iPod Culture and Urban Experience
By Michael Bull
Routledge – 2008 – 196 pages
This innovative study opens up a new area in sociological and urban studies: the aural experience of the social, mediated through mobile technologies of communication.
Whilst we live in a world dominated by visual epistemologies of urban experience, Michael Bull argues that it is not surprising that the Apple iPod, a sound based technology, is the first consumer cultural icon of the twenty-first century. This book, in using the example of the Apple iPod, investigates the way in which we use sound to construct key areas of our daily lives. The author argues that the Apple iPod acts as an urban Sherpa for many of its users and in doing so joins the mobile army of technologies that many of us habitually use to accompany our daily lives.
Through our use of such mobile and largely sound based devices, the book demonstrates how and why the spaces of the city are being transformed right in front of our ears.
"It will be of use to any student of the way consumer techonologies colonise our everyday lives." Rob Clowes
"Bull's meditation on the iPod has many merits" Rob Clowes
Michael Bull, aka Professor iPod or Dr. iPod, is a professor in media and film at England's University of Sussex who studies the cultural impact of digital music devices. He has spent the last three years interviewing more than 1,000 iPod owners in the United States and abroad for his new book - Wired News
Lecturer Dr. Michael Bull is "the world's leading -- perhaps only -- expert on the social impact of personal stereo devices," The New York Times.
"Bull (Univ. of Sussex, UK)--aka Professor iPod (per Wired magazine)--presents a sociological, scholarly view of the culture shifts resulting from the iPod…Recommended."
-- N.J. Johnson, Metropolitan State University, Choice
1. Sound Moves, iPod Culture and Urban Experience: An Introduction 2. Sound Epistemologies: Strategies and Technologies 3. Sounding Out Cosmopolitanism: iPod Culture and Regognition 4. The Audio-Visual iPod: Aesthetics and the City 5. Interpersonal Sound Strategies and iPod Culture 6. Mobilization of the Social: Mobile Phones and iPods 7. Contextualizing the Senses: The Auditory World of Automobility 8. The Auditory Privatisation of the Workplace 9. Bergson's iPod?: The Cognitive Management of Everyday Life 10. The Nostalgia of iPod Culture 11. Sound Timings and iPod Culture 12. Endnote: Sound Mediations
Michael Bull is Reader in Media and Film Studies at the University of Sussex.