[uf-discuss] Introduction; music microformat

Rob O'Rourke rob at sanchothefat.com
Mon Feb 26 08:02:18 PST 2007

Marian Steinbach wrote:
> Hello everybody!
> I'd like to briefly introduce myself to the list.
> I just joined the list because I am interested in the development of
> (a) "music" microformats.
> I am running an experimental spider that tries to gather information
> about downloadable music from web pages. The problem here is of course
> that metadata in ID3 tags is pretty "expensive" to access, both for
> the spider and the publisher.
> For those of you who haven't heard about the Songbird project (which I
> am NOT part of) yet, they have the exact same problem. When a Songbird
> user acesses web pages, Songbird scans the page for media links. It
> then tries to acces ID3 information within the audio files in order to
> extract title, artist, album, genre and duration.
> Songbird developers are thus interested in supporting a Microformat
> for music/audio/media links. You can read a (very short) discussion
> here: http://www.songbirdnest.com/node/1356
> According to my research, the music/media-info seems to be stalled
> right now. However, I see a huge demand for some format that allows
> for very, very simple description of music references.
> A whole lot of problems around this have already been adressed within
> this group and elsewhere. I'd be happy to learn from you guys about
> what's missing.
> Cheers,
> Marian Steinbach

Hi Marian,

    I would love to see a music microformat too, I was reading about a 
suggestion here 
http://www.bmannconsulting.com/blog/bmann/a-microformat-for-music a 
while back. I don't know enough about mp3 to help with the microformat 
but I have a user-case scenario. Some instances of mp3 and audio appear 
in a flash player, I'm using Jeroen Wijering's flash player for my 
brother's music blog at the moment. It uses an XSPF playlist to get its 
data for urls and to create download links from within the flash. The 
player has a decent javascript interface aswell that I'm currently using 
for accessibility and an auto-resume cookie. If I could use some PHP 
like Magpie RSS to parse the playlist (any suggestions?) I could create 
an XHTML interface to control the mp3 player as opposed to the flash 
interface allowing me to markup playlist items however I wanted, ideally 
as a microformat.

    My suggestion then is to perhaps look at the XSPF (www.xspf.org) 
open format as a basis for the microformat and then extend it with the 
specific mp3 metadata.
If there's to be a microformat for mp3s in particular it would be useful 
to have one for playlists that would encompass the mp3s aswell.

    Can anyone point me to a good entry-level reference or resource 
regarding the metadata associated with mp3s so I can start creating a 
test case 'in the wild'?


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