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Introduction to the Music Ontology

The Internet changed the music industry. At first, peer-to-peer file sharing systems such as Napster allowed users to share any music they had on their computer with millions of other people. While this new-found freedom for music consumers had a profound effect on the business model of record labels, it pales into insignificance when compared to more recent developments in Internet music culture.

Online social networking communities such as MySpace have tapped into the underlying interest, particularly amongst the young, for self-made, indie music by allowing them to create personalised, Web-delivered identities with a very strong focus on musical interests. Millions of users have been able to carve out their musical niche, bypassing the record labels and appealing directly to their target audiences.

While MySpace provides a mechanism for artists to generate new content easily, free databases such as MusicBrainz continue the more traditional model of music classification, archiving millions of artists, albums and tracks. Music recommendation services such as Pandora attempt to match users musical interests to new tracks through folksonomic tagging and algorithmic comparison. And, emulating more closely the model of the record labels online, companies such as Apple are now selling individual tracks at US$ 1 with iTunes.

At that point, the music industry of the 1980s - a small number of lead artists signed by an even smaller number of large record labels - was completely changed.

The Music Ontology is an attempt to link all the information about musical artists, albums and tracks together, from MusicBrainz to MySpace. The goal is to express all relations between musical information in order to help people find anything about music and musicians. It is based around the concept of machine readable information provided by any web site or web service on the Web.

Introduction to this Wiki

This Wiki helps the Music Ontology community to manage the development of the Music Ontology. Examples, ideas and suggestions are put on that Wiki for peer revision before their inclusion into the Music Ontology Specification Document. If you have questions, recommendations or critics re. the Music Ontology, please make use of the Music Ontology Specification Group mailing list.

Representation formats of the Music Ontology:

Getting Started

These are the recommended steps to perform before using this Wiki:

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