Note: This page was for our 2008 SF tour date. For the 2013 event, see this page.
Here are the full details for The Mp3 Experiment San Francisco. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page. This event is happening in San Francisco on 10/4. New York details are here. Toronto details are here. Chicago details are here.
Please note: This is a participatory event. We encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. Same goes for the media. Let’s all enjoy the moment and resist the urge to document!
Date: Saturday, October 4 (rain or shine)
Location: Mission Dolores Park [map]
Time: The event will begin at exactly 2:00 PM. Arrive early! The event will be over at 2:45.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green shirt
Bring: An umbrella and an uninflated balloon.
Full instructions below:
1. Download the Mp3: Download Page (Right click on “San Francisco” and save the link. If you just click on the link it will start playing in your browser. Spoilers! Mac users can “option-click”)
Note: The filename for the track is “mp3experiment_san_francisco.mp3” and the album, artist, and track name will be “Mp3 Experiment San Francisco.”
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.)
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 2:00 approaches, take a seat anywhere on the field. Spread out and don’t sit too close to others who look like they might be a part of it.
8. At exactly 2:00 PM, press play.
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 2:00:00 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 San Francisco”.
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?
Press play at 2:00 wherever you may be, and hurry up!
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 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 2:00. 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.
Why is Yahoo! involved?
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.