Pathways: mapping and negotiating downloaded music collections Marj Kibby Film, Media & Cultural Studies
Musical artifacts <ul><li>Consumer goods with their  </li></ul><ul><li>presumption of utility. </li></ul><ul><li>Collectio...
Methodology <ul><li>Thirty-five semi-structured, in-depth interviews : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>questions about music acquisi...
Collections in 2004 <ul><li>Vignoli interviewed individuals aged between twenty-three and twenty-nine, who ‘owned a large ...
Collections 2008 <ul><li>My research four years later revealed that many of the participants had few or no CDs and much la...
Digital Collections <ul><li>Thirty-five 18 to 25 year olds interviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>18 (51%) said that music was ver...
Digital Collections <ul><li>Most of the interviewees reported a music file collection of more than 3,000 files, with 23 (6...
Affective Attachment <ul><li>Simon:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I have about 40 gigs worth [of music files].  </li></ul><ul><li>I...
Affective Attachment <ul><li>Josh:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Some of it is like local sorts of bands that play in the pub scene...
Access and Control <ul><li>Alan:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ It’s pretty sweet, um, Microsoft Windows Media Player sorts [my file...
Access and Control <ul><li>Jessica:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I’ve only started making playlists a lot recently. I’ve made one ...
Access and Control <ul><li>Simon: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Even though the majority of my music is a digital collection, I stil...
Construction of Space  <ul><li>Jono:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Music is something I live and breathe something I listen to cons...
Construction of Space  <ul><li>Simon:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I don’t use my CDs any more. I use iTunes to listen on my lapto...
Social Connections <ul><li>Carl:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ If you see someone you know you take one ear piece out to indicate y...
Social Connections <ul><li>Alan:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The last track I got really excited about was the William Shatner ve...
Social Connections <ul><li>Michael:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I’ve got all my music on my computer, backed up, so I lend friend...
Digital Collections <ul><li>The everywhere-portable file player with extraordinary storage capacity increasingly allows a ...
CRICOS Provider 00109J  |  www.newcastle.edu.au
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Pathways

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Pathways

  1. 1. Pathways: mapping and negotiating downloaded music collections Marj Kibby Film, Media & Cultural Studies
  2. 2. Musical artifacts <ul><li>Consumer goods with their </li></ul><ul><li>presumption of utility. </li></ul><ul><li>Collection with the implication </li></ul><ul><li>of objects ‘removed from </li></ul><ul><li>ordinary use’. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  3. 3. Methodology <ul><li>Thirty-five semi-structured, in-depth interviews : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>questions about music acquisition, storage and organization, and access and use. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Survey: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>quantifiable responses on collection size and format, types of music use and sources of recorded music. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The interviews were transcribed and coded thematically, using grounded theory techniques. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  4. 4. Collections in 2004 <ul><li>Vignoli interviewed individuals aged between twenty-three and twenty-nine, who ‘owned a large collection of digital music’. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>(Vignoli, 2004, p. 416). </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  5. 5. Collections 2008 <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  6. 6. Digital Collections <ul><li>Thirty-five 18 to 25 year olds interviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>18 (51%) said that music was very important in their lives, and 15 (43%) more said that it was important. </li></ul><ul><li>While 3 (9%) described their collection as ‘enviable’, 22 others (69%) rated their collection as ‘good’ or ‘better than good’. </li></ul><ul><li>The most common size of the CD collection was 25 to 50 CDs, with 14 (41%) including their collection in this category. </li></ul><ul><li>Four people (12%) had more than five hundred CDs. </li></ul><ul><li>Two people had small vinyl collections. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  7. 7. Digital Collections <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>With the average CD having twelve tracks, this is the equivalent of 250 CDs. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The majority found out about new music from friends, although radio was still an important source for many. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  8. 8. Affective Attachment <ul><li>Simon: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I have about 40 gigs worth [of music files]. </li></ul><ul><li>I have a sort of semi-obscure music collection, one that I’ve built up myself. </li></ul><ul><li>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.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  9. 9. Affective Attachment <ul><li>Josh: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I’ve got some interesting stuff there, particularly my early nineties Norwegian black metal…. Yeah, some very cool stuff in there.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  10. 10. Access and Control <ul><li>Alan: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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. </li></ul><ul><li>You can arrange it by artist names, the year it was released – so, yeah, it does it all automatically, which is awesome. </li></ul><ul><li>My CDs… my room is so messy… they’re fricking everywhere at the moment.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  11. 11. Access and Control <ul><li>Jessica: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Leah: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  12. 12. Access and Control <ul><li>Simon: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Joyleen: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  13. 13. Construction of Space <ul><li>Jono: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Joyleen: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ It’s very important to me that I have music going virtually all the time.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  14. 14. Construction of Space <ul><li>Simon: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  15. 15. Social Connections <ul><li>Carl: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ If you see someone you know you take one ear piece out to indicate your willingness to exchange a few words. </li></ul><ul><li>If they leave both theirs in you know they just want to say hi and go on their way. </li></ul><ul><li>Or if they take both out and stop their player, they want to have a conversation.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  16. 16. Social Connections <ul><li>Alan: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Josh: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  17. 17. Social Connections <ul><li>Michael: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Leah: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I’ll give friends a USB drive with stuff on it that they’ll like. You know, like a mix tape.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Stacey: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I use file sharing, but only with my friends. I don’t do that whole Limewire thing.’ </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  18. 18. Digital Collections <ul><li>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. </li></ul>June 5, 2009 A presentation to AoIR 09 | www.newcastle.edu.au
  19. 19. CRICOS Provider 00109J | www.newcastle.edu.au
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