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Cult of iPod [Paperback]

by Leander Kahney
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 2005 1593270666 978-1593270667 1

Wired news editor Leander Kahney follows up his bestselling The Cult of Mac with The Cult of iPod, a comprehensive look at how Apple's hit iPod is changing music, culture, and listening behavior. The Cult of iPod includes the exclusive back story of the iPod's development; looks at the many ways iPod's users pay homage to their devices; and investigates the quirkier aspects of iPod culture, such as iPod-jacking (strangers plugging into each other's iPods to discover new music), as well as the growing legions of MP3Js (regular folks who use their iPods to become DJs). Four-color throughout.

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Cult of iPod + The Cult of Mac (Paperback edition)
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Editorial Reviews


"A veritable feast for the eyes." -- AppleLinks, January 27, 2006

About the Author

Leander Kahney is an editor at Wired News, where his Cult of Mac blog is a reader favorite. Previously, Kahney covered Apple and the Mac community for Wired News. He treats his subjects with insight and humor and his experiences interacting with Mac fanatics and attending Mac events around the world are highly entertaining. Kahney's work introduces an element of warmth not usually associated with technology reporting.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593270666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270667
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of, and bestselling author of four books about technology culture: Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve's Brain, the New York Times bestseller about Steve Jobs; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod.

Leander has been covering computers and technology for almost 20 years. He was previously news editor at and a senior reporter at Wired and MacWeek. He has written for many publications, including Wired, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your twenty five bucks! November 20, 2005
By S. Nigl
People milling about with white ear buds. You see them on the street. In the coffee shop. At work and school. If you have ever wondered about the appeal of the iPod, or wanted to know what it's like to be in the inside of this new sub-culture - to `get it'; then, boy do I have the book for you! "The Cult of iPod" explores every facet of the iPod experience. Leander Kahney is an editor at Wired News. His new book, `The Cult of iPod' culls the best information from his blog of the same name.

Before I get into the content of this book, I must take a moment to comment on the beautiful aesthetic design of the book itself, and it's themed layout. The outer corners of the book are rounded - mimicking the curved corners of the full-sized iPod. The table of contents is presented in graphics resembling the iTunes interface. Nice. On the back cover, you will find a small caption inside a box with rounded corners, reading "160PP". Turn over an actual iPod and you will find it's capacity (20GB, etc.) printed on it's back in the same fashion. Finally, as you flip through the pages, notice a printed battery icon in the margin going from full to empty in flip-book fashion. It is clear that Mr. Kahney wanted to lavish as much attention to detail in his book as Apple has in it's legendary iPod line.

Now, on to the content. I am now the owner of my third iPod and like to think that I am fairly well-versed in it's history and culture. "The Cult of iPod" really opened my eyes to minutiae of all things iPod. The book discusses why the iPod has been so successful and how it is changing the music industry and how we buy and listen to music.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review December 19, 2005
The Cult of iPod
After the success of his "Cult of Mac" book, which highlighted the deep and often intense relationship Mac-users have with their computers, Leander Kahney has returned with another "Cult of..." book, this time looking at the iPod. It's a wonderful book that will appeal to iPod users everywhere, but Mac-users, with their eye for graphic design and sophisticated page layout will just adore the format of the book. Like the "Cult of Mac" book that drew its aesthetic language from the Macintosh, the "Cult of iPod" mimics the look and feel of the iPod in its use of menus and fonts. A battery icon 'runs down' as you progress through the book, and even the shape of the book, a rectangle with rounded corners, copies that of the iPod itself.

This isn't a book about the design and engineering of the iPod, though there's plenty about that included; rather, it's an affectionate and surprising look at the world that has grown up around the iPod. From designer iPod holsters to custom paint jobs, there are legions of businesses and enthusiasts cranking out novel ways to enhance and expand the iPod experience. Much of what the iPod stands for is fun and harmless, but it has its dark side too, including its use as a storage device for stolen music through to a potent handheld weapon. "Cult of iPod" covers all of this and more.

