Participate Saturday in the Mp3 Experiment Four

You are invited to participate in our next mission, The Mp3 Experiment Four. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page.

Please note: This is a participatory event. If anyone wants to cover this event for the press, you may only do so by participating, not observing. No press cameras allowed.

Date: Saturday, August 18
Location: The World Financial Center Plaza by the North Cove Yacht Harbor (detailed info below)
Time: The event will begin at exactly 4:00 PM. Arrive early and remember to budget time for weekend subway service delays. The event will be over at 4:36.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green t-shirt.
Bring: A watch with a second hand; a digital camera or camera phone (if you own one.)

1. Download the Mp3: Click Here to Download

Note: The filename for the track is “Mp3 Experiment Four.mp3” and the album, artist, and track name will be “mp3 experiment four.”

2. Load the track onto your mp3 player (iPod, etc) or burn to a CD for use with a “Discman.”

3. Do not listen to the track.

4. On Saturday, wear a t-shirt that is one of the following colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green.

5. Pack a digital camera or camera phone, if you have one. Keep it stowed away until directed to use.

6. Bring a watch with a second hand (or use your cell phone if it displays seconds.) Before you leave, sync it up to this atomic clock:

New York

(If your browser doesn’t show the clock above, you can use this link to get the correct time; note that the hour is off, but the minute and seconds are correct.)

7. Anytime before 4:00 PM, arrive at World Financial Center Plaza and find a seat anywhere in the blue zone on the map below. Sit anywhere one would normally sit – park bench, concrete seating area, steps, etc. Spread out and don’t sit too close to others who look like they might be a part of it.

Mp3 Experiment Four Starting Map
See a larger Google Map of the starting area

7. At exactly 4:00 PM, press play.

Map including nearby subway stops:

Mp3 Experiment Four Subway Map
See a larger Google Map of nearby subway stops

Frequently Asked Questions

Say what now?

If you’re unfamiliar with how The Mp3 Experiment works, check out The Mp3 Experiment, The Mp3 Experiment 2.0, and The Mp3 Experiment III

There is only one track this time?

Yes. Unlike last year, everyone will download the exact same track.

How will we know when to start?

You will have synchronized your watch or cell phone clock to the atomic clock above. Start right at 4:00:00 PM.

Do I have to have an iPod?

No. The event is designed for folks who own an iPod or similar portable mp3 player, but those of you with portable CD players can participate as well. Simply download the track and burn it to a CD. Don’t have a burner? Ask a friend to burn it for you.

I can’t find the track on my iPod. Where is it?

The artist and album are both listed as “mp3 experiment four”.

Should I listen to the track beforehand?


Can I listen to the track beforehand?

You really shouldn’t. Sure, there’s nothing we can do to stop you, but to really get the full experience of the event, you shouldn’t listen to it. It will spoil most of the fun. We know it’s hard to resist. Be strong.

What if I get to the event late?

You’d be in serious trouble. Plan to be early!

What if I don’t press play at exactly the right time?

That’s OK. We’re counting on everyone’s tracks being slightly off. Different mp3 players have different response speeds. It will be fun to see participants who are clearly ahead or behind. If you are significantly off, feel free to glance at a neighbor’s iPod and try to sync back up to the correct time.

What if I accidentally hit a button on my player during the experiment that stops the track?

We recommend turning on the “hold” button on your player after pressing play to prevent this from happening.

What if my player crashes or the batteries die during the experiment?

In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, we recommend you pretend like nothing is wrong and just go with the flow. There’s really no way to fix it, so why not have as much fun as you can anyway?

Can I take photos or video?

This year we are asking people to bring a digital camera because we have some very specific camera-based things planned at a specific point in the experiment. Please refrain from taking photos at any other point during the experiment. We will have plenty of photographers covering the event, and you’ll have more fun if you’re not taking photos. We take care of the documentation; you take care of the fun!

I’m coming with some friends. Should we all wear the same color t-shirt?

No. It won’t matter. You won’t be separated from them either way.

