Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your twenty five bucks!
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...
Published on November 20, 2005 by S. Nigl

versus
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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. But objectivity is nullified when a disclaimer such as the following appears on the publication page: "Rather than use a trademark symbol with every occurrence of a trademarked name, we are using the names only in an editorial fashion and...
Published on April 2, 2006 by beetsnotbeats


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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 
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. It shows people in many walks of life using the iPod in many different ways, including a fashion designer with over 70 iPods in his collection and a $1500 briefcase to cart them around. The book discovers a whole pod-economy revolving around accessories; plus new careers and businesses that never existed before the iPod (for example, a company that designs custom playlists for surgeons to listen to while operating).

In brief, "The Cult of iPod" shows the past, present, and future of this remarkable little device. I cannot remember ever enjoying a book from the `computer section' as much. I'd give it `six stars' if the scale went that high.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MyMac.com Review, December 19, 2005
By 
Tim E Robertson "Publisher MyMac" (Battle Creek, Mi United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. By definition, they're an audience interested in design.

NM: Mac-users are by their nature the underdogs, part of a minority who see themselves as the enlightened ones. Yet iPods remain the dominant player in the MP3 market, so iPod users are anything but a minority. In fact, they're riding the crest of the wave. Do you think this influences the way enthusiasts of each tool view themselves?

LK: A lot of iPod users are 'honorary' Mac users: they love the iPod and Apple and know a lot about Macs, even if they don't use one yet. And they're a lot like traditional Mac users: the device is more than a tool; it's a lifestyle choice. And they're passionate and evangelical about it.

NM: What makes something cult-worthy? Why no 'Cult of Windows XP'?

LK: There are small pockets of fanatical XP users -- mostly modders and gamers. But XP is a system designed by committee, made to appeal to business buyers. In most cases it's good enough, but there's little that's inspired about it. Most people who use Windows do so because that's what they were given by their employer. The Mac, on the other hand, is bought by the kind of people who choose what kind of computer they use -- they're invested in it personally, and it shows.

NM: Having spent time with so many iPod users, do you put the iPod's success down to marketing, design, or good timing?

LK: It's a combination of all three. Apple timed it just right: file sharing services like Napster meant people had big music collections on their hard drives, but no easy way to take it with them. The iPod is the best-designed music player out there: it looks great, and it's dead easy to use. This is not to be underestimated -- the mainstream is not going to adopt a complex product like the iPod that's not easy to use. And Apple marketed it flawlessly, projecting a hip, cool, sexy image. Apple also capitalized on lucky accidents like the white earbuds, which were white only for consistency but turned into a great grassroots-marketing tool.

NM: Was there any one iPod use that you found delightfully unexpected?

LK: I think the shuffle function is the greatest source of delight. It dips into a big library of music and serves up combinations of tunes in surprising and delightful ways. It really brings a huge music collection alive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at the Apple's current signature product, December 12, 2006
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suitable scrapbook of print bites & eye-candy, November 3, 2006
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. I wanted to learn about the making of this product, its design and marketing, and how the aura of cool was generated triumphantly around this, say, and not the Rio. I referred my students to this book as an example of how to analyze the cultural impacts of a specific technological product. The table of contents mimics the readout on the I-Pod screen, and the contents themselves combine snippets of print, often in sidebar or columnal formats, as played against graphics--the visual and the textual jostle for attention, fittingly, in this book about not only the nuts-and-bolts of the machine, but how it looks: surely one of the key features that led this handsome player to succeed while other clunkier models had failed to gain massive sales.

At times, this volume's layout can be like reading Wired Magazine: a bit overwhelming when you simply want to look up a short entry. Like Wired, it's a bit pricy for what's actually compiled as text within as opposed to the attention-getting graphics. Kahney, a reporter for Wired News, reports here as a suitable follow-up to "The Cult of Mac," according to the back blurb (made to imitate in its copy and layout the I-Pod's own iconography). As a non-Mac user, it's intriguing to get a vivid if not too detailed glimpse into how the other 20% lives with their Cupertino- designed accoutrements.

This book admittedly does feel cobbled together as an assembly of bite-sized features and eye-candy pictorials, familiar to any reader of Wired. Yet, I suppose the author knows his audience. If the likely reader of this book is as curious about not the how-to of the I-Pod but the why, then this book begins to provide suggestions. Not for the newbie needing advice on its mimimalistically presented operation, but for the adept wishing to delight in its Zen-like presence. It's for a crowd who I presume is as enamored with the appearance of a product as well as the function of a product-- and this expresses Apple's cachét within the computer realm neatly. Therefore, it's an appropriate combination for the eyes that accompanies the soundtrack of one's life for each user's ears.

