The debate surrounding music piracy versus the so-called collapse of the music industry has largely been bipolar, and yet so many other processes of music distribution have been developing. From online “sharity” communities that digitize obscure vinyl never released in digital format (a network of cultural preservation, one could argue), all the way to netlabels that could not care less about making money out of their releases, as well as “grime” networks made up of bedroom musicians constantly remixing each other, there is a vast wealth of possibilities driving music in the digital world. This panel will present key examples emerging from this “grey area”, and discuss future scenarios for music production and consumption that stand proudly outside the bipolar box.
In the old days it was DJs, A&R folks, labels and record store owners that were the gatekeepers to music. Today, we are seeing a new music gatekeeper emerge... the developer. Using open APIs, developers are creating new apps that change how people explore, discover, create and interact with music. But developers can't do it alone. They need data like gig listings, lyrics, recommendation tools and, of course, music! And they need it from reliable, structured and legitimate sources.
In this presentation we'll discuss and explore what is happening right now in the thriving music developer ecosystem. We'll describe some of the novel APIs that are making this happen and what sort of building blocks are being put into place from a variety of different sources. We'll demonstrate how companies within this ecosystem are working closely together in a spirit of co-operation. Each providing their own pieces to an expanding pool of resources from which developers can play, develop and create new music apps across different mediums - web, mobile, software and hardware. We'll highlight some of the next-generation of music apps that are being created in this thriving ecosystem.
Finally we'll take a look at how music developers are coming together at events like Music Hack Day, where participants have just 24 hours to build the next generation of music apps. Someone once said, "APIs are the sex organs of software. Data is the DNA." If this is true, then Music Hack Days are orgies.
Metadata may be an afterthought when it comes to most people's digital music collections, but when it comes to finding, buying, selling, rating, sharing, or describing music, little matters more. Metadata defines how we interact and talk about music—from discreet bits like titles, styles, artists, genres to its broader context and history. Metadata builds communities and industries, from the local fan base to the online social network. Its value is immense. But who owns it? Some sources are open, peer-produced and free. Others are proprietary and come with a hefty fee. And who determines its accuracy? From CDDB to MusicBrainz and Music Genome Project to AllMusic, our panel will explore the importance of metadata and information about music from three angles. First, production, where we'll talk about the quality and accuracy of peer-produced sources for metatdata and music information, like MusicBrainz and Wikipedia, versus proprietary sources, like CDDB. Second, we'll look at the social importance of music data, like how we use it to discuss music and how we tag it to enhance music description and discovery. Finally, we'll look at some legal issues, specifically how patent, copyright, and click-through agreements affect portability and ownership of data and how metadata plays into or out of the battles over "walled garden" systems like Facebook and Apple's iEmpire. We'll also play a meta-game with metadata during the panel to demonstrate how it works and why it is important.
11th–15th March 2011