Here are the full details for our next mission, The Mp3 Experiment Five. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page. This is event is taking place in New York City. Details on the Toronto event are here. Chicago details are here. San Francisco details are here.
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. We also encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. We will be thoroughly documenting the event as usual and will post tons of photos.
Date: Saturday, September 27 (rain or shine)
Location: Governor’s Island (detailed info below)
Time: The event will begin at exactly 3:15 PM. Arrive early and remember to budget time for weekend subway service delays and lines to get on the ferry. The event will be over at 4:06.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green t-shirt.
Bring: An umbrella and an uninflated balloon.
Full instructions below:
1. Download the Mp3: Download Page (Right click on “New York” and save the link. If you just click on the link it will start playing in your browser. Spoilers!)
Note: The filename for the track is “mp3experiment_nyc.mp3” and the album, artist, and track name will be “Mp3 Experiment 5.”
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. (Long sleeves / sweaters are OK too.)
5. Bring an umbrella and an uninflated balloon. (Any kind of umbrella. Any kind of balloon that can be blown up. They are available at most 99 cent stores in NYC.)
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:
(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. As 3:15 approaches, take a seat anywhere on the island. You can sit on the ground, a bench, wherever. Spread out and don’t sit too close to others who look like they might be a part of it.
8. At exactly 3:15 PM, press play.
Directions to Governor’s Island: Detailed directions to Governor’s Island as well as the ferry schedule are located here. The island is located in the New York Harbor, just south of Lower Manhattan. The ferry ride is free and takes 7 minutes. The ferry leaves every half hour starting at 11 AM. We strongly encourage participants to arrive early. We expect a large crowd and you should take an early ferry if you want to guarantee your participation. The last possible ferry to take is 3 PM, but if you arrive that late you run the risk of the ferry being full. The island is absolutely beautiful, so arrive a couple of hours early and take a leisurely tour before the experiment. There is food and drink available for purchase, and there are public restrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Say what now?
If you’ve never heard of The Mp3 Experiment, check out our coverage of the past four years:
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 3:15:00 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 5”.
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?
Plan to be early! Take a ferry a few hours ahead of the event and enjoy the island.
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?
Please refrain from taking photos 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.
Can my shirt have writing on it?
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.
Do I have to RSVP?
Nope, but we did create a Facebook Event if you want to RSVP there. Bring as many friends as you like– this event is open to the public.
What if it rains?
Unfortunately we do not have a rain date. It will happen rain or shine at 3:15. You’ll have an umbrella with you anyway.
How old do you have to be?
The Mp3 Experiment is appropriate for people of all ages. If you are under 18, you should have your parent’s permission to participate. Governor’s Island’s rules state that anyone under 14 must be accompanied by a parent.
Can I bring my dog?
No. The following are not permitted on Governors Island: pets, alcohol, controlled substances, weapons or explosives.
Can I bring my bike?
Limited leisure bicycling is permitted only on designated paths and in designated areas of the Island. There are bikes for rent on the island.
Why is Yahoo! involved this year?
Our partnership with Yahoo! is making it possible for us to tour The Mp3 Experiment to three other cities. Yahoo! did not influence the content of the mp3. They are making it possible for us to do exactly what we want to do in four cities. We’re thrilled about it.
I have another question that hasn’t been answered!
You can ask it by leaving a comment on this entry.