[uf-discuss] Is Music dead? (I hope not!)

Benjamin West bewest at gmail.com
Thu Jun 29 14:36:39 PDT 2006

I've been watching this thread with some hesitation.  I'm from the
classical world and am usually frustrated with the attributes most
people capture in music meta formats.  Consumption of classical music
is a bit different from pop music.  The attributes of data that are
important shift meanings through different genres.  In classical, the
concept of composer and performer is relatively loosely coupled
compared to pop when they are usually the same thing.  In addition,
composers often stand on the shoulders of giants, and there are
multiple versions built on top of eachother... an example would be the
Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria".  For this, you essentially have attributable
text, a melody composer, and then an arranger, all from very different
time periods.  On top of this, you would have subsequent arrangements
(a choir version vs a solo version) in addition to the performer or
groups performing in addition to date and location of that specific
performance.   What I find is that most people into "New Media" miss
these subtleties.  I've never seen an id3 tagging that does a good job
conveying all of this information.

I know microformats aim to take advantage of the 80/20 rule... does
this mean classical music will get the cold shoulder with all its edge
and special cases?  On the other hand separate formats for genres of
music doesn't seem like a good solution either.

Anyway, a site to check out would be http://www.allmusic.com/ . For
years, they've been publishing data /about/ music in every genre.
They used to have separate sites, eg, allclassical.com alljazz.com and
then combined them under the now familiar allmusic.com.  Notice that
the emphasis on what information is conveyed is different within each

It seems to me that a microformat for music would either have
different formats for different genres, leave certain attributes out
(which I'm convinced would almost only negatively impact classical),
or be incredibly time consuming flushing out all the edge cases
(typically avoided).

(classical training in voice, cello, percussion, piano, some conducting)

On 6/29/06, Alex Iskold <alex.iskold at adaptiveblue.com> wrote:
> While we are on the subject of music. What about books and movies?
> Are ther any examples of these?
> Thanks,
> Alex
> alex iskold
> founder & ceo
> adaptiveblue
> http://www.adaptiveblue.com
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ryan Cannon" <ryan at ryancannon.com>
> To: <microformats-discuss at microformats.org>
> Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [uf-discuss] Is Music dead? (I hope not!)
> Coincidentally I was kicking this around in my head last night.
> > I plan on researching and co-opting existing idioms if they exist, and
> > actually started listing some examples of Artist/Release/Track data in
> > music-examples before it became clear to me that this may not have
> > been its intention-- it reads like it may have been set up to do
> > something more along the lines of what media-info is set up to do.
> One thing that neither of these pages mention is ID3v2[1], whose
> implementation
> in iTunes appears (from a consumer's standpoint) to contain all
> necessary metadata
> for music files, and is pretty widespread. A little wikipedia reading
> let me know
> that there are some competing formats: APEv2[2] and Vorbis Comments[3].
> One problem that creating such a microformat might solve is the idea
> of an "authoritative"
> media tag—i.e. a publisher could create (x)html pages that can provide
> generate the official metadata for digitized music.
> [1] http://www.id3.org/
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APEv2_tag
> [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis_comment
> --
> Ryan Cannon
> Interactive Developer
> MSI Student, School of Information
> University of Michigan
> http://RyanCannon.com
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