Ipod Audio

Ipod City – Digital Audio and Perception of Place

By February 23, 2007 One Comment

Our perception of urban space is based on sight, smell, sound and to some extent touch. Portable music became main stream in 1979 with the introduction of the Sony Walkman and with it came a change to the way we perceive the space around us. By filtering out the natural and man made sounds of the city we are able to immerses ourselves in a alternative reality of our choosing.

The rise of the Ipod has placed this change of perception at our fingertips – to illustrate this we recorded a movie with the ipod playing on our way out of work (see below):

The resulting movie is an insight into how the choice of music changes our view of the urban environment. In our case it is almost immersing yourself in a real-time MTV world as we consume the urban environment accompanied by the audio track…


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

One Comment

  • Wow, that’s very interesting!

    Speaking of alternative reality, I’ve been interseted in this phenomenon in Second Life, where the feeling and perception of a space changes immensely when you play the music each parcel owner has selected.