• The Perfect Thing

  • How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness
  • By: Steven Levy
  • Narrated by: Anthony Rapp
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-20-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (147 ratings)

Regular price: $23.93

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Publisher's Summary

On October 23, 2001, Apple Computer, a company known for its chic, cutting-edge technology, if not necessarily for its dominant market share, launched a product with an enticing promise: you can carry an entire music collection in your pocket. It was called the iPod. What happened next exceeded the company's wildest dreams. Over 50 million people have inserted the device's distinctive white buds into their ears, and the iPod has become a global obsession. The Perfect Thing is the definitive account, from design and marketing to startling impact, of Apple's iPod, the signature device of our young century. 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.
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Critic Reviews

"Apple fans and iPod owners will enjoy Levy's exploration." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By aharris on 01-26-07

An enjoyable listen

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.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Todd Mundt on 07-05-07

An Appreciation of the iPod

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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