Checklist for a blogged song

Publishing your own music on the web is an unrealistically big job. It’s easy if you just want to dump an MP3 somewhere, but good luck if you want to do a solid job on SEO, viral uptake, and the conventions of open media. And because it’s so time consuming, almost nobody does it. You wouldn’t have time left over for the music.

So I’m looking for ways to streamline the process, and to begin with I have compiled a checklist of work items and features. This list is an ideal; I have never done all of these for any one song. Even though I had most of this in my head it still took quite a while to compile and tidy up the list, so I figured it would be useful to others if I published it. I’d appreciate comments, corrections and improvements.

Files

  1. Image file for sheet music
  2. Media files
    1. types
      1. MP3
      2. Ogg FLAC
      3. Ogg Vorbis
      4. A zip file of source materials for remixing, such as Audacity files and any samples
    2. tags
      1. Author name
      2. Recording year
      3. Song title
      4. Work metadata URL
        1. In MP3: use WOAF tag
        2. In Ogg: use CONTACT tag
      5. License URL
        1. In MP3: use WCOP tag
        2. In Ogg: use LICENSE tag

Blog entry

  1. Composition metadata:
    1. Song title
    2. Song composer
    3. Publication date
  2. Links to all media files
  3. Link to source web site for composition
  4. Media player to render the song in-place
  5. Annotation about the music or recording
  6. Inline image for sheet music, linked to source web site

Viral spread

  1. Code to copy and paste for embedding a badged version of the media in a third party page like a Myspace profile.
  2. A direct URL for the media file.
  3. A statement that direct linking or embedding is fine.
  4. Buttons to add to del.icio.us, Digg This, etc.

License statements

  1. Unstructured textual license statement for humans to read on the web.
  2. SEO: search-engine friendly license statement in the HTML. Spiders have to be able to recognize that a song file is under a Creative Commons license.
    1. Identify search engines that track Creative Commons music.
    2. Document what methods they use to determine whether a file is under a Creative Commons license.
  3. Creative Commons requirements
    1. Web page where the work metadata, including verification information, may be found.Verification metadata is currently defined in principle but probably not used in practice. Verification metadata means :
      A content-derived identifier (e.g. SHA1 hash) or other independently verifiable identifier.
      A SHA1 hash of the media file would have to be applied to the final file, with all tags exactly as they will be at final publication. Given that the URL of the web page containing work metadata, including the content-derived identifier, has to be created and embedded in the media file before the media file can be finalized, the publication process must be:

      1. Create stub web page for work metadata. Get a stable public URL for this.
      2. Embed link to work metadata page in media file.
      3. Compute SHA1 or other content-derived identifier for media file.
      4. Embed content-derived identifier in work metadata page.
    2. License URL. For example, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.

    Creative Commons reference:

    1. Non-web license tagging overview
    2. MP3 CC tagging
    3. Ogg CC tagging