music: Jukebox Hero 

Instead, the machine relies on a hard drive of MP3s, with nary a moving part or an analogue anything, except the spinning hard drive and the part that takes your money.

Touted as one of a kind in Richmond (Breaker's was the first in the area to get one, with Sharkey's in the West End following suit) the svelt TouchTune uses touch-screen technology that some might find exciting, though it's not about to confuse anyone who's ever held a PalmPilot or used a fancier ATM. It's the invisible depth of this box that's sure to enthrall.

Once ornate and colorful individualists, jukeboxes have since disappeared into the wood paneling, but have changed little in terms of innovation. The downloading jukeboxes are the first to really up the ante, preying on our combined desire for instant gratification and our sense of entitlement: Those with some extra change can have their song played next, cutting to the head of the line no matter how many others were there first.

Breaker's regulars — those who might've just shaken their heads in boredom as they walked past the old CD juke box — probably take a little while longer getting back to the table now. Strategically positioned next to the bathroom, the TouchTune holds more than 1,500 tracks, and it takes a good while just to scroll through the pages dedicated to the letter "s."

Rowland explains that CD jukeboxes could offer just as many songs, but not as many albums, so you ended up with one to three hits per album and the rest, he says, were "duds." "This box has all the hits," he says, "no duds." — Wayne Melton



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