People At Play Studio - Carnegie Mellon University - 11.08.13
We all have thousands of digital song files currently sitting on our hard drives, yet why doesn’t it feel like we own them? A sense of ownership and property was lost in the transition from analog records to digital mp3s. There is something really pleasing about rifling through a box of old records that can’t be recreated by hitting an arrow key to scroll through iTunes. We have given up a more rich and meaningful experience in favor of convenience. We blindly accept that the future of music is some variation of the mp3. The purpose of this project was to look to the past, specifically the record playing experience, as an inspiration for the future.
The entire recording playing experience is built around a physical artifact. When you drop the needle and it starts to ride along the grooves etched in vinyl, sound beings to play. As the record continues to spin, the needle slowly starts shifting towards the center. The needle’s position reflects where in the album the record currently is. This also allows you to see how far the needle has traveled, and how much more it has left to travel.
This project approaches tangible digital music ownership by establishing a connection between a digital album and a physical location. A phone, chosen because it naturally already contains a more refined selection of our vast music library, is placed into the dock and an album is selected. As the album plays the phone moves right, indicating how much time has elapsed. To fine tune or change what song is currently playing, move the phone to the left or right to skip backwards or forwards respectively.