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Best Jukebox of the Future San Francisco 2009 - Ecast

This year, you can keep your quarters in your pocket: The category of Best Jukebox has gone digital. As evidenced by flatscreens in bars all over the city, the old analog jukebox is officially retro. A local company, Ecast, seems to have a lock on the new juke. One of its interactive screens now hangs next to the pool table at the Wild Side West (424 Cortland at Bennington) in Bernal Heights, where we got a taste. Slide your credit card and roll your fingers over the screen's smooth surface to pick from an almost unlimited number of tunes, from Miley Cyrus to the Smiths. You can pay extra to bump your song to the head of the line. The choice is, we admit, overwhelming, and when idle, the screen reverts to advertising — ick. But we aren't ones to stand in the way of progress. Just hand us an analog Manhattan, and we're good.

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