Your music timeline on Twones

twones timeline screenshotIt has been more than a year now since I got involved with Twones as one of the founding partners. Time to reveal a bit of what we have been cooking and what it may mean for music lovers and producers, mostly from a technical perspective.

Twones is all about your music timeline, that is, tracking the music you listen to and being able to re-use this data in all ways imaginable.
The service itself focuses on the social aspect of music, by allowing you to share your music listening with the world and follow in real time what your friends are listening to.

From a technical perspective, the basis is being able to determine the metadata of the music you’re listening to, both online (websites) as well as offline (local music players like itunes, winamp, windows media…). This metadata is then sent to Twones and made available again in various formats. The music timeline on the web site is currently the most visible representation. But eventually you will be able to export your timeline again, through a dedicated API, in order to build your own mashups or just be able to archive it.

When looking at the music timeline, Twones is much like a funnel, gathering music events from many places, processing them to make them available again in many contexts and applications.

The good thing about the internet is still the enormous amount of solutions and open standards which are being developed and improved to suit real needs. So it is no surprise that an informal standard for representation of music playlists already exists for a couple of years: XSPF. This is an XML based format, open for extension with multiple alternative music sources in mind.

Twones extends XSPF by adding a timestamp for the playback event, so the list has both meaning as a music timeline and as playlist for future playback.

With this in place, the Twones funnel can be seen as a data acquisition component (which runs in your web browser), followed by a metadata normalizer and resolver, followed by a XSPF export facility. It is on top of these XSPF streams that many, many services can and will be built, allowing to re-use your music attention in ways we can not even imagine right now.

To be continued…

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