[ANN] The Viberavetions Project : A Call Out To Artists/Musicians, Music Industry Professionals, and Pure and True Fans Of The Art and Music These Same Folks Create

by M. David Peterson

DISCLAIMER: This is not an anti-label project. This is a pro-Artist/Musician and pro-Fans of these same Artists/Musicians. There is nothing about this that suggests that the labels can't be a part of this... In fact we hope that MANY, if not ALL of them embrace these ideas, while gaining a real-world understanding of just how much power exists when the ideals of a free culture are embraced and built upon.

[NOTE: Please see Russ Miles modified version of this post @ http://www.russmiles.com/home/2006/6/15/an-announcement-and-a-call-for-participation-all-in-one.html . While the core areas are the same the "story behind" is from his perspective/style and adds some cool side points that are not a part of this post.]


Last July Russ Miles and myself began to brainstorm on some ideas on how we could take podcasting, create some tools and such, and create a new medium in which artists and musicians could develop, collaborate, and distribute both their music and their message in ways that would allow these same folks to quit their day job at Kinko's (I know, HORRIBLE cliché... but hey, I grew up in Seattle during the grunge scene... A lot of the folks I knew DID work at Kinko's! ;) And become full time musicians without having this mean signing with a major label to make this possible.

At first we were somewhat limited with our overall vision. Then Russ had a breakthrough:


2006-06-15 11:24:44
How is this going to help people become full time musicians?

Can you please summarize this in plain english, without the extensibility/atomicity/decentralization web 2.0 BS?

M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 11:45:44
Hmmmm... not sure its BS as thats what it is at a technical level, and is an important distinction to be made.

Its also decentralized as the application runs locally but is connected to a main routing server to negotiate how to connect to one another, discover who's on the system, etc... So again, thats not BS, thats what it is.

The extsensible part... hmmm... not sure if I spoke directly to that point, but I should have. And again, not BS... Its an extensible platform in that anyone can build an application that extends its core functionality and performs specific things they might want it to do. Over this same decentralized (which I guess you could easily suggest that we are decentralized now ... the internet is ALL about decentralization.) network, instead of, for example, me uploading a file to a server, and you then downloading it, a direct peer-to-peer connection (or peer-to-multi-peer for things like bittorrent) is made and the file is sent directly.

How this benefits musicians is quite simple... by building a smarter and cheaper way for people to connect with each to share specific information, e.g. "Check out this track from The XYZ's!", or to tag specific data files with rating information to then build applications that can read this data and, for example, return a list of the "top 10 tracks from a particular genre from local bands who are scheduled to play a gig somewhere nearby this weekend" which would be useful for folks interested in heading out to a live show this weekend, and want to find new music similar to the music they already have interest in.

So in short, this is a simple way to make better connections between the computers we already have, and easily tag information with various labels (e.g. a genre for a band, or a particular track from a band) to then easily extract that data and run either explicit "type it into a search text box" queries, or implied searches that match your current favorites track list with the same mentioned bands playing this weekend, automatically add this information to a "list of possibilities" section on your calendar, and sync this information to your mobile device so when your out bar hopping or whatever you can decide on a whim what band you want to go see.

Sorry if this is over technical... My mind is in technical mode at the moment, and its sometimes hard to shift gears. But once I have I will come back to this and see if this helped, or if I have just made matters worse :)

Either way, thanks for taking the time to leave your question!

Sylvain Hellegouarch
2006-06-15 16:32:52
The Internet is great. It has given us a way to know people, culture outside our regular circle of friends. However maybe, I insist on this "maybe", there are ways to remind people that they can enjoy also their local scene.

How is Viberavetions (VRT) supposed to help here I hear you say?

Well although Viberavetions is built on the Internet itself, the goal behind the project is to remind ourselves that there is more than 1 and 0.

Do you remember in the early 90s and before, when the Internet was not everywhere yet. Could you today live without the Internet? I'm not sure as for myself but I'd like to believe so. How many hours do you spend on this Web instead of enjoying the landscape? Your girlfriend/boyfriend? Why are you reading this? Go out damn it! Take part of this World you live through the articles you read on your screen.

Isn't Viberavetions same as MySpace?

Perhaps technically. But the point is not there. There is no hundred ways of building such application, however the goal might be different. Again VRT is the dreamed idea of letting people remind they can live without the Internet, they can go and do something outside. Anything.

Therefore, of course this is blurry. This is lucky. If it was clear, it would be marketing, targetting your wallet. VRT is not marketing, it is about giving a few tools to people so that they can simply make this project useful. It has to be unclear because VRT is what you make of it. It is up to you to decide.

M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 16:48:35
If I was mean and vicious I would go in and delete Syvlains name from his last comment, and put my own in place.

(I'll admit, it's tempting) :)


Yeah, what Sylvain said :D

M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 18:31:17
One quick point:

Viberavetions should not be seen as a MySpace competitor.

MySpace is a hosted, online community. Viberavetions is simply meant to help make what already exists, better. We don't host ANYTHING but data that is then processed locally for listening, viewing, etc... and the main web entry page for each section of the site for those folks who have not installed the local application to then use a local instance of a Web Server+XML Communication Server+Streaming Media Client/Server to process XML messages and data that is send from the server-to-client or from client-to-client (peer-to-peer, altough thats one of those phrases that tends to suggest bad things, so we sould prefer to avoid having those bad things cast onto this project by overusing such a focused phrase.)

If there is one phrase I wouldn't mind being labeled, it would be as a "Web Services Mash-Up Client-side XML Processing Server"

Hmmm.... that might not catch on, huh?!