Kahney took time out to answer a few quick questions about his new book.

NM: Style and design seem to be as important as the text and pictures in both this book and the 'Cult of Mac'. Is this just an aesthetic thing, or do you think it tells us something about iPod and Mac users generally?

LK: It's both. I like well-illustrated books, and so do a lot of Mac and iPod users.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book takes a unique look at Apple's signature product and how it has changed the way people listen to music. The book is divided into two sections.

The first section consists of the first three chapters. The iPod is introduced, and its basic functions and history explained. The rest of the book is the second part. It covers a large number of iPod topics at random. Material covered includes homemade iPod ads, the custom iPods of some celebrities, iPod DJs, and products that have been invented as a result of the iPod's existence. Stylistically, the book is designed to resemble the iPod. For example, the cover resembles the front of an iPod, and the table of contents looks like an iTunes library list. In spite of being 160 pages long, you can read the book in less than two hours due to the large number of colorful photos present.

The book is more about the cultural impact of the iPod than its inner mechanics. It is not one of those "Missing Manuals" you often see. There is a fascinating exploded view of the iPod internals on pages 36 and 37, but more interesting - at least to me - was the discussion on iPod jacking starting on page 103. There are also stories about people using their iPods to block out the rest of the world, people using the white ear buds to show they are part of the "iPod group", and alternatively, people who use ordinary earphones to hide the fact that they are using an iPod who are trying to assert that they do not follow the crowd.

There are humorous stories about the perils of being an iPod-using Microsoft employee, and serious ones such as the one about posters that mimic iPod ads but are actually protesting the Iraq war. There really is something here for everyone. Don't let its "coffee table book" look fool you - there really is some deep and thoughtful material here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually appealing; a bit lacking on content
I suppose that I should have read the reviews more carefully. This is not the definitive history of my favorite device. It's part history, part commercial, part odd-ball facts. Read more
Published on April 20, 2010 by Philip Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars as advertised
It was advertised as good with visible wear, and it arrived as advertised. It was only a quarter, so I didn't expect much.
Published on June 10, 2009 by J. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars If you belong to the Cult
I am relatively new to the Apple Cult. I got my first iPod about 4 months ago and now I feel like I can't live without it. Read more
Published on December 28, 2007 by D. White
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening look at how the iPod itself has changed the nature of...
Fans of the CULT OF MAC book will find equally absorbing Leander Kahney's new look at how the iPod is revolutionizing all kinds of information. Read more
Published on January 6, 2007 by Midwest Book Review
4.0 out of 5 stars Suitable scrapbook of print bites & eye-candy
As a new user (I know, years behind the curve) of an I-Pod and an instructor at a technical university, this book interested me doubly. Read more
Published on November 3, 2006 by John L Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read on a cultural phenom.
I recently purchased an ipod and before I received it, I wanted to read up on it. I was looking more for a how-to book, which this isn't. Read more
Published on July 6, 2006 by Todd Brehm
3.0 out of 5 stars An artifact of its own subject
I had checked out Mr. Kahney's book hoping to find some objective insight into what has become the news media's technological darling. Read more
Published on April 2, 2006 by beetsnotbeats
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, very aesthetic, and very detailed.
I found this book as I was researching the product development history of the iPod for a class. This book did a fantastic job analyzing how this business concept went from idea to... Read more
Published on March 6, 2006 by Daniel James
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening look at how the iPod itself has changed the nature of...
Fans of the Cult Of Mac book will find equally absorbing Leander Kahney's new look at how the iPod is revolutionizing all kinds of information. Read more
Published on January 3, 2006 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice gift for iPod lovers
This book delves into the culture that has grown up around the iPod. It's the perfect holiday gift for your iPod lover. Read more
Published on November 12, 2005 by Jack D. Herrington
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