In September, 2009, NFCB received a planning grant to convene seven jazz formatted public radio stations from around the country to discuss their aspirations and plans to, as well as concerns around, building secure, searchable, digital music libraries for use in presenting jazz music to their audiences.
NFCB engaged the participating stations in two preliminary conference calls and an all-day face-to-face meeting in New Orleans in the spring of 2010. It was originally thought that NFCB would develop a training curriculum or perhaps arrange for group buys of products and services to help jazz stations in their efforts to build digital music libraries. However, after these meetings with the seven jazz stations, we learned that a central, collaborative database system (as opposed to each station developing individual, idiosyncratic libraries) would enable a digital leap forward for the stations that would make them significant presenters of the art form of jazz. NFCB plans to develop a central digital music library with a robust collection of searchable metadata that will be made accessible to jazz public radio stations around the country, deepening their engagement with their audiences and contributing to the preservation and forward progression of jazz. Furthermore, with licensed digital tracks of music matching the records in this database, stations can pull tracks directly from this library for their individual presentation on their airwaves. We are calling this central repository of jazz music and information the Jazz InfoVault.How it's being funded:
NFCB's planning grant of $32,800 from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) within their Jazz.NEXT program enabled the initial research. On June 1, 2010, we submitted a follow-up grant proposal to the same program in the amount of $75,000 to fund a great deal of the first stage of work on a central metadata library for stations. In September, 2010, NFCB will submit a further proposal to DDCF for a grant of $200,000 from the Fund for National Projects program to fund plans for later stages of the project, including the rights clearance and addition of digital music tracks to this central library. Additional grants to support the Jazz InfoVault could involve additional funders of jazz and arts-related work in media. NFCB will also explore opportunities to monetize the central metadata database and digital music library with subscribing stations paying nominal fees for its use.Plans for implementation:
Key points for the implementation of the first stage of this project are:
Phase 1: NFCB will design and pilot a Metadata Central Database for the use of Jazz public/community radio stations around the country who are building and utilizing digital music libraries.
Phase 2: NFCB will design and distribute software for use at Jazz public/community radio stations around the country that will access the Metadata Central Database for downloading of data content.
Phase 3: NFCB will populate the Metadata Central Database as fully as possible from existing metadata resources for greater initial usability.
A later stage of this project includes further development of the Jazz InfoVault with additional metadata content ingested over time and the licensing of digital music tracks for inclusion and use by each subscribing jazz station. The Jazz InfoVault project further proposes to build applications for use on personal mobile devices to by jazz stations to stream their broadcasts online through. NFCB envisions this work to span 3 years in total.
How it could ultimately benefit stations:
Jazz formatted radio stations with extensive music libraries in the form of physical media face an enormous task of housing, securing, and continuously maintaining their collections. Many of them wish to convert their physical music libraries into digital libraries, but the workload is enormous with tens of thousands of CD's and record albums to consider, and the issue of metadata is an even more complex one. Public radio listeners expect to hear about the personnel on each jazz track broadcasted, the date and location of the recording, and other information that may come from liner notes, album art, and reviews that were written about the song or album. It is especially important to a jazz-formatted public radio station, and to serious jazz programmers on mixed-format stations, to have a digital music library with complete and accurate metadata that is highly searchable with smart-query capability. By having access to a central library of music matching a Central Metadata Database, each local station will have appropriately licensed music for their individual use which will eliminate the need for each station to ingest each song that they wish to have in their local digital music libraries separately and repeatedly. Having such a powerful resource will allow these jazz stations to present better programs to their audience, educate this audience more widely, convert their broadcast content to information that can be presented on their websites, make them significant presenters of the art form of jazz, and establish them as cultural institutions in their communities. A Central Metadata Database and digital music library will directly result in stations deepening their engagement with their audiences and contributing to the preservation and forward progression of jazz.
For additional information:
Summary Notes from the initial meeting of the seven stations on March 4, 2010 can provide additional details on the discussion and findings of the group present. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with questions or thoughts on this exciting undertaking.
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