mNAP software

As well as inviting our mNAP participants to take part in our questionnaire after the listening experience, we’ll be capturing their response in real time while they’re in the listening space. I’m using software I developed in MaxMSP to do this, in particular taking advantage of iPad<–>MaxMSP interfacing available via the Mira extension.

The mNAP software is a very simple iPad interface which allows the user to

  1. start playback when they are seated comfortably and ready to begin;
  2. see how many seconds remain to be played during the experiment;
  3. at any time during the experiment, to record their mood by pressing one of four buttons.

Following Maria’s suggestions we’re looking to capture one of four states:

Arousal              Affect
‘unexciting’     ‘pleasant’
‘exciting’          ‘disturbing’

The software works as follows:

Before guiding the participant into the mNAP, the researcher enters a single-word participant ID into a text field in the Macbook software. This ID should be unique and should also be handwritten onto the consent form and questionnaire so that we can link realtime responses to participants.

The participant enters the mNAP with the iPad and the door is closed. Note that the iPad is merely a controller: the sound file is played back from the Macbook, and the data files are written to the Macbook also.

When the participant presses a mood button, it is time-stamped in milliseconds relative to the start of the playback; the number of the button is recorded against this:

1 = unexciting: pleasant
2 = unexciting: disturbing
3 = exciting: pleasant
4 = exciting: disturbing

When the playback is finished, a text file with all the timestamps is automatically written to disc. The name of the file is the participant ID followed by the date and time it was written (to ensure a unique file name in the case that the researcher mistakenly reuses a participant ID), e.g. michael-2014-12-9-13.44.40.txt

A photo of the iPad interface is at the top of this post.