Mayhem & Chaos (mayhem_chaos) wrote in lj_biz,
Mayhem & Chaos

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LiveJournal and MusicBrainz Cooperation


MusicBrainz is a community maintained music metadatabase similar to FreeDB and GraceNote's CDDB. MusicBrainz goes one step further to also allow the identification and proper categorization of digital audio files using the MusicBrainz Tagger.

MusicBrainz is completely open -- all of the data and source code is freely downloadable. The MusicBrainz community is also working to create a non profit corporation that has the express purpose of keeping the dataset open and to ensure that no one can sell out at the expense of the community.

For more information on MusicBrainz, please read the Introduction to MusicBrainz.

Goals & Motivation

There are three main goals for LiveJournal and MusicBrainz to work together:

  1. Expand the music oriented features in LiveJournal and encourage the LiveJournal community to use their journals to talk about music.
  2. Foster online journal communities to participate in discussions about music. The LiveJournal community can then create its own music information ecosystem where journal entries are used to spread the word about good music and new artists. Check out Clay Shirky's Big Flip Essay for a lot more details and the motivation behind this goal.
  3. Allow LiveJournal users to purchase CDs via MusicBrainz/Amazon to allow MusicBrainz to earn Amazon associates fees. As legal music download services mature, LiveJournal and MusicBrainz could work to offer these downloads to LiveJournal members as well. The money earned by MusicBrainz will be used to maintain the upcoming MusicBrainz non profit corporation, which aims to build a sustainable community music metadatabase service.
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Initially we could offer the following new features:

  1. When a user fills out the current music field and MusicBrainz can identify the album that the music originated from, then LiveJournal could show a link with a small note icon. This link then takes the LiveJournal user to a page that shows the album cover art, pertinent information about the artist/album and a buy link that allows the user to purchase this CD. Alternatively, the user could choose to embed a <lj-music> tag that shows the album cover art at the bottom of the journal entry.
  2. Allow users to refer to specific artists/albums/tracks in their journal entries, just as they currently do with user links. This could allow LiveJournal users to communicate about music unambiguously.
  3. Allow users to create a music stash to let users express their musical tastes. This stash would have no direct connection to the user's actual music collection in order to avoid legal issues of the user owning the music in their stash. Standalone applications like the MusicBrainz Tagger can also have new features integrated into them that could allow the user to add artists/albums/tracks to their stash and also publish journal entries directly from the application.
  4. Allow users to create new communities based on their musical tastes -- this can help establish Taste Tribes and allow LiveJournal users to discover new users and new music based on similar tastes.

These are just the most important new features -- having LiveJournal be aware of MusicBrainz allows a host of other new features to be created.

We are actively seeking feedback on these ideas. Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts about the following questions:

  • What do you think of these new proposed music features?
  • If you would like to see these new features in LiveJournal, which one(s) would you like to see first?
  • LiveJournal is considering sponsoring portions of the development of these new features. What features are worth being sponsored??
  • What other cool music features can you see emerging from the LiveJournal and MusicBrainz integration??

Thanks for your time and feedback!


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