22 November, 2005

iPod, but not so you'd know it.

I've finally finished "iPod, therefore I am", which I talked about four days ago. While I thought it had some good moments, I felt that the book mainly rambled on about Dylan Thomas's musical tastes, and how he could literally play any tunes he owned, in any order he wished. He did state a reasonable amount about how the iPod has affected the culture (from his viewpoint, anyway), and he also rambled on about how he had to make decisions about just what does get onto his playlists. The iPod's great for all of these things, but really, more could have been made of this and other things the iPod can do, or have done to it. Podcasting rates barely a mention by him, which is a shame. The fact that he lauds the iPod as the "be-all-and-end-all" of portable media players strikes me as a little wooden and repetitive, given that he effectively tells us this fact a number of times, with due explanation as to why, yet he doesn't go into great detail about just what this little wonder from Apple can do. The sub-title is: "A personal journey through music", which it certainly ends up being. But boy, I think it's banal. From reading this slice of bio, this guy is into his music in a big way. He knows artists I've never heard of (not hard), he knows tunes they've done, quite often what circumstances those tunes were created in, and what sort of impact those tunes made, both upon him, and others of his time. He even seems to know strange little bits you wouldn't know otherwise, but frankly didn't need to know. I state this carefully, because really, he doesn't tell us many things about the others he knows. Given the subtitle, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. He even has the candidness to state that he can't actually sing anywhere as well as the artists he loves so much, but I guess not all of us were born with a clarinet for a voice. For the depth of descriptions, it's worth a read, but it is still just his viewpoint. As a result, I've ended up being disappointed by this book, which is a shame; I think it could have been much better.

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