At the beginning of the month, I was invited to speak at the Music and the Web workshop, at the Audio Engineering Society convention, in Vienna.

The first talk was from Scott Cohen, co-founder of The Orchard (btw, I just noticed he was also talking at the WWW conference, last year). He spoke about The death of digital music sales (which is a bit ironic, from the founder of the leading digital music distributor). His main argument was that the music industry will never get enough money by selling digital music, and that it needs to understand the need for an alternative economic model, based on a global license (as was discussed by the French parliament for a really short time, during the DADVSI debates, last year).

Slides

The second talk was from Mark Sandler, the head of the Centre for Digital Music, in Queen Mary, University of London. He talked about the OMRAS2 project (OMRAS stands for Online Music Recognition and Searching), and some of the technologies that it will use. Basically, OMRAS2 is about creating a decentralised research environment for musicologists and music information retrieval researchers. Therefore, the Semantic Web definitely seems to fit quite nicely into it:-)

Slides

The third talk was from Oscar Celma, working at the Music Technology group in Barcelona. He is the creator of the FOAFing-the-music music recommender, which actually won the 2nd prize of last year Semantic Web Challenge. His talk was about music recommendation (the oh, if you like this, you should like that! problem), and the choice of different technologies (collaborative filtering, content-based) for different needs. He was terribly sick though, but succeeded to make his 40 minutes talk without his voice failing!

Slides

The fourth talk was, well, myself:-) I thought it would be a non-expert audience, so I tried to give a not too technical talk. I just did a quick introduction to some Semantic Web concepts, and then dived into the Music Ontology, explaining its basements (Timeline, Event, FRBR, FOAF), the different levels of expressiveness it allows, etc. Then, I talked about linked data. As a conclusion (not much time left), I just highlighted a few bullet points, all related to this Semantic media player which keeps taking a large space in my brain these days.

Slides.

I had some pretty good feedbacks, and I was really pleased to see a reference to the Music Ontology on Lucas Gonze slides, who was speaking just after me :-) Lucas (too many things to say about him, just check his website, and realise you surely use every day something that he developed) was doing his talk from California, through Skype, and was talking about the Semantic Album - new means of packaging and distributing complex, multi-facet, content. it was a really interesting talk, even though there were some bandwidth problems from time to time.

Slides

Finally, there were some time at the end of the workshop for some discussion, which went really well. There were a lot of discussion with someone from an intellectual property agency, mostly reacting to Scott Cohen's talk. Well, I won't go into details here, because I think this discussion deserves a post on its own...

Here is a picture of the audience during the panel.