Floating Dance Party
- Floating Dance Party (FDP)
- A group of people silently dance-travelling - wearing headphones and listening to the same music in sync.
How to Get Involved
Sign up to the email list on the Yale FDP Website!
Here's how it works:
- When you least expect it, the organizers will send out an email with a time, a starting location, and some mixes.
- You download the mixes (usually ~3 tracks around ~30-minutes each) onto your MP3 player of choice.
- Rendezvous at the outdoor meeting point with your MP3 player and your headphones.
- Join the countdown: "Three, two, one, play."
How to Synchronize Music
You have options! Distributing MP3s works well enough, but precise synchronization is difficult and all participants have to download the music ahead of time. Using the Airfoil and Turntable.fm methods, synchronization is ensured, but participants need the app so it won't work on quite as many devices.
Traditionally, FDPs have been done using pre-distributed 20-30 minute MP3s. At the time of dancing, everyone stands in a group and presses "PLAY" at the same time. Multiple mixes are used to have the opportunity to re-sync partway through the night, and also to allow people to join in partway through the night.
MP3s can be strung together in a program like Audacity (or something fancier) into ~30min segments. PCs don't have fancier free software yet, but Macs do.
Silent Disco Squad
A website/group that coordinates FDP parties and synchronizes music to devices.
(this hasn't been tested. Can it handle 50 iPods at once? Is the range of a computer enough? Can you set it to automatically transmit to every device that connects?)
Airfoil turns your devices into audio transmitters and receivers. You can transmit music from your computer to everyone's iPods, and they'll all be in sync!
The catch: we all have to be on the same wireless network. Yale Secure doesn't count because it drops as you travel. Also it has weird "subnets" which mean you're not on the same Yale Secure as the person next to you. BUT Windows computers are portable ad-hoc routers!
Turntable.fm is a web/mobile application that allows you to listen to the same music as your friends, as you DJ for each other.
This is also limited by network connection. This would work for iPhone and Android only, connected to 3G/4G. iPod Touch won't work, because wireless networks drop the connection as you move.
Whereas other methods, such as people pressing "play" simultaneously, or listening to a digital network stream, may result in the music being slightly out of sync, this method does not have this problem. You get an FM transmitter (sold for as little as $10; the idea is that you would use it in your car if the car has a radio but not an MP3 hookup) and you plug it in to one iPod/computer that has the music. People listen on any FM radio. You may not know you have an FM radio, but there might be one built into your phone (if it's not an iPhone), even if it's an older phone that's not in service. Or, you know, these things were all the rage in the 80s or 90s or whatever, so you probably have pocket-sized radios lying around at home. At least I do.
The advantage here is that anyone can join at any time and there's no syncing.