Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MusicDNA = BookDNA?

Music has gone through the hedge backwards over the last decade, It has seen a powershift from the music companies back to the artist and the control of concerts and merchandise. It has gone digital and moved from the album to the track and from the high street to online. It has gone from DRM to DRM free and from ‘locked formats’ to MP3. The shifts are significant and show how an industry can be blindsided not from within but from outside.

We now read that a new file format, MusicDNA, has been created by Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach who worked on the first MP3 player in 1993 and whose backers include German researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg, who is credited with inventing the MP3.
MusicDNA is like having a ‘active’ or ‘live’ MP3 file in that it is fully compatable with MP3 but contains extensions such as lyrics, videos, artwork, twitter feeds, tour dates and blog posts, which will be constantly updated. Also MusicDNA tracks can be semantically classified using tags such as genre, mood, aggressiveness, key and tempo, to link them to similar tracks and other artists, The files can be dynamically updated whenever a player is connected to the internet and the labels will have the option of providing user-customisable content.

You can view it as a competitor to the likes of Apple’s iTunes store who automatically supply such extensions today. MusicDNA is launching a beta, or test, version this spring with a full roll-out at the end of the summer.

This new music ‘trojan horse’ offers a logic insight as to how all metadata and bibliographic information can be communicated and made available to the consumer. Today’s bookworld is inconsistent and developed many around the business to business model of communication. Today we are at the exciting start of eMarketing and adopting a similar concept would make a lot of sense and save significant wastage. More importantly is used wisely it could revolutionise how we communicate and make those extras available to all.

Certainly something for the industry standards’ bodies to consider.

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