This week I went to the Experience Music Project for the first time. Our family joined for the year because (1) it was about the same cost as general admission considering the Bob Dylan T-Shirt they throw in with the membership; and (2) we are in Seattle a lot and (try to, some of us) play various instruments.
One thing I should not is that I am not a fan of the exterior of the building (or of Frank Gehry's architecture generally), but the interior of the building seems to work pretty well for moving a lot of people through a lot of content in a small amount of square footage. Some of the doorways and passages were inexplicably narrow.
The content is what really matters. I'd like to see a wider emphasis than rock and roll, but if you look around a bit you'll find broader content. I'd like to get back up there for Jazz in January.
The best thing about the "museum" is the experiential opportunities. The sound lab is a great place to learn how to make music on various instruments or just to play around. A number of sound-proof booths and rooms have keyboards, guitars, drums, sound equipment, etc. with guided software for absolute beginners or just for free form fun.
Dang if I wasn't embarrassed as a software developer though. In the few hours I was in the sound lab my family and I experienced a handful of frozen computers and handheld devices. More than once "rebooting the computer" was the recovery method.
These are embedded systems and when they break down they spoil the experience even more than a typicalhome computer problem. There's no reason I can see these systems could not fail fast and recover quickly without falling back to the main screen most of the time.
We need to make great new strides in this as programmers beginning in 2005.