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The perfect thing : how the iPod shuffles commerce, culture, and coolness
Levy, Steven.
Adult Nonfiction ML74.4.I48 L48 2006

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From Publishers' Weekly:

For the iPod's fifth anniversary, Newsweek technology writer and longtime Apple Computer enthusiast Levy (Insanely Great) offers a brightly written paean to "the most familiar, and certainly the most desirable, new object of the twenty-first century." Combining upbeat reportage about the device's origins and development with higher-minded ruminations about its place at "the center of just about every controversy in the digital age," he explores how the iPod "set the technology world, the business world, and especially the music industry on its head." Levy discusses its place in the "movement of portable cocooning" begun by the Sony Walkman, exploring how the ubiquitous white buds are affecting social connections. The book's in-no-particular-sequence chapters intended to evoke the iPod's shuffle function don't build much momentum, and there's more about Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his leaps over design and technical hurdles than the average user may need to know. But Levy's zeal and insider anecdotes ("I once found myself in a heated discussion with Bill Gates about the nature of cool") carry things along. Apple fans and iPod owners will enjoy Levy's exploration and will probably forgive his gushing about the iPod's "universally celebrated, endlessly pleasing, devilishly functional, drop-dead gorgeous design." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In this story of a techno phenomenon and the culture surrounding it, Levy (chief technology correspondent, Newsweek; Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything) explores the rise of the iPod to its current "most favored object" status. No stranger to the Apple Computer, he draws on interviews with Steve Jobs and other Apple staffers to provide insight into the development of the tiny contraption that has upended both the music industry and the way we think about music. He reports on the process by which the iPod's iconic design came to exist, defends the culture of detachment resulting from iPod listening in public places, and marvels at the manner in which Jobs was able to do the unthinkable, convincing all of the major record labels to allow distribution of their content via the iTunes Music Store. A clever feature is that the book's chapters are "shuffled," so that one person's copy of the book will have chapters ordered completely differently from another's. This timely and well-narrated, if somewhat uncritical, look at a revolutionary gadget is likely to benefit from iPod's overwhelming commercial success. Recommended for public libraries. Elizabeth L. Winter, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib. & Information Ctr., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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