I have another question that hasn’t been answered!

You can ask it by leaving a comment on this entry.


  1. How long do you think this will take?
    and If i am coming with friends and want to be in the same group as them should we all wear the same color t shirt?

  2. Do the t-shirts need to be solid, with no writing or designs? Very excited about this — it’ll be my first one!

  3. I would love to have one of these in St. Louis. It would be so awesome. Since I can’t go to New York, I’ll just listen to it anyway.

  4. **The experiment is appropriate for all ages. Any children should be with a parent.

    **Sold colored t-shirts are best, but it doesn’t really matter if there is writing or designs so long as it’s clear what color it is.

    **It won’t really work in another city, but if you have a leader who sets it up for you it might (listens to the track and makes sure it will work in your space.) Some folks did Mp3 Experiment 2.0 on their own in Portland back in ’05!

  5. it seems important that how ever you plan to listen to the mp3 has headphones. is this true or can the mp3 be played aloud for all to hear?

  6. Woohoo, other plans were postponed so I have free time. But, uh… for the NY directionally challenged… what’s the easiest way from Penn Station to the pretty blue shape on the map?

  7. I’m with Jess on this one, I know a cab would be easy but it seems kind of far from Penn. I don’t know much about the subway -anyone know which one to get on and when to get off close by? Thanks

  8. Just an FYI for people with iPhones. They should probably turn their phone to “airplane mode” so that the mp3 won’t be interupted by any phone calls and throw off the timing.

  9. Man, I was so looking forward to participating in the MP3 experiment 4.0, but unfortunately I have a 6AM flight to California on Friday. Bummer. I guess I will make it to next year’s MP3 Experiment.

  10. I hope I can make it, but wanted to just say that sometimes on the weekends it can take me twice as long to get down to the Chambers St stop, and sometimes the “A” doesn’t even stop there–so leave LOTS of time if you’re taking the train:)

  11. Yay another MP3 experiment.

    A note regarding those who had to ask how to get there. Take the subway, not a cab. Subway rides are $2 per ride (that’s entering and exiting the system, you can change trains if you have to) which will be a lot cheaper than getting a cab.

  12. Seriously, if I could go, I would. West coast living ftl.

    *goes to pretend to be in it, and listens to the mp3*

  13. dangit! i am in california for this event.. of all the weekends.. lol.. aaarghhhhh.. another time.

  14. Many MP3 players, including iPods, have an “alarm” feature that can play a particular song or playlist at a certain time. I suggest that people using iPods make an MP3 Experiment playlist containing just the MP3 Experiment MP3, set the alarm to 4:00p.m. and set the “sound” to the MP3 Experiment playlist.

  15. I know this would be a LOT of work, but it would be cool if you could have a traveling tour where you go around to different cities and lead the experiment.

  16. On a random note, I think it’d be massively cool if a lot of people gathered together to do the Thriller dance. nudgewinkelbow.

    On topic: I’ll definitely be there. Trying to drag as many people as I can :D

  17. Am I the only one who’s having trouble figuring out how to convert the file to iTunes? I downloaded it, where it came up as a Winamp track. However, I can’t see where it’s saved. Anyone able to give me advice? Because I’d definitely love to participate if I can.

  18. I’ve tried that now, but I’m not seeing anything like that. I tried saving as a playlist but that didn’t result in any tracks being imported to iTunes. It’s quite frustrating.

  19. Scott, what operating system and browser are you using? Try it with a different browser. Download firefox if you don’t have it and use that.

    In firefox when you click on the link you have the option of either downloading it or opening it. If you chose download it goes to your desktop (or wherever you save files.) Then you just drag it into iTunes.

  20. What if I just have a regular point and click FILM camera and not a digital camera? Will it still work? Thanks!

  21. I can not begin to describe how excited I am for this. My parents and I, along with the rest of the family and some family friends will be making the drive up from CT from this. Maybe after, we can get a bunch of fellow agents together for dinner? I think it’d be fun…

  22. I like the iPod Alarm idea, If you do that though, I’d suggest testing it out (with a different song of course!) the day before. Watch the clock on the website to see if it goes right when it’s supposed to.

