Mp3 Experiment Six – Full Details


Here are the full details for our next mission, The Mp3 Experiment Six. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page. This is event is taking place in New York City.

Please note: This is a participatory event. We encourage participants to leave their cameras at home and have fun participating. We request the same from members of the media. Let’s all enjoy the moment and resist the urge to document! Don’t worry, we will have our usual crew taking photos and video for all to see.

Date: Saturday, May 23 (rain or shine)
Location: Roosevelt Island (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 (detailed subway information below.) The event will be over at 4:47.
Wear: A Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green t-shirt with a white t-shirt underneath. Also recommended: closed-toed shoes and clothes you don’t mind running around in and maybe getting a bit dirty.

Full instructions below:

1. Download the Mp3: The Mp3 Experiment Six Download Link [right click and “save as” to download]

Note: The filename for the track is “mp3experimentsix.mp3” and the album, artist, and track name will be “Mp3 Experiment Six.” The track is 47:16 and around 64.9MB.

2. Load the track onto your mp3 player (iPod, etc.)

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. Also wear a white t-shirt underneath your colored shirt (new for ’09!)

5. 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. As 4:00 approaches, take a seat anywhere in the blue-shaded area on the island on the map below. 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.

View Mp3 Experiment Six in a larger map

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

Directions to Roosevelt Island: Roosevelt Island is easily accessible by subway. Take a Queens-bound F train from anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn and get off at the Roosevelt Island stop. The station is marked on the map above, at the southwest corner of the starting point area. Unfortunately for Queens residents, Manhattan-bound F trains are not stopping at Roosevelt Island on Saturday. You’ll have to take the E/V/F to West 4th, and then transfer to an uptown F train (see the MTA service advisory.) Roosevelt Island is also accessible by the tram from Manhattan. The tram only runs every 15 minutes and holds a limited number of passengers, so it is probably not the best option unless you plan to arrive very early. Full details on the tram as well as driving directions for those coming by car.

We encourage participants to arrive early. There is a Starbucks, Duane Reade, and a couple of cafes right next to the F station.

Frequently Asked Questions

Say what now?

If you’ve never heard of The Mp3 Experiment, read about it here: The Mp3 Experiments

How will we know when to start?

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

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

The artist and album are both listed as “Mp3 Experiment Six”.

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! If you are running late, press play at 4:00 anyway and try to catch up with the group when you arrive.

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. Also, iPhone users should put their phones on “airplane” mode.

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. However, if you plan to share one iPod with a friend “one headphone each” style (not recommended) you’ll be better off if you’re wearing the same color.

Can my shirt have writing on it?

Solid 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 4:00.

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.

Can I bring my dog?

There are green spaces near the starting point that do not allow dogs, but otherwise it should be fine. You’re responsible for your dog’s safety. Keep in mind there will be a massive amount of people.

Can I bring my bike?

Sure. There are bike racks by the F train.

How do we leave the island?

You can take the tram back to Manhattan, or the F train towards Queens to Roosevelt Avenue, where you can transfer to a number of Manhattan-bound trains. Unfortunately you can not catch a Manhattan-bound train at the Roosevelt Island station on Saturday due to service changes.

Don’t you guys have a new book?

We do! A local bookseller will be setting up a mobile bookstore after the event if you want to buy a copy. Charlie and Alex will be on hand to sign copies.

I have another question that hasn’t been answered!

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