MusicCube : making digital music tangible

M. Bruns, D.V. Keyson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    To some extent listening to digital music via storage devices has led to a loss of part of the physical experience associated with earlier media formats such as CDs and LPs. For example, one could consider the role of album covers in music appreciation. Previous efforts at making music interaction more tangible have focused mainly on access issues. A case study is presented in which several content attributes of Mp3 formatted music as well as control access are made more visible and tangible. Play lists, music rhythm, volume, and navigational feedback were communicated via multicolored light displayed in a tangible interface. Users were able to physically interact with music collections via the MusicCube, a wireless cube-like object, using gestures to shuffle music and a rotary dial with a button for song navigation and volume control. Speech and non-speech feedback were given to communicate current mode and song title. The working prototype was compared to an Apple iPod, along the dimensions of trust, engagement, ergonomic and hedonic qualities, and appeal. Subjects rated the MusicCube higher on scales associated with hedonic qualities, while the iPod was preferred for ergonomic qualities. Results on trust measures were found to correlate with ergonomic qualities, while sense of engagement related to hedonic aspects. Subjects generally valued the expressive and tangible interaction with music collections. Next design steps will focus on increasing ergonomic aspects of the MusicCube while maintaining a high hedonic rating.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication CHI '05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    ISBN (Electronic)1-59593-002-7
    ISBN (Print)978-1-59593-002-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    Event23rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2005) - Portland, United States
    Duration: 2 Apr 20057 Apr 2005
    Conference number: 23


    Conference23rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2005)
    Abbreviated titleCHI 2005
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address


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