Sunday, May 16, 2004

Collaborative CD Stacks

Well, I in the FUCKING office on a FUCKING sunday, having also been here most of FUCKING saturday. Ont eh plus side, I'm actually doing some design and code of a webpage (the reason I like this job). On the downside, I have a v. pissed off fiance at home, who is feeling utterly neglected by my lack-of-attendance in the premarital home, and also my general mein of distraction bought on by stress, fatigue and large doses of antidepressants.

Note to self - put in a bit of work on the relationship - after all, she bought you diamonds.

So, anyway, as traditional, I've spent the first hour 'doing the rounds of the internet' - geting my information fix. And boy, have I found some good stuff. Not only is the fantastic Alice Taylor blogging from e3, but Martin Belam has been nice about me, and also I've discovered a collaborative playist aggregator Mixmatcher via Dan Hill.

Now... I had a very interesting (and, OK, drunken) chat with the iD&E gods of code, Matt and Alistair on friday, about ratings, reccomendations and other such stuff. And I'm mulling over an idea.

So, here's the deal. I've just got an ipod, and itunes. And I've got 400 CDs that I keep in a very specific 2-D classification system. Imagine 6 stacks, equivalent to genre. Then imagine that the lower down the stack you go, the lower the rating of the cd in that genre. (Actually, this has changed recently to a slightly simpler alpabetisation in some areas, as Sarah couldn't find anything)

Now, my genres are very personal. Going left to right....

Dance for distracting myself
Good Dance music, for actually listening to.
Girly SingerSongwriters
Art Rock
Other rock I don't really want to listen to very often

Now, none of the genres that are offered by a lot of the CD Databases seem to fit the music. Electronica is just one big bin of stuff, and I have a lot of CDs that fall into that category. And are the Velvet Underground really 'indy'? Surely that's an 80s thing?

So... I checked out the wikipaedia, and it has a very interesting collaborative start on defining subgenres.

But... how do I know which of my music fits in to a predefined subgenre? It's a pretty subjective thing. But one that could be solved by consensus.

So I started thinking about a rating system, done in a similar way to Urban collaborative moderation interface - if you appreciate the site, you can spend ten minutes winnowing their data for them - using a very simple 'Agree-Disagree-Don't Know' interface.

So... what happens if you could do that in Itunes / Gracenote / FreeDB?

And what would happen if, say, the google toolbar had 3 options to say 'Likey/don'tlikey/don'tknow' once you've hit a results page?

For a very small outlay of time, we can start building useful relational information about data (ie, turning the Data on the internet into Information - or maybe the information into knowledge?).

So, can someone build me a collaborative music genre machine? please?


Thomas the Rhymer said...

But where would one put Steeleye Span?? No genre or sub-genre thereof can contain them.....

kim said...

Seventies Folk Rock Bollocks?
(Jones, is that you? Linky no Worky...)

Jones said...

Aye, 'tis. Spent quiet day at work googling everybody I have ever known and found this.

So, greetings from the glittering city of Coventry, which is now my home.

kim said...

Well, don't post anonymously, you terror!

I'm still at the BBC. You can probably figure out my email address.

Ah, google, scourge of self-absorbed bloggers everywhere...