Our discussion on genealogies sparked a few ideas on the Interaction paper. I’m thinking about researching the genealogy of music ownership (owning CDs or downloading Mp3s) and the genealogy of accessing music (streaming music through services like Spotify). The goal of the paper would be to reveal these genealogies, and provide a better understanding for interaction designers when developing music related software or platforms.

From what I understand, and this is something I used to blog about frequently in 2007, music access has roots in live performances, days prior to recorded music, radio, and services that we pay for (such as electricity or running water). Accessing music thrives on community (via social networking) and views music as something we tap into or engage in. Because accessing music encourages community, you find services like SoundCloud that encourage people to record their music and share it with their friends, and provide an engaging commenting system.

Music ownership views music as a commodity. Its roots are in printed sheet music and player pianos. While certain forms of music ownership (such as vinyl) encourage community, it has largely become an individualistic experience. Music ownership didn’t replace music access until vinyl exploded in the 1950s.

While music ownership will continue, through vinyl and Mp3 collections, there are more and more signs that people are once again viewing music as something they access. As interaction designers, we should be aware of the differences between these two genealogies.

I would like to view these two genealogies through the lens of the Lev Manovich reading, and discussing the semiotics involved.

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