This is a topic I’ve been thinking about / playing with a lot lately, but I’ve been focused more on the idea of the player / library that plays / manage the “manifests.”
I am sure there’s value in the idea of a zip-like format, with a manifest, that can be used in a variety of ways including importing into iTunes-like players / libraries. But, if you have a new kind of player / library first, then there is one really interesting thing, I think:
The manifest doesn’t have to come in the same package as the binary files (so, I think of it more as a “card” that you can send around). The “card” can be a fundamental, very portable, medium–that is specifically web-like–specifically a web page–that is really easy to give to people and share for free.
Functionally, the “card” player / library has to be a resolver / downloader / streamer of the file (URL) references in the “card.”
And I think that the “card” player / library could work well as, itself, a web app (desktop or on the WWW) that plays / manages these special media web pages. Then the whole library is essentially a sharable web page, the music format is essentially a shareable web page, and the player / library does the resolving / downloading / file management behind the scenes.
What do you think?