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Musical Fingerprints: Collaboration around Home Media Collections

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Association for Computing Machinery


As people collect more and more digital music, photos, and video, the growing scale of the collection challenges how families share and collaborate around home media collections. We studied the intersection between physical and digital media collections. Through 20 two hour, in home interviews, we explored the when, why, and how of the households' organization, access and sharing. Our grounded approach is framed through the use of the media lifecycle and the spectrum of intimacy of the collector and others involved in the stages of the lifecycle. We found a range of accommodations to facilitate collaboration around media collections in the home. For example, media collections often begin with an individual, but as they become shared and integrated into a household, a member of the household will often play a key curatorial role that includes making changes to the organizational scheme, setting aside sub-collections and selecting items to play that account for the entire household's taste. Our findings identify key practices that can inform the design of future media software for the home.


Sease, Robin; McDonald, David W. (2009): Musical Fingerprints: Collaboration around Home Media Collections. Proceedings of the 2009 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/1531674.1531724. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 331–340. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA