When your walkman asks you to do something...

The use of RJDJ applications such as Trippy and Shake is fascinating. These are basically two "reactive music" applications that use the iPhone's built-in microphone (Trippy) or accelerometer (Shake) to adjust/modify/transform the soundtrack you're listening to:

"RjDj uses the power of the new generation personal music players like iPhone and iPod Touch to create mind blowing hearing sensations. The RjDj app makes a number of downloadable scenes from different artists available. The Trippy app is a compilation of seven scenes bundled which are all using microphone input to manipulate or create music. The Shake app comes bundled with seven scenes which are all about moving, shaking and dancing with your device."

Of course this is not very different than past generative/ambient music but what I find really intriguing is this tune:

RJDJ Trippi

What I find important here is that the system explicitly asks you - the user - to go to a certain place to create a certain experience. And it's not just a place, it's a context that you're required to find. Luckily construction workers are everywhere in Geneva, digging up and down the city for a new tram thing, I had plenty of opportunity to play with this application and I liked it a lot.

Why do I blog this? observing the interesting interaction design pattern that is at stake here. What is this? First it's a "walkman that asks you to do something", which is clearly intriguing. Second, it's a sort of game mechanic that requires you to change your activity to create an original experience. Sort of "game design" meets "mobile music".

The "find some place" recommendation here is highly interesting. It extends the range of verbs proposed in specific applications (a music player generally only ask you to play/rewind/pause/fast forward or change tune/shuffle). In this case, there is a new possibility that reminds us of Chris Crawford's approach to interaction design: "Interactivity requires verb thinking" proposed in his book entitled "The Art of Interactive Design". "Finding a place" is, above all, a new verb choice for music play.

It makes me wonder about two possibilities: (1) Playing with this trick and finding other verbs that could expand music player?, (2) Thinking about this "find a place" addition as an interesting possibility for location-based applications.