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Descriptive metadata in the music industry: Why it is broken and how to fix it — Part two

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In Part one of this report, the music industry’s descriptive metadata problem was introduced with examples and a brief history, terminology was explained, including the core concept of abstraction, the current landscape of descriptive metadata silos was detailed and current standards were introduced. This, the second part of the report, starts by examining persistent identifiers to gauge their suitability as a globally unique abstracted persistent identifier (GUAPI). A study is proposed to quantify richer metadata’s ability to increase music sales. Potential arguments against richer metadata are also examined. Finally, a proposal is made that brings together the component issues. A standardised schema is proposed by combining two current schemata, content creator data and MusicBrainz. A method of achieving a GUAPI is suggested by increasing the coordination of current identifiers. By creating a fully abstracted model built upon these components, digital downloads would be more easily enriched with metadata. Benefits would flow to all parts of the ecosystem, including business, technical, creative and consumer. Business would be enhanced through a more powerful platform for innovation and a richer consumer experience. Technical advances would be fostered. The creative community would be properly acknowledged and consumers would gain a deeper knowledge of the art they are supporting.
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Keywords: credits; database; descriptive; identifier; metadata; music; open; persistent; proprietary; schema; standards

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2014

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