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March 20, 2007

Comments

Dan Hill

Totally agree, and this is down to understanding that music is more than just metadata - taking advantage of digital media, yet not discarding what the various forms of physical representation of music had to offer. I've written about this many times - briefly here (http://www.cityofsound.com/blog/2004/08/bad_metadata_is.html) and at length here (http://www.cityofsound.com/blog/2006/01/new_musical_exp.html). In the latter, the section on specific handling of metadata for classical, jazz etc. is here, and indicates how a lazy or ignorant interpretation of music hampers most digital music experiences. This will of course apply to all other cultural forms - TV, literature, art etc. - as they also become primarily new media experiences.

Eric Barnhill

This is why so many classical listeners love ArkivMusic.com , which is pretty much all a classical aficionado could want in terms of interface. Unfortunately, it's hard to see how it would beat out Amazon's "blowout" pricing model - though it would be an powerful evidence in favor of your argument if it continued to flourish!

Conrad Quilty-Harper

Chris, with the iTunes store, you can easily see a bunch of other categories about music (including composer - but not perfomer/soloist - but I assume those would most commonly be in the artist category), simply by right clicking the bar and selecting what you want to see.

http://www.spalpeen.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/itunes-stretch-menu-bar.jpg

Don MacLennan

Conrad,

I feel you've confirmed Chris' point not refuted it. The fact that the main page doesn't contain data you'd otherwise want to be there (i.e. Amazon has it and i-Tunes doesn't) and that the end-user needs to "discover" an option that's not obvious to all (i.e. you knew about the right-click on i-Tunes but Chris didn't) are symptomatic of flawed user interfaces. In this case, Amazon simply got it right.

Dan L

I listen mostly to classical, and was frustrated with the ipod layout from the start. It's not geared towards books, dictation, speeches or really anything other than music. There's enough space to my satisfaction on my old one for music, and I put books, speeches, and dictations (much longer duration) on the newer one.

Off topic, I was thinking of another Long Tail example--marriage. The honeymoon and early years is like the Head, where you learn volumes of the usual stuff about each other: anecdotes, preferences, etc., but it takes years to experience the Tail--the quirks, rare events, long-forgotten stories, etc.

Any Given Tuesday

Another thing to note about classical (and jazz) fans is that they are more often much more sophisticated audiophiles than popular music fans like myself. If you go on the net to "steal" classical or jazz, you're going to get a bitrate that totally destroys the sanctity that fans are looking for in formats like SACD. I've never heard of an MP3 coming in 5.1 Surround.

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I listen mostly to classical, and was frustrated with the ipod layout from the start. It's not geared towards books, dictation, speeches or really anything other than music. There's enough space to my satisfaction on my old one for music, and I put books, speeches, and dictations (much longer duration) on the newer one.
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I think the best way to get it working for all styles of music is to make iTunes, or Amazon, or whoever a little more socially networked orientated. Some people may remember AudioGalaxy from the illegal mp3 days. They had a unique system of tagging that allowed you to find what you wanted easier, because fans would tag the music. Some sort of tagging / bookmark system will work brilliantly on iTunes.
I've probably just given away a solid idea that I could have made money out of. Oh well.

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Tidbits

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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