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August 17, 2003


By itself, that graph doesn't say anything to me about attention spans. I imagine my graph would look like that, but it's because I spend a fair amount of time looking for a song I want to hear next, not because I get bored.

For example, my iPod is almost always on shuffle play. In the car, I'll often listen to one song I really like... and then two songs that I'm not really into at the time, but they're okay and besides I'm busy concentrating on driving... and then something will come on that I'm really not in the mood for, and I'll "audition" eight songs hitting the "next" button until shuffle play turns up something perfect. See graph.

(Note that I'm not auditioning songs in the Amazon-clip sense; I'm just taking a few seconds to recognize a song I already know.)

What surprises *me* is that what I take to be the "play to completion" length is over four minutes--if these college kids have such short attention spans, why aren't they listening to 3-minute pop singles?

WRT mechanisms to audition new music--this is why I almost never buy music based on online CD store shopping. Sometimes I'll buy from Miles of Music because they have minute-long clips and because I trust their judgement. But more often I base my decisions on (sometimes illegal) full-song downloads, or on going to my local used CD store and listening to enough of the beginnings and middles of songs to get a feel for what the songs are really like.

Good point .. I should have been more clear. I don't think the graph describes short attention spans as much as it does a browsing behavior .. much of what people hear isn't interesting and they drop it before listening.

really i think that you all are wrong about how music affects a teenagers mind. I should know i am one but if you want to prove me wrong i gave you my email.

When I was a boy, I tried to do the same thing and nearly snuffed myself.

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