Quite a big week for Semantic Web and music last week in London. On Thursday, there was the MusicNet workshop, with (among others) a talk from the BBC, given by Nick Humfrey. Sadly, I could not attend the workshop due to other BBC duties.

On the Friday, David De Roure and I organised a Music and the Semantic Web workshop at the AES, which David already blogged about. We had four panelists:

We started with four presentations from each of the panelists. David started by presenting MusicNet, aiming at creating canonical Web identifiers for classical music composers. He demonstrated a new tool for merging identifiers for music composers - finding common properties between groups of composers, and providing an interface to review those groups.

Alexandre then presented Seevl. He explained how it worked, aggregating and consolidating structured data about music artists from a range of different places, and generating recommendations using this data, as well as explanations of these recommendations (those two artists played together, they had the same producer for their first album, etc.). I wrote quite a lot about this kind of things on this blog - it's really nice to finally see it taking shape!

Gregg presented his experience within the Connected Media Experience (CME) project. His presentation was supported by a position paper, which is extremely interesting. CME (a large consortium of key music industry players) worked for a couple of years on a RDF/Music Ontology format for online releases. Sadly, they recently abandoned this format for simple HTML5+CSS - structured data about those releases is not a priority anymore. Gregg gave us insights on what went wrong, and what were the lessons to be learned by both the Semantic Web community and the Music Industry.

Evan then presented Decibel, giving us very interesting insights about music metadata, and a demonstration of their service. It was interesting to see semantic technologies used in a completely different model. The richness of the data they hold is truly amazing (Evan demoed their internationalisation feature as well - all their data is available in a variety of languages), but sadly not available under an open license.

After that, we had a number of questions from David and I, as well as from the audience, about ease of editing and owning of music metadata (who should own it? third parties? artists? record labels? who should host the canonical URI for an artist?), about relationships of Semantic Web standards with industry standards like ISRCs, ISNIs, MPEG etc.

Overall, a very interesting workshop - I hope we can do it again next year!