Peachpit Week: The iPod Playlist Book

by PocketGoddess on August 16, 2005

The iPod Playlist Book
The iPod Playlist Book is a little off the beaten track as far as computer books are concerned; it isn’t a how-to manual or reference guide. There aren’t any schematics, parts diagrams, or troubleshooting lists. All you’ll find is a collection of playlists for your Apple iPod or other digital music player. That makes this book both non-threatening and a lot of fun to flip through. I found playlists for everything from road trips and parties to particular genres from Opera to Bluegrass. I particularly appreciate the selection of playlists that feature music from around the world. I’m often drawn in by interesting tunes I hear in movies and documentaries, but I never have any idea how to find the “good stuff” quickly so I don’t end up buying several CDs that I don’t really like. Even the 30 second previews on the iTunes music store aren’t always enough to form an opinion about whether or not I’ll like the song.
When I checked the book out on Amazon, I saw that it had gotten some really bad reviews, and I don’t entirely agree with them. Most of the reviews implied that the playlists in this book were put together at random, based on a particular word in a song’s title, for example. But the lists in this book were put together by “professionals” of one stripe or another– musicians, DJs, music writers, etc.Some are simply music lovers at heart, and that doesn’t make their song lists any less interesting to browse through. I may disagree with some of the choices made, but that just adds to the fun.
I think this book would make a nice gift for any digital music player owner, be it an Apple iPod or something else, especially if you already know that other friends/family are all giving digital music gift certificates. The lists are quirky and fun, and especially with the classical selections there’s some good extra information that includes movies or shows where you may have already heard the aria/symphony/concerto.
The iPod Playlist Book: A Musical Starter Kit for your Portable Player, is edited by Clifford Colby and published by Peachpit Press. Softcover, 150 pages, ISBN 0321304691. List price is $14.99, but you can likely get it for less than that at an online store. (Even better, support your local bookstore, or it may not be around much longer!)
4 out of 5

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