iPod Lifestyle Part of New Book

As the Apple iPod and other digital media devices become part of our everyday lifestyle and culture, one man is about to release a book on the social psychology of people and their iPodis.

Dr. Michael Bull, senior lecturer in media and film studies at the University of Sussex in England, is about to release a book on iPod culture and urban experience, after interviewing thousands of users around the world about how they use their iPods. Dr. Bull told the Chicago Tribune, "In a sense, iPod use is an extension of Walkman use," he said. "Users can stream their music and cater it to their environment or mood much more successfully."

On the street, or underneath it in a crowded subway, iPods let users carve out at least a sense of privacy, Dr.. Bull said. They allow people to control interaction. Women reported using their devices to ignore--or appear to ignore--unwanted attention.

Dr. Bull has studied the mobile music revolution since the arrival of the Sony Walkman in the late 1970s. He is now looking at the social influence of the increasingly popular iPod.

Dr. Bull said: "The iPod is the first cultural icon of the twenty first century. There is nothing else like it in terms of the mix of style, functionality and consumer desire. The technology is appealing because it can be programmed very quickly and easily. This is a market leader and, like the Walkman before, it will change the way people manage their experience of music in urban space. It allows users to listen to whatever they want non-stop, providing a soundtrack to their world."

"The iPod is the first cultural icon of the twenty first century," said media and film lecturer Dr. Michael Bull.
"The iPod appears to hold a much broader appeal than the youth-orientated advertising implies," he said. "My initial findings show users are professional executives and highly educated. Users seem to particularly appreciate the function allowing files to be sent to other peopleis iPods, much as mobile phones enable communication sharing in sound and pictures. It is creating a social community of the solitary iPod experience."

Dr. Bullis findings will be part of his soon-to-be-released book, Mobilizing the Social: Sound Technology in Urban Experience, due to be published in the next few months.