Mike Love posted this on his blog:

[James Vasile]  proposed separating the recommendation from distribution of the actual song - either by referencing an audio fingerprint or some other unique id (CDDB?). Then each listener can choose a hierarchy of how they would like to find the audio: find the mp3s on the web, last.fm, amazon samples, purchase the songs, etc. This would involve the creation of some standardized XML style format for playlists, and we talked about how Songbird seems like a good open platform for receiving these playlists and then using a diversity of networks to find the audio or at least a sample.  (I’m hoping that somehow last.fm, amazon or itunes will make their samples more portable to benefit from click-through - maybe this is impossible or unlikely)

I replied with this comment, but I'm not sure if it took, so I copied it here because lots of copies keeps stuff safe.

My reply ...

The technologies that you suggest are necessary to promote a music recommendation ecosystem are spot on. We need universal song id and a standard playlist format. The latter already exists. There is a XML playlist format called XSPF (pronounced 'spiff') that captures all the information needed for portable playlists. It is the product of many smart people (including Lucas Gonze from WebJay and Robert Kaye from MusicBrainz). Many folks are working on tools, APIs and players that generate XSPF playlists, that play XSPF playlists and resolve XSPF playlists. I think XSPF has the best chance at becoming *the* universal playlist format. As for SongID, there are many commercial audio fingerprinting systems out there that can derive a unique (or nearly unique) ID just based upon the audio. The problem, however, is that they all cost money to license, and because of that no system has become the standard (defacto or otherwise). The MusicDNS system probably has the best chance, since it is very low cost (essentially free for all but the biggest users), and it ties in with the public domain music metadata being created by the MusicBrainz folk. Still, the problem with a songID system is that unless it is universally used, it is not too useful. Companies like Apple have little incentive to use such a system, since they already own the market. They'd rather not make it easier for others to work in this space. My hope has been that a company like Amazon would come along and adopt these standard formats (you can read more about this in this post) and make a  recommendation ecosystem possible. It hasn't happened yet.


Paul, Thanks for the heads-up about MusicDNS. Grabb.it is getting to the point where we want to do lots of simple things with track identity. As soon as WIFI is everywhere, the idea of a personal music library will go by the wayside. Hopefully we can see blanket licensing for digital music, so we can have a big boom around music in the cloud.

Posted by Chris Anderson on May 15, 2007 at 08:55 PM EDT #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.

This blog copyright 2010 by plamere