[cc-community] Copyleft And Commerce

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun May 28 12:42:58 EDT 2006

On 26 May 2006, at 13:55, Greg London wrote:

> For software, functionality is a simple, objective, make/break test.
> And good functionality is the key to successful software.
> I'm not convinced that aesthetics is something that works as a
> good make/break test for accepting or rejecting a track.
> The main reason is that I like certain types of music and
> I don't like other types of music. So, if I'm the gatekeeper
> deciding whether to let a track in or not, you're going to find
> a site filled with tracks that fit the sound and feel of
> students of Hendrix, Led Zep, Stevie Ray Vaugn, and the like.
> And my wife likes to point out, she can't dance to any of that
> stuff, which means she wouldn't be interested in that project at all.

I understand what you're saying (the roles are reversed in my  
household... :-) ) but my point is that record companies are happy  
identifying and promoting diverse talent, some of which you can dance  
to, some of which you can't. There is no reason why Free music  
organisations should not have the same diversity-in-quality.

> So maybe the problem is that the meta-data, super-searching
> idea is too diffuse for a seed project. Maybe what's needed
> is a search tool specifically for music. Can software analyze
> tracks and find beats, find keys, figure out if its in a
> major or minor key, and all that?

I believe so.

> The central site could then also combine the software
> analysis of music with the listening patterns of its
> users, to get some "taste" metrics. And you've got a
> hyper-intelligent radio station that only plays the
> music you want.

I think last.fm may be doing this sort of thing.

> So, maybe the seed project is really just a music
> search tool. Something that can listen to tracks
> and get its tempo, speed, major/minor, stuff.
> Maybe combined with a website so that it can track
> user's preferences, and allow users to "program"
> radio stations for other listeners, which then
> also helps music contributers find tracks they
> can use.

Certainly this is a different, and very creative, way of approaching  
the problem of getting a critical mass of work. It also keeps the  
democratic element, which a central self-imposed free music  
organisation might not.

- Rob.

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