Amazon opens "SoundUnwound" to public beta, and becomes a MetaBrainz customer!

Robert Kaye writes:

I’m pleased to announce that Amazon became a customer of the MetaBrainz Foundation last year! They’ve been quietly working on a site to promote and let users discover new music: SoundUnwound.

Amazon is now ready to let the world play with their new toy — but please be aware that the site is only in beta and may still contain some snags. I had the pleasure of previewing their work when I visited them in May and I was quite impressed with their methods of presenting information about music. I think MusicBrainz can learn a few things from their work.

However, I would like to stress that Amazon is currently only using the MusicBrainz data for SoundUnwound. I know there are a few people in our community (myself included) who would like to see Amazon use MusicBrainz data in their main store. That is currently not a point of discussion — the cooperation between Amazon and MusicBrainz is limited to SoundUnwound.

I’ll continue to work to convince Amazon that they should use our data in more of their operations, but for now, let’s take one step at a time!

Welcome on board, Amazon!

6 thoughts on “Amazon opens "SoundUnwound" to public beta, and becomes a MetaBrainz customer!”

  1. Very nice. I like seeing all our data in a bit more “accessible” format. As great as Musicbrainz is it’s definitely left wanting for an easily accessible format for the non-Musicbrainz user.

    I was wondering where they got their recommendations from; and how exactly their editing system works. Will their edit feedback to musicbrainz or will we have access to at least see what their edits are (maybe stuff we’ve missed).

    Lastly it seems their database is about a year old. Some recent stuff is missing on some artists.

  2. Very interesting. I note that SoundUnwound is inviting user edits throuh their own interface. Are they branching MusicBrainz data then? Or will there be some attempt to merge the two datasets in the future?

  3. If they get the MusicBrainz data without putting data back or even mentioning MusicBrainz then this seems like a bad deal. That makes SoundUnwound a competitor to MusicBrainz, which has all of MusicBrainz’ data and probably much better publicity. And Amazon gets to commercialize it all with no credit to the people who contributed the data. I hope it’s a temporary arrangement.

  4. Well, I’m sure they’re paying a reasonably sizeable licensing fee to MB. And sure, they get to commercialise it, etc, but the open model MB runs on means that anyone else (their competitors) can come along and buy a license for our data too, so they really need to offer a good service and innovate to stay ahead of potential competitors, since the data can’t really be a differentiator.

    I see it like this – the more big-name customers and users MB has, the more MB becomes a valued part of these organisations’ business models; and the more interest they have in MB succeeding, being actively developed (a problem at the moment) and well maintained by the community. That vested interest should be positive for the long term survival of the community and what has been built in the last 5 or so years. It’s all well and good being a lone ranger pariah, beholden to no-one, but alas it doesn’t pay the bills.

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