CCD App To Track Recording Metadata

(L-R): BMS/Chace COO John Sarappo; DDEX Secretariat Niels Rump; Producers & Engineers Wing Sr. Executive Director Maureen Droney; and BMS/Chace President John Spencer. (Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy)

A three-way partnership between The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, BMS/Chase and the Library of Congress has yielded a standardized approach and software model for gathering and managing metadata for recorded music. Computers love metadata, information about files, embedded in those files. In this case it’s the information about tracks, musicians, song titles, producer, engineer credits and more.

The resulting standard, dubbed CCD (Content Creator Data), and accompanying studio collection application, were previewed June 14 and 15, 2010, in New York City at the DDEX (Digital Data Exchange, LLC) Plenary and NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) Digital Task Force meetings. The application is designed to be an integral part of the recording process from a work’s inception. The resulting metadata can remain linked with a recording through subsequent filing of e-copyright and point of sale. It will also interface with other open standard systems in publishing and e-commerce.

This open-source, open-standard application is on track to be widely available in 2011 and has been garnering great interest in the recording community. The intent of the project is to harmonize with existing work from SMPTE, DDEX, AES and other relevant standards organizations to create a compatible metadata environment that includes common business-related fields such as ISRC codes, official song titles, producer and engineer credits, performers and copyright ownership. Other partners in the project include Sony BMG Music, Universal Music Group, EMI Group and Disney Music Group.

“We see this project as a huge step forward,” said Maureen Droney, Senior Executive Director of the Producers & Engineers Wing. “It’s essential to incorporate metadata gathering into the actual recording process, where recording personnel have accurate information about the content contributors: what musicians played, what takes were used, who engineered, etc. This application provides a standardized way to gather that data and to make it easily flow upstream.”

States BMS/Chace President John Spencer, “It is the first attempt to bring documentation of commercial recordings into the 21st century and to actively work with standards organizations to promote a unified metadata environment. CCD puts the collection of metadata where it is most accurate, at the actual genesis of the recording process, and it is accessible to all content creators, whether they are recording in a multi-room commercial facility or a home studio. Proper metadata and crediting are invaluable from a historical perspective, for archiving and repurposing, and ultimately, for connecting those who participate in the royalty stream — in other words, getting people paid.”

The application is being shown at meetings held at The Recording Academy’s Santa Monica headquarters, as well as Chapter offices in Nashville and New York City, during the month of August. After testing, which is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2011, the application will be available at no charge via a simple registration and download process, with the underlying metadata schema published and freely available.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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