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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice account of all things iPod, 15 July 2008
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read a few of Levy's other books, and found him a talented writer on technical subjects. Here, he turns his attention to the iPod, and does a nice job at teasing out its history, development, appeal and impact. Just about everything you might want to know about this remarkable machine is contained in these pages, although Levy doesn't mention the assertion that Steve Jobs' hands-on involvement in its development caused its output to be made somewhat louder, since he is partially deaf.

To be sure, some of these themes are better developed than others: Levy's very good on the hardware development story and the way in which music has become dissociated from its physical medium (LP, CD, etc) through its transformation into computer files. He's also paints a cogent picture of the history of technical developments in this area, and the way in which the tardiness with which the music industry has reacted has brought about its downfall (he points out that their first encounter with every development resulted in them suing the perpetrator, which he thinks is like trying to turn back time). I found his attempts to define "coolness" less convincing, although there can be no doubt that such an epithet applies to the iPod.

And finally, I thought Levy's idea of "spiritually link[ing]" his book to its subject by shuffling the chapters was misguided in the extreme: books aren't like collections of songs because they (usually) only get looked at once, and people only come across a single copy, in which the sequence is fixed. For an author to assert that his chapters could be read in any order doesn't sound like a good recommendation for the structure of his book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Catalyst that made it happen, 15 Nov 2009
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Paperback)
Apple took off with the success of iPod in 2001. Before iPod, Apple was mainly popular among computer enthusiasts who were viewed by the general public as geeks. Then, iPod made it cool to be associated with Apple. The author explains just how important music is to people. A person's music collection defines oneself. Others can make judgments about someone else by looking at their music collection in their iPod. A great collection determines a person's status. Acceptance and status are extremely powerful forces especially among teenagers. The author also argues that popularity of iPod created a "halo effect" that boosted sales of other Apple products. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in Apple.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing read on iPod and its impact, 27 Jun 2007
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
Why do people ask for an iPod when they want an MP3 player? Other players hold as many or more songs, and play them just as well. Owning an iPod is more about music than about keeping up with the latest trends. That is why the iPod still holds the top spot in MP3 player sales. Author Steven Levy explores how the iPod came to be and how it earned its status as a cultural icon. Even the book's iPod-looking cover could evoke emotion from an iPod fan. We recommend this book to iPod lovers who will relish its story. Businesspeople, trend spotters and marketers also will gain insight into the way Apple made millions from selling music, machines and coolness.
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The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness
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