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WRONG NOTES: a blog of ear reverence

Wrong Notes collects posts on music, art, culture and fun stuff. Also included: news about the Ear Reverends.

The new music player / library

What should a music player / library look like, given our ability to play music independent of physical recording mediums, and our access to multiple devices, collections and the whole Web of music?

We're currently in a transition beyond the physical basis of "albums," and even the "shiny disc" mediums of music. This transition is probably being slowed-up by what I recently called the dogma of the medium, but it's happening.

Music is fundamentally an audible medium, but music has always been created and heard in relationship with other contexts and mediums. Originally, you typically would see the musicians playing in front of you. Even with LPs and CDs, we've had album art. And, really, we co-create all of the music we listen to when we choose to play it in a certain context: there is no one Purple Haze, but rather there are every version everyone has ever played, whether it was Jimi playing it or you pushing play on your iPod. Each of our co-creations connected something audible with something else: kinetic, visual, environmental, social, sexual, imaginary, philosophical, etc.

Music is relationships: relationships between one song and another, or between the same song in multiple versions, or between any one version of the song and all of the times you've heard it. And, as information, we do make these connections internally, in our thoughts and memories; and externally, in what we communicate both through what we ourselves sing and play on instruments, and in the stories we tell others about music. And, this communication of connections always finds its voice in every medium: magazines, books, radio, TV, movies, and now online as email, IM, web pages and sites.

The Err or Man web pages (more coming soon) are going to, first of all, be a communication of connections, from my own perspective. I imagine that these pages should expand over time to include your perspectives as well. We're on the web, and so we can say this pretty simply: we're really just talking about links.

Also, a link-oriented model can facilitate many practicalities around music and the people who listen to it. People link to music, and music links to people. This can manifest in transactional terms (tips, payments, etc.), as well as in creative terms (remixes, evolution from artist to artist).

But, unfortunately, our music players are stuck in a physical-medium-model of music. They see the music not as relationships, but as files of just the audio portion of the music. So, for example, right now, the richer experience with Err or Man is going to come from listening to the CD (sound) while looking at the book (art, maps, lyrics). This website will help you experience something like this as well, but its potential could be so much more if our music players worked first of all in terms of web pages and links.

Today, Lucas Gonze articulated a Song Page Manifesto that represents practical steps towards creating a new model of the music player and music library, based around web pages. This grew out of his post yesterday on creating a dedicated page for a song, which happens to be the song frog in the well that I posted about recently as well.

I am thinking that this all is a significant frontier to venture into . . .


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. . . the new music player is very coming soon and such . . .