BBC's Sound Index is good, but we won't get the data

Next Story

America loves to use cellphones while driving!

The BBC’s SoundIndex, currently in beta, lists the top 1,000 artists based on discussions crawled from Bebo, Last.fm, Google Groups, iTunes, MySpace and YouTube. The top five bands according to SoundIndex right now are Coldplay, Rihanna, The Ting Tings, Duffy and Mariah Carey, but the index is refreshed every six hours and you can also drill down to more long tail content by creating a profile. Here are the Top Ten artists for a 27-39 year old male who likes Electronica and Indie music, with Ladytron topping that particular chart.

The more blog mentions, comments, plays, downloads and profile views an artist or track has, the higher up the Sound Index they are. So, the Sound Index is a music buzz index controlled entirely by the public. You can also limit it to one source like Last.fm. It’s similar to Songkick’s “Battle Of The Bands,” but Songkick uses different data, so the results are different again.

The muscle behind this is IBM’s Semantic Super Computing and the UK’s NovaRising and the project was devised by BBC Switch, BBC’s new teen service delivering content to 12 to 17-year-olds across multiple platforms, TV, Radio 1 and online.

So what what needs to happen now is that the BBC needs to release some of this data, perhaps on a platform, so that UK startups like Songkick can incorporate it into their service. But I guess they are safe – the commercial partners may not like that – so the BBC proves once more why Google was not built here. Trebles all round!

Update, 4 June: I now learn that the whole edifice will be shut down in July as it was only a beta test.

  • Project

    Release *what* data? What does SoundIndex have that is useful to Songkick that they couldn’t get from Last.FM?

    I don’t understand your fascination with the issue.

  • jimmy

    “. But I guess they are safe – the commercial partners may not like that – so the BBC proves once more why Google was not built here”. what an utter load of bullsh+t to append to a relatively informative article. i stopped visiting techcrunch a long time ago because of the anti-uk trash that you seem to thrive on.

  • Sam Sethi

    I love the BBC, what has America or the rest of the world got like this. The BBC have helped the UK mass market understand and consume RSS, podcasts, Second Life, iPlayer etc and now this sound index which may not be perfect but it is an excellent example of the semantic web in action.

  • Pete

    Agree with jimmy. The anti Uk, anti European angle of Techcrunch is boring boring boring.

  • http://www.thebillblog.com/billblog/index.php/2008/05/21/i-saw-this-34/ I saw this… » the billblog

    […] TechCrunch UK » Blog Archive » BBC?s Sound Index is good, but we won?t get the data – Free our data campaigner Mike Butcher keeps on pushing […]

  • http://www.ClearMyMail.com Dan Field

    I don’t read it as anti UK… the issue is that the BBC is funded with public (our) money and in some ways is edging into commercial spaces.

    This not only causes trouble here in the UK, but globally. Take the BBC news website for instance, its one of the most read and respected news websites globally – its core data is funded by UK license fee payers but is then being used to compete with other commercial news sites around the world.

    Yes, the BBC do some fantastic work and the Sound Index is another good example of this but should we as license payers be funding this kind of thing?

    At the very least the data behind these great BBC services should be opened up. The licensing of this data is a very complex issue, but the BBC should at least get started by looking at it.

  • http://www.nedrichards.com Nick

    So Google used a great web crawl that PBS did to get started?

  • http://www.nedrichards.com Nick

    (Just noticed that my sarcasm may not have come across there)

    Whilst I totally agree that anything that is possible to be open should be open and that the Beeb is just one of the many organisations to be more open I think the issue of open data is somewhat different to that of why Google wasn’t originally built here.

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Jimmy – As it happens I’m not anti UK or Europe (see the site for all the Euro trps I’m doing looking for great Euro startups – and in Newcastle tomorrow as it happens). I’m just tired of the BBC doing something interesting but then not leveraging its great platform in a way that can encourage innovation in the UK. Apparently there are quite a lot of tech people inside the BBC who agree and would like to see its data opened up more fully. But certain out-dated policies stand in the way.