Well... I won't worry about it then... call it whatever you want to call it... It's just a tool to make our lifes a little be easier, more enjoyable, by making it easier to access the localized information that is important to each one of us as an individual, to then share that information with others we would like to share it with.

We don't want this to be something you are forced to sit in front your computer to use... We want it to enable you to get away from your computer, get outside, and enjoy life thats just a little more rich than it was before.

That's all.

2006-06-15 19:45:16

  1. Artists post content
  2. Users rate content
  3. Everyone utilizes the feedback to create custom sorted feeds of content that interests them

Is that right?
M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 22:54:51
Hey Will,

Yep. That sure does sum things up nicely. :0

Q: Interested in a job as a documentation writer? ;) :D

M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 23:03:58
I should point out that the portion regarding users rating content can be both explicit and implied. For example, many of the modern day audio/video players keep track of how often you listen to a song, learn patterns of behavior based on the various mathematical patterns that are common amongst various types of sounds, rhyhtms, etc... and then allow you to sort on this information, or automatically sort it for you, etc...

The Pandora project, or music genome project, is a good example of this type of usage.

So, in short... The popularity of a track can be determined by mor than just a physical rating, and in fact are often more accurate when they are based on usage patterns... The Windows XP Start Menu I believe would be the one exception in which doesn't seem to match any sort of real world pattern of usage.

Oh, and the add/remove dialog that specifys you "rarely" use a program that you have been using everyday for the last 2 years... Thats one of my more favorite examples of what I guess could be termed an "anti-pattern", although I would be more apt to believe "lack of pattern" or even more so, a "random number generator pattern".

M. David Peterson
2006-06-15 23:15:21
Of course, there is also a bit more to this as well... The more implied piece of this (this will be part of the stream management application) is to implement subscription-based content distribution of tracks, in which making it easy to collectively group together collections of artists that someone can then subscribe to via a fee-based subscription is certainly a possibility, but we really want to find out what the artists and musicians feel will benefit them most before we just start building things for no real reason beyond the notion that it "seemed like a good idea at the time."

In short, we want to both build and enable a supply-chain ecosystem in which a combination of free-as-in-beer, free-as-in-speech (but costs about the same price as a beer), etc...

Again, this is where the artists and musicians will need to speak up and state "we would REALLY like to try this idea out... can you please build it for us... and we would then figure out one way or another if it was technically feasible, if yes, build it, test in via a real-time delivery mechanism, and then make the results of the tests available for all the world to both see and analyze, so that more ideas can be developed, with the knowledge that this won't work for that reason, learn from this, adapt, try something new, etc...

2006-06-16 06:26:06
In short understandable English for the dimwit musicians of which I am one, I have original tracks on my web site in a directory.

1. What can your project do for me?
2. What do I have to do to obtain that?
3. What do I pay?
4. What will I get paid and how?

Today I let people have them if they can find them and all I ask is they not misrepresent them or their source (listen but don't steal). So why do I want to be 'rated'?

M. David Peterson
2006-06-16 13:45:12
Hey Len,

Great questions! Let me first quickly answer your last question, and the spend the time necessary to answer the others.

"So why do I want to be 'rated'?"

Thats only a portion of what this is about. If your interest is in simply making available your music tracks in a way that makes them easier to be found (e.g. by tags that you place on them or by tags that others place on them) then this is a significant capability of this project that will allow you to do just that.

Sharing music, and ideas, and art, and poetry, and etc... is the most important part of this. How you decide to share this is up to you, the creator. Others can rate this if they choose to, and if folks want to find the most popular poem on the subject up "Global Warming" they most certainly would have the tools made available to them to do just that.

But maybe, as you somewhat infer, just maybe a poet is not so much concerened with what other people think and simply would like to share their poetry with others. Or maybe, just maybe someone interested in reading your poem isn't concerned with what other people think. They simply would like to enjoy the artwork of somebody else and would like an easier way to locate the artwork of others such that they can do just that.

Helping folks find the art of other folks in which they can enjoy is the primary, number one concern of this project.

I have some email to attend to quickly, but will then be back to directly answer your specific points.

Thanks for taking the time to break this down! I REALLY appreciate it, as it helps us all better understand what we need to do to help make this project useful to the people who care about things like this being useful.

Thanks again!

M. David Peterson
2006-06-16 13:52:36
One other quick point,

In choosing the name, we kind of had to pick one primary area of focus that would help connect the various pieces of this into one (somewhat) easy to understand catchphrase.

I *think* "viberavetions" does a pretty good job of handling this, but the unfortunate side effect is that it places the focus on the ratings side of things, when in fact this is only a part of what this is about. The ability for both artists and consumers of their art to tag their artwork (music, poetry, drawings, or any other form of art) with simple points of relavency to a particular topic, or genre, etc... is just as important to this project as the ratings side of this.

*HOPEFULLY* the chosen name won't be a detriment to the other points of this project. If it is... Well, I guess we'll have to find another name. :)

M. David Peterson
2006-06-17 03:26:58

Quick Follow-Up: Soon after writing my last response, I left to the theatre to purchase my ticket to "An Inconvenient Truth." My most recent post will explain more of what happened after that > http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2006/06/an_inconvenient_truth_an_incon.html <

Also in this post is an explanation as to why I haven't come back to this as of yet. I am forcing my eye lids open at the moment, trying to get caught up on a few issues of importance (this most certainly tops that list), and am now realizing that I will be doing myself and EVERYONE else a favor if I come back to this after gaining some much needed rest.

As such, I will do just that.

Thanks again for your help with bringing a greater understanding as to what it is that TRULY matters to the artists and musicians, such as yourself, that this project might interest if it is done correctly.