Amy Waltz

Amy Waltz

This post is a short, jittery, very loose, and slightly overdriven acoustic guitar version of a tune called “Anna Waltz” which was composed by a guy named D.E. Jannon and published in 1854. I learned it from sheet music at the Library of Congress web site.

MP3: Lucas Gonze — Amy Waltz (1:36)

This recording is under a Creative Commons BY-SA license per my standard license statement.

See also Carrie Waltz.

Carrie Waltz

This post is one of my acoustic guitar recordings. It is a tune called “Carrie Waltz” which was composed by a guy named D.E. Jannon and published in 1854. I learned it from sheet music at the Library of Congress web site.

Lucas Gonze — Carrie Waltz

I’m only publishing an MP3, not an Ogg anything or a lossless version or the Audacity original. And I didn’t pay any attention to the tagging process, so it might or might not have reasonable metadata and proper Creative Commons licensing in the ID3 tags. It takes forever to get all these details right and I want to see how it feels to focus on the tunes and not worry about the computer maintenance.

This recording is under a Creative Commons BY-SA license per my standard license statement.

Here’s the sheet music original that I worked from:

Carrie Waltz sheet music

once you’ve made the sale, you take the money

I’ll tell you how I know that the magnificently insane yet ballsy new download store at Lala.com is not going to make it. I fell in love with an album (“album”? “compilation”? what do we call these things in their online iteration?) via their wonderful free sample site, and I would gladly fork over the stupidly expensive $13.78 they are asking, but they won’t sell me anything I can play, because their downloads will only work on an iPod.

They won’t work in iTunes, they definitely won’t work in a Unix shell window, and they would fucking come alive and laugh at me if I tried to get them to play on my cell phone. “hahahahahahahahahah” say the little downloads. “You’re going out of business,” says the grumpy blogger.

It’s like selling bread which only toasts in one brand of toaster. Or butter which can only be spread with a Land O’ Lakes ® brand knife. You can call these B Read and spUtter or whatever else strikes your fancy, but they aren’t bread and butter.

The album, by the way, is Mambo Sinuendo by Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban. Check it out — Lala makes it easy to *play*, but good luck *paying*.

music sharing as core functionality for social networking

Ning, the social networking web app for making social networking web apps, has released a module for adding music sharing to your social networking app. It’s very nicely done, and the care they took with it is instructive. Here’s the feature list from their announcement:

Music Player Features

Your social network now comes standard with:

  • One very sweet music player for your network’s Main page and each of your Members’ profile pages. It’s added automatically when you choose Music from the Features page
  • MP3 playback (we’ll be adding support for other file types soon)
  • Upload, edit, and order your tracks right in the player
  • Embed your music player and playlist on any blog or MySpace page.
  • Decide if you want songs to autoplay or not. (It defaults to no autoplay)
  • Upload music and podcasts directly to your network or import them from an URL off your network
  • Share and rate tracks
  • Add tracks from other members’ music players with one click (the Add to Mine button that you’ll see when the person enables it)
  • Display highest rated or most recent tracks from across the network on the Main page. (Feature specific tracks coming soon)
  • Edit track information: track title, artist, artwork (displayed on the player), album name, genre, year, label, artist website, host website (for external tracks), label site, license (including copyright or any of the most popular creative commons options), explicit lyrics flag
  • Choose the option to display MP3 download links to other members
  • Add external hosted playlists via RSS (podcast), XSPF, and M3U.

What is significant about this from my perspective is that it makes music sharing a core feature of any social network. This makes so much sense that I wonder why it took so long to happen — of course groups like a beer can collectors guild would want to be able to share relevant music (like singalongs about cone tops) and talk (like interviews with beverage historians).

(I would paste in their Flash screencast here, but my blog host (wordpress.com) blocks out most third party widgets. So go check out the screencast on Ning.com).

(Full disclosure: I consulted for Ning a couple years ago).

I forgot to be an internet addict today. It’s 8:42 PM and I’m just getting around to checking Twitter, Bloglines, Gmail, and Memeorandum.

portable song IDs and music influencer networks

Mike Love said:

We all agreed that there is the potential to sell a lot more music through influence networks than through radio, but the burden of distribution and copyright infringement currently rests on the recommender or the recommender’s platform.

He proposed separating the recommendation from distribution of the actual song – either by referencing an audio fingerprint or some other unique id (CDDB?). Then each listener can choose a hierarchy of how they would like to find the audio: find the mp3s on the web, last.fm, amazon samples, purchase the songs, etc. This would involve the creation of some standardized XML style format for playlists, and we talked about how Songbird seems like a good open platform for receiving these playlists and then using a diversity of networks to find the audio or at least a sample.

Paul Lamere replied:

We need universal song id and a standard playlist format. The latter already exists. There is a XML playlist format called XSPF (pronounced ‘spiff’) that captures all the information needed for portable playlists. […]
As for SongID, there are many commercial audio fingerprinting systems out there that can derive a unique (or nearly unique) ID just based upon the audio. The problem, however, is that they all cost money to license, and because of that no system has become the standard (defacto or otherwise). The MusicDNS system probably has the best chance, since it is very low cost (essentially free for all but the biggest users), and it ties in with the public domain music metadata being created by the MusicBrainz folk. Still, the problem with a songID system is that unless it is universally used, it is not too useful. Companies like Apple have little incentive to use such a system, since they already own the market.

About portable song IDs, the problem is not so much technical as it is economic. No major content provider has an incentive to use anybody else’s song IDs. Maybe if there was a huge installed base of playlists that used Musicbrainz song IDs or iTunes IDs then it would make sense for Rhapsody to resolve these IDs to their own catalog, but until that point Rhapsody would be unilaterally disarming by allowing a third party to define the namespace.  This market is just getting established, and we’re currently at the point where the major players are competing to own the identifiers.

XSPF tries to address this issue by redefining the concept of portable song identifiers as query strings. For now, anyway, that hasn’t hit a sweet spot in anybody’s business model.