Besides being one of the most successful consumer products in decades, the iPod has changed our behavior and even our society. It has transformed Apple from a computer company into a consumer-electronics giant. It has remolded the music business, altering not only the means of distribution but even the ways in which people enjoy and think about music. Its ubiquity and its universally acknowledged coolness have made it a symbol for the digital age itself, with commentators remarking on "the iPod generation". Now the iPod is beginning to transform the broadcast industry, too, as podcasting becomes a way to access radio and television programming. Meanwhile, millions of "Podheads" obsess about their gizmo, reveling in the personal soundtrack it offers them, basking in the social cachet it offers, and even wondering whether the device itself has its own musical preferences.
Steven Levy, the chief technology correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a longtime Apple watcher, is the ideal writer to tell the iPod's tale. He has had access to all the key players in the iPod story, including Steve Jobs, Apple's charismatic cofounder and CEO, whom Levy has known for over 20 years.
©2006 Steven Levy. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
"Apple fans and iPod owners will enjoy Levy's exploration." (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed this audiobook. I knew it was a fluff piece and it didn't have character development, etc, but its a book about the iPod, so that's not what I was looking for. It was an interesting look at the making of the iPod and some very "fanboy" observances. As much as I enjoy my MP3 player (not an iPod, btw), it IS just another means to listen to my own audio collection, albeit a very cool one.
And agreeing with the previous reviewer, the chapter on shuffle-mode was quite a bit long in the tooth and really only worth a couple of minutes mention.
The quality of this audiobook's recording was substandard. The voice was "tinny" and not as clear as most other audiobooks, which is ironic as heck.
Overall, though, if you consider yourself a tech fan, I would recommend this book.
An enjoyable book, keeping in mind that this isn't a critical appraisal - it's more about the phenomenon of the iPod and its impact on culture and music consumption. I saw myself in the book - everything from the new enjoyment I derive from my music collection thanks to my library's portability and shuffle, to the physical connection I feel with my iPod, and now, my iPhone. I think Levy nicely captured the tactile enjoyment many people derive from their iPods. He also filled in a few gaps (for me, at least) in the iPod story.
This title reads more like a collection of magazine articles or essays than a solidly researched book. Given its source - Newsweek tech writer Steven Levy - that doesn't surprise. The sections that discussed the development of the iPod and the thinking of Apple's staff were interesting, but lengthy discussions of hip young people trying to out-cool each other with their music selection, or an inane chapter on whether the shuffle function is really random (of course it is!) bog down what could have been a much more in-depth look at an admittedly amazing product and cultural phenomenon.
Not one single character developed to relate to. Whats worse is no info either. He makes a hundred references to how "sexy", how "naked the beauty is". Tries to get you to believe it is the "drug of today". It is neither. Nothing helpful like, tips, shortcuts, fixes support, websites, NOTHING! The whole book is about how your playlist can make you cool. Dozons of obscure bands are mentioned.(with no sample sound of course.) Nothing about photos, or t.v. programs, The man does not even talk about the fact it playes videos or movies. One whole chapter wasted on, if the "shuffle is random or not! Yes it is. In his perfection rant, he doesn't wish to talk about the high cost-crashes-cables that break in your hand-no support-$30.00 for a piece of plastic accessory-downloads of inconsistent quality and volumn-you buy it and they think they still own it, dictating exactly what you may or may not do. We can go on. Bottom line, the artist sets the mood, and delivers the emotions, not the i-pod. It's a high teck tape recorder, thats all. The positive item is the author has a great vocabulary and a good writer. In the end no info was exchanged, i learned almost nothing,and it was a waste of time and money.
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