3 thoughts on “Want Music? Go Fish”

  1. The white paper I’d mentioned previously, now titled, “Leveraging Product Codes in Internet Commerce,” has been published by CommerceNet, here: zlab.commerce.net/wiki/images/8/8e/CN-TR-04-06.pdf

    The relevance to the topic is a potentially nifty hack that could be performed, to make music search vastly more tractible: for all music tracks that are derived from published albums (and I’d presume that’s the vast majority of them), mechanically create a unique identifer for the track, by prepending the “parent” album product code with the track ID. So if one wants to uniquely reference the 10th track (“Shopping Cart of Love: The Play”) from Christine Lavin’s “Attainable Love,” one takes that album’s UPC (011671113227), looks at the part of the UPC that identifies the product (11322 – the 011671 part identifies this as a Rounder Records product) and prepends it with 10… the unique item ID for that track of that album, within the codes that Rounder Records owns, is “1011322.”

    One could mechanically, without risk of number collision or exhaustion, assume such assignments. Coincidentally, those numbers are also well within the scale of the namespace created for the Electronic Product Code (EPC) defined for RFID (for all records with less than 100 or so tracks, which again is the vast majority)… in the above example, EPC Manager Number = 11671 and Item ID = 1011322. So one could use EPCs to uniquely ID music tracks in commerce; doing so would allow for all sorts of other things to more neatly and cleanly happen (and read the white paper for discussion of things like manufacturer publication of product descriptive content, or 3rd party critique).

    Music tracks can currently be uniquely IDed through an industry standard assignment, the Global Release Identifier (GRiD), but that’s a rather kludgy and nonintuitive registered ID… not particularly friendly to such things as the sort of Google-esque music search one would want.

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