Wulf's Webden

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Select by Instrumentation – II

Yesterday I wrote about how I would like to be able to browse music based on instrumental line-up. My initial hope was that the Last.FM site, in all its tagorific, web-two-point-oh-alicious glory would step up to the plate and hit a home run.

Unfortunately, while it does allow tagging of artists, albums and tracks, it does not give the range of tools needed to exploit that information in the way I am suggesting. I wanted to tag individual tracks with instrument names and then perform an aggregate search for albums containing mainly tracks featuring instruments X, Y and Z. I can do the tagging but cannot see how to go beyond searching for things (tracks, albums and artists) tagged with either X or Y or Z.

Perhaps this will be possible in future. The idea of folksonomy – individuals creating the tags they want and producing new ways of retrieving information that are not based on strict classification systems – is still rolling forward. Just yesterday, Flickr gave a push to its project The Commons. This is beginning to put a huge number of historic photos from the Library of Congress archives online and encouraging Flickr users to contribute tags describing them in the same way they would for their own photos. Flickr does have powerful searching tools and so I would at least be able to find pictures of bands playing instruments X, Y and Z although, admittedly, that does not get me much closer towards my original goal.

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