Feeds

Why has Sony bought Gracenote?

Oiling the machine

3 Big data security analytics techniques

$260m is a lot to pay for a pile of information about a dying music format - but Sony might just have made the deal of the century. The entertainment giant now has the biggest store of music metadata in the world, with the acquisition of Gracenote. The deal is expected to be completed in May.

Gracenote has its roots in CDDB: a kind of Wikipedia of user-submitted CD track information, which ran on Xmcd, a piece of open source software. While it initially shunned commercial deals, the maintainers made a deal in 1998 to go commercial. It's now the de facto way software such as iTunes acquires track information - and it's spawned a successful business, estimated to be worth about $40m a year.

Gracenote has spawned a recommendation engine and acoustic identification service, much like pioneer Shazam.

(The original software and pre-fork database lives on at freedb, but without the critical mass of users and updates from labels, it's a spooky sort of afterlife.)

But as the distribution container for music changes from plastic discs to a bit stream, the information still needs to be logged so the creators can get their dues. Shawn Fanning tried to build a system to fulfill that need with Imeem, but found the future took a long time coming (see Right idea, wrong time: Snocap's corpse washes up at Imeem). Gracenote has much of what's needed to oil the machine.

And as co-founder Steve Scherf told WiReD magazine two years ago, people will be popping CDs into internet-connected machines for a long time to come. ®

Bootnote: Wikipedians take note. One minute you can be working in a people-powered commune, the next minute you're working for The Man.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.