Monday, December 17, 2007

Roundtable: Portable Playlists & Catalog Resolution

One of my MyStrands partners-in-crime, Scott Kveton, was on a panel this past week about data portability, microformats and standards with respect to media. Others on the panel included Lucas Gonze, Tom Conrad and Tantek Celic.

Scott Kveton · Portable Playlist and other POSH-ibilities Meetup: "Before the panel both Tom and I were chatting about how there is really only one big problem that both Pandora and MyStrands face: catalog resolution. This is a huge problem that consumes quite a bit of developer time in both of our camps. Unfortunately, every playlist format out there simply punts on this problem. They point at some “resource” that is the catalog entry. Now, from a portability standpoint that’s great and I can appreciate the why’s of why you’d do that."

Follow the link to the full post, and then you can follow it up with Lucas Gonze's (creator of Webjay, author of XSPF and now part of Yahoo Music) post too.

the Wordpress of Lucas Gonze: "Or is the real problem still economic and not technical? Are there features which it would be profitable to support which entail portability? The problem isn’t how to enable portability, it’s why a business would want that. The status quo is lack of portability, with each music service an island. This sector as a whole hasn’t developed into a collective ecosystem, and businesses which do invest in portable identifiers don’t stand to gain any value until other businesses join them."

Also check out the comment threads on both posts too... the conversation continues there.


Lucas Gonze said...

So what do you think about the problem of getting to more interoperability between music services, J? Is it technical or economic?

jherskowitz said...

Lucas -

I think it is both. Since there appears to be a need for ongoing resolver work to map to lots of catalogs, the opportunity cost of one company to do so becomes too high. Just look at Paul Lamere's work on Spiffy ( it was a great start, but he couldn't rationalize the opportunity costs to keep it going.

As a consumer, I want it though.... I want to be able to find a playlist somewhere and then click "play" - by which enables me to determine what vendor fulfills it. Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo, YouTube, free-range MP3s, etc.

Jagdish said...

Super post and great advice