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31 mars 2007

Stars compose new ways to use music

Do you want to write music, or remix a band's tunes and then find similar stuff? Three top rock stars are eager to help...

...Such evangelism for the digital realm is shared by other luminaries from the music world. Peter Gabriel's involvement in digitised music content is well documented, with his early dabblings in game-like CD-Roms such as Xplora (1994) and Eve (1997), and then the OD2

online musical distribution service he helped establish.

Now Gabriel is taking further steps into software with his involvement in The Filter, an intelligent playlist generator for the shuffle generation.

It currently works with Apple's iTunes and Nokia mobile phones - it's a free download that claims it will get us to hear more of the often neglected music files that lie dormant in our ever-expanding digital archives.

"About five years ago I registered the name," says Gabriel, "because it seemed inevitable that as people had more access to information, data and media, the way they found stuff they wanted or needed would become increasingly sophisticated and important. So I encouraged some experiments with filtering within OD2, and the team who were designing it for us began a business of their own based around recommendation engines into which I was invited to participate.

"The current incarnation is the beginning of something which I think is really exciting. I can see today's 'disc jockey' evolving into tomorrow's 'life jockey', and of all the different approaches to recommendation engines, The Filter has the most human response."

As a recording artist and head of a record label, Gabriel seems excited by the idea that developments such as The Filter can serve both equally well. "It enables people to find material that can surprise, inspire and excite," he says.

"The filtering process is not dictated by marketing dollars. Paid-for content has been the rock on which both the music and the film industries have been built. This rock is rapidly turning into quicksand and it seems to me that the future income streams are probably going to come as much from filtering and advertising, as from direct sale of content. I am hoping in our internet projects to make sure that musicians are not at the bottom of the pecking order."...

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