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Despite the importance of digital music in most young people's lives, there has been little academic research into the meanings attached to these acquisitions and the patterns of organization of and access to them. This study reviewed the existing research into music collections, and interviewed 35 young people whose first music acquisitions were music files or whose current collections consisted predominantly of music files. The results suggest that many young people have acquired a large amount of music in file formats, and relate to their music in ways that show their music functions as a 'collection.' The examination of personal archives of music primarily existing as music files suggests that the process of classifying, organizing and accessing music that has no physical or material presence gives it a materiality.
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Keywords: Cyberculture; media studies; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle, Humanities and Social Science, University Drive, Newcastle, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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