May 30, 2005

ARTICLE | Ipod Sound-seeing Tours

With Irreverence and an iPod, Recreating the Museum Tour
28 May2005
Source: New York Times

In the museum world, where the popularity of audio tours has grown tremendously over the last decade, the use of commercial MP3 players seems to be catching on. Officials at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis have discussed putting their new audio guide material on the Web for downloading to portable players. Last year, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo lent viewers iPods to use as audio guides for one exhibition, and Apple Computer has helped the Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley of France do the same thing, using the sonorous voice of the actor Michael Lonsdale.

But the rise of podcasting is now enabling museumgoers not simply to enjoy audio guides on a sleeker-looking device but also to concoct their own guides and tours. A New York art website,, recently made a sound-seeing tour of the Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, which the Web site's creators made in hushed tones while wandering through the show, sometimes quoting from the museum's official audio guide, which they listened to as they chatted.

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