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.