Bringing music into the multimedia age

Funded by the European Commission

The main objective of the recently established MUSICNETWORK is to create a community to bring the European Music industries and content providers into the interactive multimedia era. There is currently a large gap between academy and industry and many of the products in the marketplace fail to exploit the potential of new multimedia technologies. The MUSICNETWORK will help complex research solutions to reach the marketplace by seeking agreements between the different actors and formats.

A new thematic network, funded by the European Commission Vth Framework IST Research Programme, is being established in the area of music coding. The central focus of the MUSICNETWORK is the creation of a community to bring the European Music industries and content providers into the interactive multimedia era. THis is possible by bringing together research institutions, industries and experts from all areas and all countries.

In order to identify suitable models and solutions, we need to integrate the knowledge held by music publishers, digital libraries, universities, standardisation bodies, research institutions, music associations, end-users, music schools, information technology companies, commercial distribution and e-distribution, and industry. The MUSICNETWORK project will implement concrete actions for integrating this knowledge and brigning music into the interactive media ea. To this end, a set of activities will be implemented for understanding the requirements; assessing the research and technology; integrating the available technologies; and pushing them in the right direction in order to bring music into the multimedia era.

The MUSICNETWORK initiative can only be performed at a European level. The main objectives are to:

create a collaborative environment which makes it easier for music content providers and corporate users to access research results and technological solutions,

provide training, technology transfer and access to expertise in the multimedia music field,

use research institutes and standardisation bodies (e.h. Mpeg7, W3C, Mpeg21, etc.) to consider problems of music coding for integrating multimedia and distribution aspects, preserving the owner rights,

increase the competitiveness of content providers and distributors working in multimedia music delivery,

increase awareness and confidence by building consensus among content owners and providers towards the new solutions, technologies and music models, thereby removing the problems that currently limit the digitising of music archives,

prepare the VIth Framework technology of new functionalities that may open new markets for new ways of music distribution: such as e-publishing, e-book, virtual libraries, modile entertainment, and m-commerce.

This means that the MUSICNETWORK will contribute to the present standard bodies in two ways: firstly by producing reports for stimulating the adoption of mechanisms for modelling music notation and coding into the present standards; and secondly by producing guidelines for the adoption of the present standards as support for modelling multimedia music in interactive applications.

The work performed will address several aspects of music: coding, protection, distribution, conversion, etc., by building a large group of network participants.

To this end, seven different working groups are being established and interested parties from all areas are encouraged to become involved in this important work.

Most of the results that will be produced by the project will also be interesting for non-European countries and the inclusion of participants from non-EU states is encouraged.

For more information, please visit our website:
Contact: David Crombie, International Projects, FNB, Amsterdam: