BBC Music Beta project is an ongoing effort by the BBC to build semantically linked and annotated web pages about artists and singers whose songs are played on BBC radio stations. Within these pages, collections of data are enhanced and interconnected with semantic metadata, letting music fans explore connections between artists that they may have not known existed.The
The BBC Music project has been in beta since June of last year. According to silicon.com, Matthew Shorter, Interactive Editor for Music at the BBC, the project is "a part of a general movement that's going on at the BBC to move away from pages that are built in a variety of legacy content production systems to actually publishing data that we can use in a more dynamic way across the web."
That dynamic backend technology - semantic markup - adds additional context to data about the artist which can include anything from previous bands, past collaborators, venues played, and more. The metadata is then linked together to create relationships that you may not have even known about before.
Most of the information for the project comes from MusicBrainz, an open content music "metadatabase" that lists information for over 400,000 artists. To make a BBC music page, the contextual information surrounding the artist is imported to their BBC page. By using the artist's "MusicBrainzID," web page creators can integrate the artist's Wikipedia biography, too. Reusing this content is a better use of their time and energy, says Shorter, because the content is already available on the public domain.
As more projects like this take advantage of the publicly available metadata available, the beginnings of a real semantic web can finally take root.