I found your instructions / They were not helpful / I bought this can of air / I feel like an idiot

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
I've also been waiting to upgrade for a long time and have been in a holding pattern for almost a year. All products have their quirks and issues, but for the money they charge and the relatively useless "innovations" coming out of the pipeline in the last several years, I just can't find the justification to plunk down the cash.

Have at me fanboys.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago

Isn't dust a fairly typical issue for computer keyboards though? I've had that issue with non-butterfly desktop keyboards before.

Many people who own the new MBPs have had issues with the keyboard failing
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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39 months ago

Your 2 MBP's fall outside of the issue so I imagine you haven't had this problem. Your anecdote doesn't provide a counter to the claims of sticky 2016 and 2017 butterfly keyboards. If anything, it's anecdotal evidence that the previous keys provide superior reliability.

Yep, their older keyboards, from, say, the first unibody MBP up until just before the recent travesty keyboards, were a thing of beauty - unbelievably rigid, nice travel, great feel, super reliable, a joy to type on. But, as everybody knows, the primary requirement of all Apple devices (except the Watch) is that they get thinner, and the previous keyboard was standing in the way of progress on this vital quest. So they developed a new keyboard which is, indeed, thinner, and has reduced key travel down so far it's harder to type on, can be stopped dead in its tracks by a speck of dust, and works up to one-third of the time. Hooray!

I hear the newest iterations of the travesty keyboard are getting better, but that's a pretty low bar to get over. And on a laptop, this is pretty inexcusable - if it were the keyboard for a desktop system, you could simply choose another, but a laptop's keyboard is its primary input device and can't be swapped for another brand by the user. A laptop you can't type on is not functional.

Removing floppy drives and serial/parallel ports was a good thing, even though there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the time. One can even argue that there was sufficient justification for, say, getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack (opinions vary, of course, but they can argue it). But with the keyboard, they've made the primary input device worse is most respects, and apparently all in the name of making thinner laptops. The MacBook Pro doesn't need to be any thinner! Sigh.

(And the TouchBar is cute, but they did away with the physical Escape key, which, as a Vim user, I need approximately seven thousand times a day, taking away all tactile feedback - can't tell with certainty that you've pressed it without looking at your hands because it isn't separate and doesn't press, you can't rest your finger on it waiting to press it at the right moment, and just for fun, from what I've seen it isn't the very end of the bar, there's a little dead area at the end that doesn't count, to make it even harder to press by feel. If they'd made the TouchBar with a TouchID sensor at one end and a real, separate Escape key at the other, it would have been completely fine, but it would have caused Jony Ive great pain in its lack of complete symmetry. Apple's trying to chase away another segment of its userbase, but nobody else makes comparably great Unix laptops.)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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39 months ago

I tried out the new keyboards instore and couldn't' get used to it with the shallow key travel.

I *love* the new keyboard - when it works. Problem is I've had 4 complete top cover replacements, and just recently, the entire laptop replaced with a 2017 model for this issue.

I don't see this issue getting any better any time soon.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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39 months ago

Isn't dust a fairly typical issue for computer keyboards though? I've had that issue with non-butterfly desktop keyboards before.

FWIW, I'm running 2 MBPs at least 5 years old and I've NEVER had this problem.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
Next up, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga featuring Lenovo laptops calling home in China.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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