Sunday, February 22, 2009

IMDB and IMDB... for music

IMDb - Internet Movie Database. If you want to know about movies, you go to the Internet Movie Database. Its a massive collection of pretty much every movie ever made. You have probably stumbled across it anytime you have googled a specific movie or even star. You can get plot summaries, cast listings (even click on specific stars and get all their career information), ratings (even specific information about exactly what is in movies), reviews, and a host of other information. I love to look at the top 250 movies and get ideas of movies to see or re-see. Well that's all fine and good...

BUT, WHERE IS THE OTHER IMDb (Internet MUSIC Database)? While various resources exist which definitely resemble an online music database, the most straightforward answer is that there really isn't one yet. Arguably, it seems only logical that there should be a database of information about music, bands, songs, or whatever. Compared against movies however, music is a much more complex animal. Think about how many groups and artists there are. Think about how many labels exist for each of them. Think about the vast complexity of information - from concerts to album releases to band members - that exists in the world of music. Truly, compiling a database for music is an extremely daunting task - especially in terms of what IMDB offers.

So what are some of the resources that can help in the quest for information about music:
  1. Google: obviously - this isn't the most all-in-one solution for information. Using it to get information about Music is more time consuming and daunting a task than other options on the list.
  2. iTunes (Amazon)- want information about music - go to where its sold! iTunes is one of the most vast compilations of music for sale on the web. Not only dones iTunes bring you information about artists and songs, it brings you information about artists and songs that are alike, thereby giving you a means to conceptualize what kind of music you are looking at and find more music that fits your taste. See Genius Sidebar. As for Amazon, same concept, just a little more difficult to use - in my opinion.
  3. SoundUnwound - this is Amazon and IMDB's early attempt at making a music database. Its in the beta stage of its development but to me, it seems to be a pretty darn good start. You can search any person, group, or band and it shoots back a list of results for what you might be looking for. I searched the band U2. There were thousands of matches for the band, but I knew from looking that the first option was the band summary. The site then provides the following: profile, discography, members, and "like U2... well check out..." Go check out a band or person you want and see how you like it. The benefit of using SoundUnwound to iTunes is that you get information about each individual in the band and you can use that to find what other band or music that person has influenced. I have a feeling I will be talking about this again in the future.
  4. Soundflavor - if you've heard it, they probably have it - Soundflavor compiles music by genre, decade, lyrics, songs, and artists so that you make music and video playlists. Postable on Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, blogs, and other websites, Soundflavor's more than a share-site, it's a place to discover. Search over the extended musical listings and discover new artists and sounds. Did I mention that some free music tracks are downloadable? With 30,000 songs and climbing, Soundflavor is definitely a resourceful guide to music! I will likely be re-visiting this site as well.
  5. Pandora - are you looking for music similar to music that you like? Why not just listen to some music on Pandora for awhile, pay attention to what you hear, and take note of what you hear?
  6. Any other ideas? Let me know!
So there you have it, IMDb and IMDb for Music! Search, Learn, Discover, Enjoy!


Tara said...

Thanks for answering that question! Very helpful.

Juan said...

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