  23. I tried the iPod alarm trick, and I was a second off from the atomic clock. I think as long as I synchronize my computer to the clock, it will automatically adjust it on my iPod.

  24. Haha, I’m coming this year and bringing a few friends along. It sounds pretty much like the greatest thing ever :) Hope this year kicks ass

    Adam, wouldn’t worry about it, being off time is only part of the fun.

  25. If we were going to hold an experiment of our own, could you suggest some background music? The music for this one is good.

  26. This’ll be the first event I can make – and I’m doing my best to round up a bunch of folks to come along.

    Looking for some cool events before/after the experiment in the neighborhood – any suggestions?

  27. I’ll be bus’n down from New Hampshire with some friends. 8 hours of driving for a 30 minute experience. What is wrong with me? I’m psyched

  28. Peter – you can always put on the 1st mp3 experiment by using our track. Info is at the bottom of the mission page.

    Mike – The entire downtown waterfront area is beautiful and fun to explore.

    James – That’s awesome you guys are coming down from NH. You might set a record for longest distance traveled to do a mission.

  29. Figured it out. For some reason I couldn’t download it in Firefox, had to use a different browser. For those of you that want to confirm you got the full file, it clocks in at 36:26 for time, and 33.4MB for size.

  30. I never go to the city. I looked at the map, but there could still be a better way than the one I found. Can someone tell which trains to take from Grand Central?

  31. Thomas, you could take the Shuttle train from Grand Central to Times Square and then take any of the blue or red lines to Chambers.

    A., You can bring your dog if you like, but you might want to hold it the whole time to make sure it’s safe and not in danger of getting stepped on.

  32. gonna try to make it but it’s gonna be tight…coming in from toronto. would it be too obvious if i wore the same coloured shorts/pants as well?

  33. hey guys, i’m driving in from sussex cty nj, anyone want to carpool or know if there are any parking garages in that area? ditto miketheman re: stuff to do afterwards?

  34. I’ll be flying down from Atlanta once again to do a mission, my 3rd (I work for an airline = free flights) and I’ll try to bring a friend. The forecast looks great!

  35. I was just thinking about how great it would be to participate in one of these! Ugh, too bad I found out this info a little late. Hopefully I can make it.

  36. Can’t wait. It looks like it going to be a really nice day weather-wise and what a great spot for an experiment.

  37. That was hilarious and fun! I can’t wait for the video to see how the general public reacted.

  38. Woohoo! what a great time that was. I loved the mystified looks on the faces of the people around us. One person jokingly thought we were in some sort of cult and told us that the mothership was about to arrive….

  39. WOW! So much fun! You guys rock! You couldn’t have picked a more perfect day… except for the almost total lack of clouds for the pointing part. lol

  40. Thanks to everyone who came out! I had a blast and I hope you did too. I created a new post for people to give their reports, comments, photo links, etc.

    FYI – The ticket the guy got was for his dog taking a crap on the lawn (the park was a “no dogs” area, which I didn’t realize.) It was a $50 ticket. I gave him $50. Basically the park rangers needed to do *something* so they found the one guy who broke a concrete rule and lectured him about the whole thing, and then fined him.

  41. Glenn M: I was wondering what was going on there! Once I saw you holding your hair back with your hands above your forehead, with the “Oh my god. I can’t believe this is happening” look I knew something was not right.

    Good to hear everything worked out well.

  42. I was just an onlooker, but it looked like a lot of fun, and freeze tag looked amazing.

    I live nearby and early on Sunday, while out jogging, I stopped and spoke to some Battery Park ranger types. I feigned curiosity in Saturday’s event, and one of the rangers said “Oh yeah, I heard about that – I think it was some sort of protest or somethin”….

    (tee hee)

  43. Having found out about this about a half year after the fact, I want to listen to the mp3 but the download page has expired. Can I find it anywhere? I’m really curious.