[uf-new] Microformat for Music Downloads

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Wed Apr 4 14:44:20 PDT 2007

Scott Reynen wrote:
> This is how I see the distinction: Music downloads is only the
> information necessary to know whether or not a download is desired. 
> Media info is general information about media, which may be used to
> identify where the same media is being referenced in multiple places,
> and retrieve addition information about that media.  Most of music
> downloads is a subset of media info (and should remain a subset, as
> smaller problems are easier to solve).  But the actual download URL
> doesn't appear to be necessary in media info, whereas it is the most
> important property of music downloads.

If that is what the Music Downloads microformat proposal was intended to
do, then I agree with you and Martin. The problem description on the
Music Downloads examples page:

"Publishers of audio files annotate them with visible data about the
audio, so users know who they're from and whether or not they want the

A format that semantically marked up existing info about audio would
allow software such as a CD playing program to parse and index that
information from the respective web page (c/f CDDB

It is not clear from this description that it means what you and Martin
believe it to be. I think the Music Download uF is suffering from a
vague problem description.

> Let's just make sure we're not revising the problem to fit a solution.

I agree, we shouldn't revise the problem. We should clarify the
definition of the problem.

If it is what you and Martin are stating it is, then I don't see a need
for a Music Download microformat as what Martin proposed is adequate.
However, if the scope is larger than that, then it should be discussed
in more depth.

> I'm not making that differntiation.  There are plenty of examples in
> your media-info list, e.g. MusicBrainz, which contain no links to audio
> of any sort, only descriptions of audio.

If we are not going to make that differentiation, then 67% of all music
sites have a "sample" link. 62% have an acquisition method (web-based
purchase/download). Combined, it's well over 80%. There are more
examples of having a download link than not having one for media-info.

This seems to imply that even if a Music Download uF were to exist, it
would be a subset of media-info.

> Breaking down larger problems into smaller problems is part of the
> microformats process.  We may not want to do that, as it would sure be
> nice to have one huge format to describe everything. 

Isn't that contrary to the Microformat way? :)

I agree with you - it would be nice to have a universal method of
identifying media. I think it is possible to have a small flexible
format that applies to music, video and images - as there is overlap.

> Still, I think
> there's a difference between music metadata and music downloads.


> If
> we're no longer focusing on solving the music downloads problem (i.e.
> how do I know what I'm downloading?), we should change the subject of
> this thread to reflect that.

Let's make sure that "Music Downloads" really means music downloads and
not "Music Metadata" before we change the thread.

-- manu

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