December 10, 2005

A Proposal for Announcing New Music Recordings on the Net

I've got an idea, and I'm working on an implementation, of a generalized way to announce new MP3's on the net. Been thinking for a while, about what a loss of community, the demise of was. We've experienced a diaspora of sorts, spread out all over from Ampcast to We no longer have any site that welcomes comments or even just pointers to new recordings.

And it's not just the community that's been lost, its the mechanism for attracting the release of new net-distributed recordings. So, a modest proposal is in order.

I'm setting up a new site, which is now up and empty, called Cacophonus. I don't intend to re-create Sequenza21 or even the Classical Forum. It's main purpose will be to aggregate new music announcements and at some point, possibly critiques and commentaries in an informal way.

But the first step, that we can all begin doing, so that we can find each other's new recordings is to use to tag URL's for deep-linked (or not so deep-linked) MP3's. You'll need to set up a account which takes approximately 2 seconds. I propose 2 tags for our community, but can envisage a few more:


Whenever a new work is tagged in this fashion, it'll show up for anybody who has subscribed to mp3_classical_contemporary tag in their inbox. You 'post' your MP3 URL and tag it with one of those tags. I'd suggest we begin using it for new works and not for our entire catalogs. Users that want to see these new works can subscribe to these tags in their inbox.

Example: mp3_classical_contemporary

Now when, somebody posts a new MP3 URL in this manner, I will see it in my inbox, because I have subscribed to that tag. Notice there is an RSS feed to that page. You can subscribe to that almost as a podcast and that'll play into some of my plans on how to aggregate these announcements and at some point create a comments system.

Posted by jeff at December 10, 2005 10:54 AM | TrackBack

Is the idea that it will be a service like, but specializing in contemporary classical music? I'm intrigued... Are you looking for someone to help you out with any of the bit pushing?

Posted by: Adam Baratz at December 10, 2005 01:19 PM

Great idea! I've already subscribed to the "mp3_classical_contemporary" feed. Do you envision this tag as encompassing electronic works, or do you think they should have a distinct tag?

Posted by: Dave Seidel at December 10, 2005 01:24 PM

Adam, I'm building this site off of a Ruby on Rails implementation and I'm not even sure what it's going to do yet. I was hoping to wire up using their new API for playlist storage and subscription and podcast generation and then probably running some type of off the shelf and lightweight software, (hacked PHPBB2 or Movable Type) for the commenting system.

David, yeah we definitely need more tags. mp3_electronic_experimental, mp3_classical_electronic? Something on that order. My big concern is getting this whole system hijacked with uninteresting genre deviations. The realization I had this morning was that if I built it OFF of, then we could have our own tags and nobody would bother us. Once we start using mp3_electronic, though anything can happen. mp3_classical_electronic just seems really lame, as if inviting realizations of Mozart on synths, etc. I don't want to be the guy coming up with tags. We should let them evolve on their own. I'm just starting out with those two. mp3_classical_experimental and mp3_classical_avant_garde are obvious extensions.

Posted by: jeff at December 10, 2005 01:36 PM

it's funny, but I've been looking at similar ideas for netlabels to announce new releases. right now, netlabels are also spread out over several different sites.

I'm going to be following your progress with much interest.

Posted by: stefan at December 11, 2005 11:13 AM

Is the intent that people tag their own hosted MP3s or whatever relevant MP3s they happen to find?

Posted by: Robert Gable at December 11, 2005 12:32 PM

Yeah, stefan, this would be great for net labels. Robert brings up a good point, though but I'm not sure how to address it. Currently, has a very active tag scene (and this is how I started following it) for mp3_mashup and mp3_funny (which pretty much duplicate each other). My intention was to use the mp3_classical_* tag hierarchy as a new mp3 announcement mechanism, solely, not as a way which promotes, as a rating type of tagging.

I keep thinking a mp3_new_classical or mp3_announce_classical might be a good idea. But at some point, these tagged MP3's might have a purpose above and beyond announcement as we get into popularity profiling that also promotes. (See their 'most popular' listings for tags).

And ultimately, my big intention, though is to have this be a system that we all use for announcement regardless of any sites I create to accompany that system. Sites come and go, but systems, like can spawn all types of remora-eel-like attacher sites.

FWIW, I have a RSS parser working now at the site, just have to figure out how to wire it up to the blog to promote commenting.

Posted by: jeff at December 11, 2005 06:22 PM

Subscribing to as a podcast in iTunes works.

Posted by: Robert Gable at December 11, 2005 11:52 PM

Hehe... thought it might! It's really using to create podcasts. Well, now I'm starting to think that some type of micro-format discovery process might help too. Media Microformat. It would be nice to enable some type of discovery mechanism whereby the announcement could be accompanied by notes, etc. Not sure how to link that with the announce. I'll ask the micro-format list for some suggestions...

Posted by: jeff harrington at December 12, 2005 08:49 AM