Introduced today at Midem, MusicDNA is a new type of music file that’s being heralded as the successor to the MP3. Based on an MP3 file it also displays everything band related – from lyrics, artwork and tour dates to blog posts, videos and twitter feeds – in the music player itself, while the tune is playing.
Further, if it is a legitimately purchased file, the added content automatically updates whenever the player is connected to the internet. This ensures fans always receive the most up to date information alongside their music, and gives people a true reason to buy music again.
The company behind MusicDNA, Bach Technology, worked on the development of the MP3 and Karlheinz Brandenburg, the inventor of the MP3 and Bach investor joined them today for this launch.
This additional content appears alongside the MP3 in a convenient and fully customisable App-driven player that is freely available to download. The content automatically updates whenever the player is connected to the internet, ensuring fans always receive the most up to date information alongside their music.
Only legitimately purchased tracks will dynamically update, and pirated versions will remain as static files, giving fans a tangible benefit in purchasing MusicDNA files. A first for digital music, this will provide the expanding download market with a much welcome boost.
Fans can customise their MusicDNA files after purchase, further enriching their music experience and making plain old MP3 feel decidedly last decade.
A recent report by Forrester Research, Inc. argued that the future of the recordings business lies in allowing fans greater interaction and customisability with their music files. If the likes of iTunes LP represent the first small step along this path, then MusicDNA – incorporating unrivalled user-customisability and inter-platform compatibility – represents a giant leap.
Partners on board for the Beta launch this spring include:
- Independent labels including Beggars Group (UK), Tommy Boy Entertainment (US), Delta Records (US) and Amiata Records (Italy)
- R2G (China), operators of Wawawa, China’s largest online independent music store, and featured store for Microsoft’s Windows Media Player in China
- Recast Media (Canada), the personalised digital news and entertainment service
- InProdicon (Sweden) Scandinavia’s largest distributor and service provider
- REBEAT Digital (Germany) digital music distributor to more than 300 download stores
- PeoplesMusicStore (UK), the UK’s unique, user-curated music download service.
- CatchMedia (US) whose ‘cloud’ music service allows users to access and play their music across multiple devices.
Rollout will be staggered over 2010, with the first beta versions available around Easter and the full commercial rollout expected over summer.
Simon Wheeler, Director of Digital, Beggars Group: “Beggars is supportive of any new initiative that looks to add value to our music and deliver more value and information to the fans who support us, being based on open standards the Bach implementation of MPEG-7 gives us an exciting opportunity to deliver a far richer experience to fans that goes well beyond the dumb file.”
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology CEO said: “Twenty years on from the initial development of the MP3, it is time for digital audio to once again evolve. Just as vinyl gave way to the CD and the CD to MP3, it is time for the MP3 to pass the baton onto MusicDNA.
“If we can look beyond the MP3 then consumers, forward thinking artists, labels, device manufacturers, digital music services and even brands all stand to benefit from a music format purpose built for our digital age.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Are MusicDNA Downloads Albums Or Singles?
The technology is there for selling singles or albums, whatever the label or retailer prefer.
How Can Fans Get Hold Of The MusicDNA Player?
MusicDNA retail partners will all receive free white label players to skin as they please, and offer free to fans. This modular, App-driven player will also be available from the MusicDNA website, at www.musicdna.com.
What If I Want To Play MusicDNA Tunes On My iPod Or MP3 Player?
MusicDNA enabled files are fully backwards compatible, so will play on any MP3 player.
Isn’t Some Of This Content Already Available On The Internet?
While much of the content can be found dispersed across the internet, never before has it been packaged together alongside the music in such a convenient format.
How Much Will MusicDNA Files Cost?
Pricing will be fixed by and at the discretion of artists, labels and retailers.
How Does Bach Expect MusicDNA Files To Compete With The Rise Of Streaming?
Like many in the industry BACH are of the view that there is no one Silver Bullet to suit all types of consumer, rather a variety of services will serve different fans with different needs.
There are many occasions when a download is preferable to a stream, and MusicDNA files have the advantage of customised, at your fingertips, rich media available on- and offline. And that is before considering the impact of streaming on growing bandwidth and energy requirements.
Are There Plans To Launch Any Other MusicDNA-Related Products?
MusicDNA files include extensive audio analysis information, textual and multimedia metadata and business intelligence. BACH has already developed a range of applications to take advantage of the more complete picture that MusicDNA provides, from sophisticated search and recommendation engines to playlist generators and social networking tools.
Can Other Software Developers Join The Party?
Yes. Software Development Kits will be made available to all manufacturers and Bach will enable the building of bespoke apps and new content to populate the MusicDNA player.