Going through my archives, I came across some files from a book I wrote about the iPod in 2004: iPod & iTunes Garage. Published by Prentice Hall, it was one of the first comprehensive books about using iTunes and the iPod.
I had forgotten about this somewhat humorous preface I had written to the book. I hereby post the text for those who want a laugh. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely wrong…
The book you are about to read may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers. In depicting its soul-destroying effects, no attempt has been made to equivocate.
The scenes and incidents depicted in this book are all based on actual research into the results of this menace. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the book will not have failed in its purpose…
Because the dreaded iPod may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter…or even you!
A disturbing scene has been witnessed across America in recent years and is spreading throughout the world at an alarming pace. People who look normal from the outside–young and old, rich and poor–have joined a new cult. They may be your neighbors, your doctor, your children’s teachers, your stockbroker, your local mechanic or mailman, or even one of your children, but they are really part of a new cult that is slowly and quietly spreading its influence and capturing new members.
This cult sprang from nothing in 2001 to now count more than 4 million members, and its ranks are growing daily. There seems to be little the authorities can do to slow its progression, and if the current trend continues, the majority of Americans will be affected in just 12 years.
You can spot the members of this cult by the glassy look in their eyes and the distinctive white wires that run from their pockets to their ears. Few people realize what these wires are for, but you see them on people everywhere: on campus; in buses, trains, and airplanes; even on people walking down the street. These odd people all exhibit strange, rhythmic body movements as they walk; some have been observed moving in similar ways when seated as well.
“They’re everywhere,” said Rob Griffiths, a Webmaster from Portland, Oregon. “I counted at least ten people with those white wires on my last flight home. Even the guy sitting next to me had them!”
Is this an invasion by creatures from another planet? How have these people been taken over by these strange white wires? What purpose do they serve?
This book is the fruit of three years of research. From Maine to California, from the United States to France, I have investigated this odd new cult: the cult of the iPod.
Why do so many people wear these strange white wires, and what do these wires do to their brains? What are the tiny white devices, with cryptic symbols on their faces and a screen that displays text that looks like gibberish? In an attempt to answer these questions and many more, I went undercover, interviewed dozens of members of this cult, and even donned the accoutrements of one myself, all to provide you with this unparalleled exposé of truth.
This book contains five parts.
Part 1: After a great deal of research and investigation, doors were opened to me, and I was able to examine the iTunes program, which is said to be the gateway for members of this cult to pass information onto their tiny electronic devices called iPods. I explain how it works, how cult members use it to manage “playlists,” and how it serves as a conduit for the iPod itself.
Part 2: After obtaining several iPods, at great risk and peril, I have plumbed their depths and attempted to understand how they function. I present to you, dear reader, the most harrowing details, the most surprising information about this tiny device. You will discover what the secret controls operate, how to decipher the text on their screens, and how to use them for their nefarious, mind-numbing effects.
Part 3: Many people are worried about the influence of this cult, and none more so than musicians, who see it as a way to take total control of their music. I interviewed many representatives of this trade in search of their feelings on this new cult. While some cult members say they are “infatuated” or “obsessed,” the musicians I spoke with shrink back in horror at the potential ramifications of this device.
Part 4: In spite of warnings by authorities and public health officials, computer programmers around the world have created tools to further the influence of this cult and allow its members to manipulate information in ways unimagined when the cult first appeared. I scoured the lower depths of the Internet in search of the most powerful programs that cult members use, and present, here, an unabashed discussion of what these programs can do.
Part 5: Perhaps the most worrying element of this phenomenon is the many vendors of trinkets and baubles designed for members of this cult so they can protect their iPods and use them for other evil tasks. To write this final section, I traveled across the seven seas to find out which of these products were the most popular and why members of the iPod cult would want to use them.
You will surely understand, dear reader, that I put my life in peril to investigate this cult. While the incidents presented herein are all factual, I have had to change some of the names to protect the obviously guilty.
This peril is real, dear reader, and it is coming for you. Only through education, such as what this book offers, can this scourge be wiped out. If you are not aware of the forms it takes and the ways it hides, you may be its next victim.
Bonus: Here’s Doug Adams, of Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes, showing that he still has a copy of the book: