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France meets Germany:


Le Blockathon
de la Musique

 

What is it about?

The "Blockathon de la Musique" brings a breath of fresh air into the ecosystem of music. We need new ideas to support musicians and composers. A major problem is the lack of metadata as well as the low quality of existing metadata. Because without correct metadata, artists won't get any revenue for their music. This Metadata Chaos affects not only music but also games, film, television, advertising and print. For decades.

You are hackers, musicians or you are working in the creative industries? Do you have innovative approaches or ideas of which no one has thought? Possibly with a Blockchain approach? Well, you may almost consider yourself invited. With your prototypes, you can be the driving force to solve various issues.

Music and digitalisation are crossing boundaries. That's why we want to celebrate the Franco-German Blockathon to promote cooperation between technical and musical creatives from both countries and give room to European innovations.

The Hackathon is organised by hack.institute and ContentSphere® and kindly supported by the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia.

 
 

LE BLOCKATHON
DE LA MUSIQUE

WHEN?

29.04. until 02.05.2019

Location

ThoughtWorks, Lichtstraße 43i
50825 Cologne

Agenda

29.04. Get together
30.04. - 01.05. Hackathon
02.05. // 11:00-12:00 am: Presentation at the c/o pop Convention

The Challenge

How can we support artists
and all those involved in the creative process,

to be able to make a living in a digital world?

That's the key question. Because every single one of you is a member of the music team that is not to be missed. Therefore, everyone has to be paid: musicians and songwriters; producers, sound engineers, designers and photographers – but coders as well.

It is essential for hackers and creatives alike to communicate and share their knowledge. The programming challenges, that might not be graspable for musicians at first, and that developers don’t see to be applicable in music are easy to understand when you cooperate. Shortly, we will provide a guide for participants which comes with some examples which makes it even easier.

The selection of challenges can be roughly divided into five fields: the generation, validation and use of metadata, the design of concepts and workflows and finally the development of business models.

For the experts among you: The challenges do not only deal with the information of a song or work (composer, lyricist, title, publisher, label, collecting society, ISWC, ISRC and more), which is usually referred to as metadata. Further informative data on media, artists or legal entities be used or generated.

You can choose one of the following challenges or design it differently. We are also happy about crossover applications or entirely new suggestions. We are open and flexible for your suggestions! At the beginning of April, we will get in touch with you and invite you to Slack. There you can already form teams.

Tip: It makes sense to research suitable APIs or data sources before the blockathon. First links can be found in the section GOOD TO KNOW under "Data". If you need audio or video files as test material, you can bring them with you.

Suggestions

Challenge 1 - Correcting Metadata

  • Find an automated way to correct existing metadata, e.g. by comparing it with other metadata or sources. Examples for a manual method are Wikis or a platform like Discogs (Link). Users compare registered data with those from their sources - in the case of Discogs with the information from their collection CDs, vinyl records or cassettes.

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 2 - Design of a multidimensional metadata model

  • What can a multi-layered metadata model look like that specifies how reliable all data is? It is necessary to determine the reliability of all verifying third parties to assess the credibility of data. A reliability factor for data could be calculated from this and from possibly influencing factors (e.g. the setting of a studio recording vs a jam session).

  • Result: Concept, implemented as programmed (clickable) or graphic dummies (fake screenshots if useful)

Challenge 3 - Generation of descriptive texts

  • Create a tool to create lyrics that describe songs based on their metadata and the audio file. The text should be usable for press purposes (EPKs), social media and similar purposes.

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 4 - Recognition of used sounds and moods

  • Create a tool to automatically recognise and describe the sounds and moods used in the song. The tool can be used, for example, for syncing or to program external devices (synthesizers, FX, plug-ins) based on the results.

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 5 - Identify suitable cover images

  • Compare songs and their data with pictures and graphics and find suitable material for the design of the cover illustration. It doesn't have to be actual pictures; it can also be the style.

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 6 - Branding through songs

  • Compare songs and their data with brands: Which songs fit a brand? The image of the brand, the corporate design or the product, for example, can serve as a basis.

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 7 - Matching Music and Video

  • Develop an algorithm that identifies music that matches given movies or video clips (or vice versa). In addition to standard metadata of music and film, an analysis of the audio or video films is helpful (e.g. editing speed, editing type, changes in volume, image colour, brightness and contrast).

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 8 - Automatic music-to-film editing

  • Develop a tool for automatic editing of music for a video. The identification of a suitable song is part of Challenge (7). 

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App

Challenge 9 - Concept of an improved metadata workflow

  • Design the concept of a cross-company workflow that eliminates duplicate metadata and minimises errors. It makes sense to limit yourself to a part of the life cycle of a song, e.g. composition to release. The restriction simplifies the detailed design.

  • Result: Concept, implemented as programmed (clickable) or graphic dummies (fake screenshots if useful)

Challenge 10 - Concept for supported ingest and motivation during metadata entry

  • The metadata chain begins with composers, musicians and studio personnel. How can metadata entry be simplified and automated for them and others involved in the production process? How can they be motivated to enter data? Please consider GDPR and the avoidance of a monitoring effect.