    Nick – One of the problems with the UK is that tonnes of data is locked up in silos like the BBC or the Ordnance Survey mapping agency. In the US postcode and geo-data, for instance, is often freely available allowing new an innovative companies to flourish. Yahoo’s FireEagle is a fascinating “startup” inside Yahoo which will leverage just this kind of thing. I’d like to see UK companies having that edge, that’s all.

    • http://www.ralphlauren-poloshirts.co.uk/ralph-lauren-polos-wholesale ralph lauren polo wholesale

      I have been with Triond for the past 1 year. I hope if I had got such suggestions, it would have been much more helpful for me. I learnt it the hard way. Hope the new comers an easier time.

  • http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com steve ballmer

    I didn’t see Balm!

    http://virb.com/balm/

  • http://kattk.org/omvagar-pa-webben-ar-ocksa-ett-satt-att-hitta-fram/ Omvägar på webben är också ett sätt att hitta fram | KATTKORGEN

    […] Ironiskt nog hittade BBC-bloggaren Daren Waters, tjänsten via TechCrunch UK. […]

  • http://www.dom.ir/blog/2008/07/03/sound-index-data/ Sound Index Data | Dom.ir Blog

    […] in response to Mike Butcher’s criticisms about not opening up the data, this is purely because it’s currently a public service beta and, as […]

  • http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/17/google-launches-audio-indexing/ Google Launches Audio Indexing

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://www.techaddress.com/2008/09/17/google-launches-audio-indexing/ Google Launches Audio Indexing  »TechAddress

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://www.techaddress.com/2008/09/17/why-samsung-wants-to-buy-sandisk/ Why Samsung Wants to Buy SanDisk  »TechAddress

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://www.techaddress.com/2008/09/17/uptake-raises-10-million-in-series-b-funding/ UpTake Raises $10 Million In Series B Funding  »TechAddress

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://knowmedia.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/google-launches-audio-indexing/ Google Launches Audio Indexing « kNow Media

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://jp.techcrunch.com/archives/20080917google-launches-audio-indexing/ TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » Google、動画・音声を台詞で検索できる音声インデックス「GAudi」開始

    […] ウェブが洗練され、音声・動画が生活の重要なパートになるにつれ、全コンテンツからごみの山を掻き分けて欲しい物を探し出すヘルプが必要になってきた。それに応えるためグーグルは水曜、Google Labsで音声インデックスサービスの立ち上げを発表した。 […]

  • http://dailymarauder.com/2008/09/17/online-servicesinteractive-media-309/ ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA « Daily Marauder

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google Labs.  Dubbed GAudi, the new service is designed to work with YouTube, and will catalog […]

  • http://willscullypower.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/google-announces-audio-data-indexing/ Google announces audio data indexing « Will Scully-Power’s Blog

    […] looking for in all that content. To address that, Google announced Wednesday that it has launched audio indexing in Google […]

  • http://fr.techcrunch.com/2008/09/18/google-pret-a-indexer-de-laudio-dans-les-videos/ TechCrunch en français » Google prêt à indexer de l’audio dans les vidéos

    […] C’est que Google va essayer de faire; ils ont annonce le lancement d’un “audio indexing” vis Google […]

  • http://www.strategie-influence.com/google-pret-a-indexer-de-l%e2%80%99audio-dans-les-videos-1177/ Google prêt à indexer de l’audio dans les vidéos

    […] C’est que Google va essayer de faire; ils ont annoncé le lancement d’un “audio indexing” via Google […]

  • http://www.besthandbags2011.com/kitson-bags-wholesale-993-c-66.html Kitson Bags

    So Google used a great web crawl that PBS did to get started?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1812298687 Asif Ifteakhar Ridoy

    Dentist Tarzana, Encino,Woodland Hills, Irvine,Implant,Braces

    http://www.dramik.com

blog comments powered by Disqus