Musical mobbing in online listening rooms
June 1st, 2011


Was it the Walkman that ended the role of music as an attraction for gathering around to listen? For all previous human experience, music played the of role of bringing people together. After the boombox blasting era, music went mostly private. People passed each other in silence as their personal music entered only their own ears through headphones.

Today, WIRED Epicenter proclaims: “Online Listening Rooms Spring Music Fans From Their Cocoons.” The article includes this explanation of the timing:

So why is this happening in mid-2011, rather than, say, five years ago? First, social networks have not only conditioned us to being together online, but they’ve given us handy portable identities that can be plugged into these listening rooms. Most of them require a Twitter or Facebook handle for entry.

Second, recent advances in browser and mobile app technology have made it possible to sync everyone up to the same song at the same time, regardless of our respective locations.

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