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Pathways

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From the Music session at IR9.0

From the Music session at IR9.0

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  • 1. Pathways: mapping and negotiating downloaded music collections Marj Kibby Film, Media & Cultural Studies
  • 2. Musical artifacts
    • Consumer goods with their
    • presumption of utility.
    • Collection with the implication
    • of objects ‘removed from
    • ordinary use’.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 3. Methodology
    • Thirty-five semi-structured, in-depth interviews :
      • questions about music acquisition, storage and organization, and access and use.
    • Survey:
      • quantifiable responses on collection size and format, types of music use and sources of recorded music.
    • The interviews were transcribed and coded thematically, using grounded theory techniques.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 4. Collections in 2004
    • Vignoli interviewed individuals aged between twenty-three and twenty-nine, who ‘owned a large collection of digital music’.
    • He found that all participants owned a CD collection as well as their digital files and that their organization and use of their CD collection influenced the way they access their digital collection.
    • (Vignoli, 2004, p. 416).
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 5. Collections 2008
    • My research four years later revealed that many of the participants had few or no CDs and much larger collections of digital files than Vignoli found.
    • The CD seemed to be an ephemeral product in that it was useful as a way of acquiring music files but not valued beyond that function.
    • Music files had a materiality and participants actively engaged with them; organizing them in multiple ways, creating play lists and mix-USB drives, and using them to mark events and cement relationships.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 6. Digital Collections
    • Thirty-five 18 to 25 year olds interviewed.
    • 18 (51%) said that music was very important in their lives, and 15 (43%) more said that it was important.
    • While 3 (9%) described their collection as ‘enviable’, 22 others (69%) rated their collection as ‘good’ or ‘better than good’.
    • The most common size of the CD collection was 25 to 50 CDs, with 14 (41%) including their collection in this category.
    • Four people (12%) had more than five hundred CDs.
    • Two people had small vinyl collections.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 7. Digital Collections
    • Most of the interviewees reported a music file collection of more than 3,000 files, with 23 (65%) of them having file collections of this size.
    • With the average CD having twelve tracks, this is the equivalent of 250 CDs.
    • While half of them (17) went to a physical music store most weeks, nearly two thirds of them (20) visited an online music source most days.
    • The majority found out about new music from friends, although radio was still an important source for many.
    • Travelling, including walking, was the space most likely to be filled by music, while the bedroom was a close second with the majority reporting that they listen to music while studying, doing domestic tasks, ‘chilling out’ or going to sleep.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 8. Affective Attachment
    • Simon:
    • ‘ I have about 40 gigs worth [of music files].
    • I have a sort of semi-obscure music collection, one that I’ve built up myself.
    • I don’t like to share music personally because it devalues my own collection; like, I love the fact that my collection on my computer is unique.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 9. Affective Attachment
    • Josh:
    • ‘ Some of it is like local sorts of bands that play in the pub scene in Germany or something – you’d never find it in a store.’
    • Daniel:
    • ‘ I’ve got some interesting stuff there, particularly my early nineties Norwegian black metal…. Yeah, some very cool stuff in there.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 10. Access and Control
    • Alan:
    • ‘ It’s pretty sweet, um, Microsoft Windows Media Player sorts [my files] for me – you go on the net and it downloads all the album covers and that sort of thing and arranges it all systematically.
    • You can arrange it by artist names, the year it was released – so, yeah, it does it all automatically, which is awesome.
    • My CDs… my room is so messy… they’re fricking everywhere at the moment.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 11. Access and Control
    • Jessica:
    • ‘ I’ve only started making playlists a lot recently. I’ve made one for kind of sleep, sleepy kind of music not just all slow songs but it sets the mood a bit. Yeah, just general playlists for different moods I suppose. It sounds a bit lame but if you saw them, they’re really good.’
    • Leah:
    • ‘ I rate all my tracks as I add them; you know five stars for new things that I want to hear a lot. Then if it’s older or I’m sick of it I’ll take some stars off.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 12. Access and Control
    • Simon:
    • ‘ Even though the majority of my music is a digital collection, I still like to listen to albums. So even on my iPod I won’t put one or two tracks across, I’ll put a whole album. And I’ll try to listen to that album as a whole, and I hardly ever use the shuffle feature – it just kills the album.’
    • Joyleen:
    • ‘ If I put a CD on I find that now more so than before I had an mp3 that I get a bit bored listening to the same album.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 13. Construction of Space
    • Jono:
    • ‘ Music is something I live and breathe something I listen to constantly in the car, just having something in the background on the computer at home, and at work I have music on constantly.’
    • Joyleen:
    • ‘ It’s very important to me that I have music going virtually all the time.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 14. Construction of Space
    • Simon:
    • ‘ I don’t use my CDs any more. I use iTunes to listen on my laptop, or my iPod. I’ve got a nice little set of JVL speakers for listening at home.’
    • Daniel:
    • ‘ I suppose [the earpieces are] just not loud enough … you know I stick it in my ears and it’s not loud enough. The outside world still manages to seep in.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 15. Social Connections
    • Carl:
    • ‘ If you see someone you know you take one ear piece out to indicate your willingness to exchange a few words.
    • If they leave both theirs in you know they just want to say hi and go on their way.
    • Or if they take both out and stop their player, they want to have a conversation.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 16. Social Connections
    • Alan:
    • ‘ The last track I got really excited about was the William Shatner version of Pulp’s Common People , and I shared that around with a lot of people. I got an advance copy … so I got it a few weeks before it was on the radio.’
    • Josh:
    • ‘ The two guys I live with, we share stuff over the home network. Otherwise I’ll just tell friends if I hear something new that’s pretty good.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 17. Social Connections
    • Michael:
    • ‘ I’ve got all my music on my computer, backed up, so I lend friends the CD because I have no use for it anymore.’
    • Leah:
    • ‘ I’ll give friends a USB drive with stuff on it that they’ll like. You know, like a mix tape.’
    • Stacey:
    • ‘ I use file sharing, but only with my friends. I don’t do that whole Limewire thing.’
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 18. Digital Collections
    • The everywhere-portable file player with extraordinary storage capacity increasingly allows a user’s entire collection to be accessible anytime, anywhere, enabling contemporary collectors to transform their environment into a sonic landscape they’ve personally designed to meet their individual needs.
    June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 19. CRICOS Provider 00109J | www.newcastle.edu.au