The Mp3 Experiment Seven

Here are the full details for The Mp3 Experiment Seven. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page. This 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, October 2
Location: Midtown Manhattan (detailed info below)
Time: The event will begin at exactly 6:00 PM. The event will be over by 7:00.
Wear: Whatever you would normally wear on a Saturday. (We are not doing colored shirts this year. The goal is to blend in with non-participants.)
Bring: A bag (purse, backpack, messenger bag, shopping bag, etc.) that has the following items inside:
– a roll of toilet paper
– two sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper with one huge letter on each of them, either typed or drawn. Chose one vowel and one consonant. Keep other side of each piece of paper blank.
– a marker.
– a wrapped gift of something you have in your home but no longer want that you think someone else might like.

Full instructions below:

Instructions:
1. Download the Mp3: Mp3 Experiment Download Page

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

3. Do not listen to the track.

4. On Saturday, wear normal clothes and bring a bag containing the above-mentioned items.

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

7. As 6:00 approaches, position yourself inside any retail store within the blue-shaded area on the map below. Behave as though you are a normal customer shopping in the store and prepare to press play without drawing attention to yourself. Spread out so that you are not too close to friends or others wearing headphones. If the store seems excessively crowded, find another one.


View Mp3 Experiment Seven Starting Point in a larger map

8. At exactly 06:00:00 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 six years.

How will we know when to start?

You will have synchronized your watch or cell phone clock to the atomic clock above. Press play at exactly 6:00 PM. If your phone does not allow you to adjust by seconds, you have two choices: 1) Bring a watch. 2) Figure out how off your phone is and adjust accordingly. For example, if your phone is 10 seconds ahead of the clock above, then you would press play at 5:59:50.

Can I use my iPhone?

Yes, but if you use an iPhone, be sure to put it in airplane mode so you don’t get interrupted by a call.

Should I listen to the track beforehand?

No.

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 the start time wherever you may be, and hurry up!

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

If you can tell you are significantly off, feel free to glance at a neighbor’s device and try to sync back up to the correct time. You’ll have more fun if you’re more in sync.

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 start in the same place?

You can, but try to spread out in your store so it looks like you aren’t together. The experiment will work best if there are a few other participants in your area, but not so many that it’s super obvious you’re all together.

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.

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. Young children should participate with their parents, obviously.

Can I bring my dog?

No. As this year’s experiment takes place in an urban environment and requires you to start in a retail store, we do not recommend you bring your dog.

I have another question that hasn’t been answered!

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