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Audio Info

The web has been incorporating multimedia into its pages ever since the release of the Mosaic web browser around 1993. It was shortly thereafter that links to many types of audio started to appear on the web. In most cases, it is still difficult for a web browser to extract semantic information about a particular speaker, musician, or piece of audio. In most cases, such information exists on the same web page that contains the links. The Audio Info exploratory discussion is an attempt to create a standard method of marking up metadata and information about one or more audio recordings on a web page.

The Problem

It is difficult for a browser to extract semantic information about a piece of audio listed on a web page. Metadata such as speaker, musician, publisher, label, title of the work, release date, acquisition link, related image artwork and tags can be relevant to a particular audio file.

Having such information marked up can provide a number of benefits to the viewer. If a web browser understands that a particular web page contains a song title performed by an artist, it may produce several new methods of interaction. For example, specific searches may be performed for artists and song titles via general search services such as Google and Wikipedia. Specific search services may also be queried such as MusicBrainz, The Internet Archive, FreeDB, or Bitmunk.

The audio information need not be associated with a file. Note that audio content (The Payback by James Brown) is very different from the audio file format (192Kbps, stereo MP3). The goal of this discussion is to create a Microformat draft for marking up audio metadata and information.


Due to the large number of audio sites, tallying statistical information for this discussion is difficult. A small python script has been written to do the job, but for it to work, we need to be careful about how we mark up information.

Please use the following template when adding information about an audio collection description:

* [ Website Name]
** [ Album Example]
*** Information displayed: artist, title, tracks, release date, label, genre, web-based purchase, cover image, 
                           price, format, sample, length, summary, physical-based purchase, publisher, reviews 

Please use the following template when adding information about an audio song, track or sample description:

* [ Website Name]
** [ Song Example]
*** Information displayed: title, track number, sample, web-based purchase, artist, price, length, release date, album, genre, format, rating, label 

If you need to add more information that is displayed, please use a common term to describe the information. For example, if you need to mention that an artists hometown is mentioned, adding a term such as hometown would be acceptable.



Real-World Examples


Publication of audio speeches on blogs is often called "podcasting". In essence though, it is simply audio speech publishing. Quotes of audio files are beginning to appear, and publishers are putting up files with links to other audio files they've quoted from. Most audio appears to often have the same base elements as video and photos, with the exception of quotes.

Individual Publishing of Speech


Individual Publishing of Music

Audio Podcasting

Service Publishing of Music

In-active Music Services
Analysis of Music Sites

Shown below is the most popular information listed for music albums. This includes analysis of over 85 online music sites.

Album Statistics

Shown below is the most popular information listed for songs. Keep in mind that along with the information listed below - for over 80% of the cases, album information was listed on the same page.

Song/Track Statistics

Existing Practices

Listed below is an overview of existing patterns and practices found in the wild for audio information and metadata.

Summary of common patterns discovered

Other attempts to solve The Problem


See Also

audio-info-examples was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969