A suitable print companion would be Dylan Jones' "IPod, Therefore I Am" published also in 2005: this in Nick Hornsby "High Fidelity"-fashion conveys Jones' packing of his 40Gb jukebox with the best of his many records, and how our consumption of music has been affected by its portability. Malcolm McLaren back around 1982 predicted that music would become less important for younger generations but more disposable and therefore sought after as a cheap commodity. (This observation quoted in another fine 2005 study, Simon Reynolds' "Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.") This separation of the medium from the message, so to speak, reflects, perhaps, two decades later, the ubiquity of the device and the detachment of the record sleeve, the tape, the disc, from the music itself in digitized bytes and invisible shapes.

So, how does Leander Kahney succeed? Theorists and then journalists will no doubt follow the first reports on the I-Pod's arrival, as did Theodore Roscek and Stewart Brand and James Fallows and Tracy Kidder twenty-odd years ago in the wake of the first Apples and PCs. This larger-format but only 150 pp. entry, then, reminds me of two decades ago, when non-techies began raving about their PCs and how such devices would liberate us from drudgery and bring about unity. It's a primer to a phenomenon. Utopian, perhaps, in some of its claims, but this is probably the earliest entry in what will be a short shelf of studies of the impact of the shift from what's been labelled a move from broad- to narrow- to pod-casting, as the websites that supplanted networks in turn are superseded by programming tailored not to but by the individual. Kahney concludes that it's not technology but our culture that makes us antisocial, and that the I-Pod is not to be blamed. In fact, as podcasting and the sharing of playlists shows, it may in fact simply be the latest and far more easy-to-use evolved version of the mix-cassette tapes that were once lovingly made and exchanged as tokens of friendship and shared admiration those couple of decades ago.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read on a cultural phenom., July 6, 2006
By 
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. This book instead is a very interesting read on the beginning of the ipod to the impact on society the ipod has had. The book is well written, with interesting facts and great color photos. I would highly recommend this book to any ipod owner or future owner. I did not buy this book, rather I rented it from the public library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening look at how the iPod itself has changed the nature of music, January 3, 2006
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. A history of the iPod's development and marketing is accompanied by colorful cultural insights and examples of iPod's vast changes to music culture and file sharing. Any interested in making, marketing or listening to music must consider The Cult Of iPod: it's an eye-opening look at how the iPod itself has changed the nature of music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An artifact of its own subject, April 2, 2006
By 
beetsnotbeats (College Park, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
I had checked out Mr. Kahney's book hoping to find some objective insight into what has become the news media's technological darling. But objectivity is nullified when a disclaimer such as the following appears on the publication page: "Rather than use a trademark symbol with every occurrence of a trademarked name, we are using the names only in an editorial fashion and **to the benefit of the trademark owner**, with no intention of infringement of the trademark" (emphasis added). This lack of objectivity is further evidenced by the last line of the first paragraph: "Inside Apple's little white box is magic, pure magic, in the guise of music." To paraphrase The Lovin' Spoonful, if you believe in magic then this book's for you.

As such, the book does provide some insight into the iPod phenomenon. The chapters read as newspaper or magazine articles but they are interspersed among countless lightweight stories that seem like print versions of TV news features about the eponymous subject (iPods: They're Hot!). The articles, such as they are, are actually quite good but, again, objectivity is suspect throughout.

For those interested in the iPod for any reason, this book can operate as a launch pad for more indepth study. But it cannot be used a sole source. It will become less useful over time as more objective books and articles are published. Eventually, it will just be another artifact of the early years of the iPod.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, very aesthetic, and very detailed., March 6, 2006
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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 prototype to market (and, of course, beyond). If you are interested in the beginnings of where this product started, and where it has gone, I highly recommend this book.

Not to mention, the visuals are stunning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Visually appealing; a bit lacking on content, April 20, 2010
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
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. The book succeeds but I'm sure that there are others out there with more substance, proper books so to speak.

A quick, enjoyable read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars as advertised, June 10, 2009
This review is from: Cult of iPod (Paperback)
It was advertised as good with visible wear, and it arrived as advertised. It was only a quarter, so I didn't expect much.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Cult of iPod
Cult of iPod by Leander Kahney (Paperback - November 1, 2005)
$24.95 $19.86
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.