Once upon a time, just over four years ago, on a distant mailing list called Pho…

Lucas said something that inspired Chris Grigg, and I among others posted a reply:

Subject: RE: pho: Blogging of Rhapsody playlists
From: Lucas Gonze (panix.com)
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 22:55:14 +0100

I’m sorry to see conversation about playlists get pulled onto the old P2P

Done right they are a form of hypertext that makes music a first class
object on the web for the first time. They are a supremely social and
community-oriented technology. They are an evolutionary algorithm for
developing hits. When they are portable enough to be syndicated, they get
drawn into the orbit of RSS, weblogs, and web-scale architecture.

Talking about filesharing, stealing and the RIAA in the context of
playlists is not wrong, but since playlists don’t add anything to that
conversation it strikes me as a waste.

– Lucas

Subject: pho: RE: Blogging of Rhapsody playlists / music::
From: Chris Grigg (grigg.org)
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 05:36:19 +0100

At 5.55p -0400 2004.05.31, Lucas Gonze wrote:
>Done right they are a form of hypertext that makes music a first class
>object on the web for the first time.

Now .that’s. an interesting architectural concept. Maybe a new URI
scheme… not http:: … but rather, music:: …?


So instead of the Domain Name System and our DNS servers, we’d have a
global Artist Name System and everyone would have their ANS server.
The albums/songs tree for each artist could be browsable, allowing
artists to publish their definitive “disc”-ographies this way. A
client request to a specific song or album path could return either
the audio recording(s) itself, if the artist wants to do that, or
else a unique ID for use in searching a separate set of content
servers (Rhapsody, iTunes, p2p, anything). Maybe with hints on which
content server(s) the artist recommends/prefers you use.

Gotta think about this a little more.

— Chris G.

Subject: RE: pho: Re: music://
From: Crosbie Fitch (cyberspaceengineers.org)
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 21:22:02 +0100

A guide to publishing a music recording online. (just to start the ball
rolling as ’twere)

1) Ingredients

* “MyDigitalMaster.Dat”

This is a file that represents the highest quality version of your music. It
doesn’t matter what format it’s in, but it should be good enough to derive
any other format from. We’ll call it the digital master.

* You have a website, e.g. http://www.example.com

2) Identifying your recording

You need to create a serial number for your recording.

Download the following command line utility:

Let it generate a serial number for your file like so:

MD5 -L -N MyDigitalMaster.Dat

It will output a number like this:


You also need to create a name for all formats of your file. If your
recording was entitle “Yellow Brick Road” then you might name files of it

3) Creating a place for your recording on your website

Create a new toplevel folder on your site with exactly the same name as the
serial number, e.g.


All web pages and other formats of this recording that you create will go in
this folder.

4) Describing your music recording

Create a default web page for this folder that describes this recording to
your audience, e.g.


5) Making compact/low quality versions of your recording available for
direct download


Create a version of your recording a format of your choice, e.g. MP3, WMA,
AAC, Ogg Vorbis, etc.

Name this file appropriately, e.g. yellowbrickroad_128.mp3
Note that the ‘128’ is the bitrate.

This can be linked to from your index page (or anywhere else) as:

6) Making the digital master available for download

If you choose to release the digital master then copy MyDigitalMaster.Dat as
the file ‘master’ and make it into a torrent as described here
http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/guide.html, such that the link to the
master will become:


Because it’s the master its format does not need to be identified.

Note that you are implicitly granting the public the right to download and
perform this master privately. Any other rights you wish to grant can be
described separately.

7) Indexing, cataloguing, and format information

Given a DTD (to be developed) all information concerning this work should be
specified in an XML file called 609f46a341fedeaeec18abf9fb7c9647.xml

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