Steven Levy’s The Perfect Thing is yet another digital history book from the prolific author. The Perfect Thing chronicles the history of iPod (and leaves off with a short segue to the iPhone).
While the subject is far more common knowledge than that of his earlier “Hackers”, it’s nonetheless an interesting and enlightening book.
Desite its pedigree, The Perfect Thing is less about technology, and more about the people behind the device and its impact on society and habits.
But it’s not all about changes in music consumption – the first steps of the iPod’s history do contain interesting anecdotes about the technologies evaluated and especially about the comparison to competition.
The book has quite a personal perspective, the author talks about his own devices and music collection a lot, and a lot of the comments by industry players have not been gleaned from media, but from the interviews he conducted with them. The author regularly sounds more like a fanboy than an objective observer.
At least from my perspective (skewed very hard to pro-Apple camp) that’s but a minor fault.
The Perfect Thing is entertaining, I was sure of that. But it’s also rather shallow, and I kept expecting more.