silvando espero.

silvando espero.
Originally uploaded by sebastian.ignacio.

Thankssilvando for this sweet shot!

I have been immersered in this topic for months now, and its all about to be come to a conclusion at long last. Im pretty stoked. More results, pics, and the thesis itself will be posted here soon. For now I will will leave you with the abstract which I will be defending in 11 DAYS! :

Many people keep their collections of music on cassette tape even if they rarely listen to them. Images of these collections can be found online on photo sharing websites. What can we learn from such collections and what might they tell us about designing interfaces for new digital music libraries? The author conducts an online ethnographic study of over two hundred cassette tape collections, and over sixty participants with the aim of guiding future design of music collections. The author presents design heuristics and guidelines for interfaces of digital music libraries.

and yes… this is pretty much what I have felt like for the last 6 months. Ironically, as much as I am waiting for this to be done, I am equally looking forward to continue exploring and researching this topic. cassette nation!!!

iPod / Walkman – Walkpod

iPod / Walkman – Walkpod
Originally uploaded by Neil101.

A clever new device! from Neil101

I have been reviewing the contributed images in the My Cassettes flickr group (now over 100 members strong!) as I am in the final stages of completing this research. The defense date has actually been set for April 4th!. yikes!… There has been alot of data to sift through, over 400 images in fact, so I am sure glad I used to bookmark and annotate everything as I went along. It was particularly useful when I was contacting the shortlist of participants and the approvals form my informed consent process were coming in. I would just tag the entries accordingly, and can now sort (for instance) on all the properties of my data that can be published in the final document. More than 70 images out of 113 requests, of which I am very pleased. A big THANKS going out to all the participants =) People were amazingly responsive and interested in this research and I expect a good turn out for the upcoming survey as well.

I have updated this blogs sidebar to provide easier access to the data, and will also be updating the feed shortly. Although you will not need to re-subscribe, It will probably blow away all the old dates of posts and such in your reader… so sorry about that.

And now, for an update on the writing. This thesis documents the affordances of physical musical artifacts, specifically tape cassettes. It is primarily concerned with new ways of understanding these affordances, how people organize and use these artifacts. The author (moi) hopes to inform the design of better interfaces for listening to digital music, specifically the mp3. The image above is a brilliant visual mashup, and represents for me something that is at the core of my work. How do we get the best of both worlds when we are listening to our music. When is it better to have a physical object, or will it ever be again? As tapes are quickly fading in to media history, have we thrown the baby out with the bath water now that we are all consuming “iMusic“?

( I wont be writing like this in the thesis btw, just sketching some of the ideas as I put that beast together)