  • Result: Concept, implemented as programmed (clickable) or graphic dummies (fake screenshots if useful)

Challenge 11 - Business models for musicians and other creative people

  • How can a musician monetise data sharing and develop it into another source of revenue? Creative Passport (Link) is just one approach - what’s beyond? Metadata can change access to music through blockchain-based apps or APIs and UX design, and new revenue options open up. 

  • Result: Business model, based on questionnaire

Challenge 12 - Improving User Experience with Streaming

  • How can you improve your streaming experience? With better use of metadata? Alternatively, through changed search and recommendation algorithms? What opportunities do you see?

  • Result: Program / Algorithm / Tool / App; alternatively, a concept, implemented as programmed (clickable) or graphic dummies (fake screenshots if useful).

More info

A minor limitation: This is not a Bitcoin/Altcoin/whatever hackathon. The challenge is not to make cryptocurrencies usable in music. All solutions must be independent of any currency used.

 

The mentors

Fabian Beiner   COO @ hack.institute  // © hack.institute

Fabian Beiner

COO @ hack.institute

// © hack.institute

Bosco Bellinghausen   CEO & Founder @ ALISSIA MUSIC  // © Attila Bernhard

Bosco Bellinghausen

CEO & Founder @ ALISSIA MUSIC

// © Attila Bernhard

Stephan Benn   Head of Administration GLORIA Theater / Assessor Kanzlei Fleischer  // © Fabian Stuertz

Stephan Benn

Head of Administration GLORIA Theater / Assessor Kanzlei Fleischer

// © Fabian Stuertz

Xavier Costaz   Director of Innovations and Partnerships  // © Serge Loyauté-Peduzzi

Xavier Costaz

Director of Innovations and Partnerships

// © Serge Loyauté-Peduzzi

Marie Gauthier   Freelance Full Stack Web Developer / CTO @ Resonate / Software Developer @ MOD Devices  // © Marie Gauthier

Marie Gauthier

Freelance Full Stack Web Developer / CTO @ Resonate / Software Developer @ MOD Devices

// © Marie Gauthier

Matthias Hornschuh   Composer, speaker, GEMA board member  // © Sebastian Linder / GEMA

Matthias Hornschuh

Composer, speaker, GEMA board member

// © Sebastian Linder / GEMA

Anselm Kreuzer   Composer & Label Owner  // © Anselm Kreuzer

Anselm Kreuzer

Composer & Label Owner

// © Anselm Kreuzer

Wolfgang Senges   Freelance Strategist, Innovation & Project Manager / Co-Founder of the German Blockchain and Metadata Workgroup in Music  // © Barbara Senges

Wolfgang Senges

Freelance Strategist, Innovation & Project Manager / Co-Founder of the German Blockchain and Metadata Workgroup in Music

// © Barbara Senges

Martin Wisniowski   Full Stack Developer @ railslove / Musician / Media Artist  // © Martin Wisniowski

Martin Wisniowski

Full Stack Developer @ railslove / Musician / Media Artist

// © Martin Wisniowski

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The jury

Becky Brook   Commercial Lead @ JAAK  // © JAAK

Becky Brook

Commercial Lead @ JAAK

// © JAAK

Xavier Costaz   Director of Innovations and Partnerships  // © Serge Loyauté-Peduzzi

Xavier Costaz

Director of Innovations and Partnerships

// © Serge Loyauté-Peduzzi

Claudia Jericho   Leiterin Geschäftsstelle @ CREATIVE.NRW  // © Markus Milde

Claudia Jericho

Leiterin Geschäftsstelle @ CREATIVE.NRW

// © Markus Milde

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Schedule

After the get-together the evening before, the Blockathon starts on April 30th. We are launching into the day with a thematic introduction and a presentation of the challenges. Next, we will move on to the organisation of the Blockathon.

We will announce the winners on the evening of 01 May. The day after the Blockathon, we are invited to present the results at the c/o pop Convention in the presence of the Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.

Details on the organisation and the agenda will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Who can participate?

We are looking for 25 French and 25 German participating hackers and creatives (musicians, producers, engineers, photographers, designers and more) who want to refresh and revolutionise the music ecosystem with innovative solutions.

Hackers should have some programming experience and an interest in music, metadata and blockchain. For implementation, any programming language is allowed. Furthermore, the following knowledge is helpful: database and blockchain knowledge or big data methods, as well as machine learning, statistics and P2P skills.

Musical Creatives will share their vast experience. You know what is in demand in music and similar content ecosystems. Be it live music and composition, or production and sync/licensing. Otherwise, you might have the idea for a new business model, or maybe you want to link other media such as games, film or images to music.

The Blockathon also serves the exchange between Coding Creatives and Musical Creatives. Combine the best of all worlds within your team, and meet new people.

Sign up for free now

With a ticket you are definitely in.

Fifty participants - 25 each from France and from Germany - we can support with a partial reimbursement of travel expenses (see section GOOD TO KNOW). Until April 8, 2019, we will notify you if you are amongst the lucky ones who enjoy a partial travel reimbursement. If you sign up later, we will contact you immediately. Promised. (PLEASE NOTE: There are only a few tickets left!)

Tip: Do yourself a favour and reserve your accommodation with a free cancellation option before April 8. Due to the c/o pop festival, the rooms in Cologne could be in short supply.

Now take the challenge, get set, go! Sign up now, we look forward to meeting you!

Do you have any questions, or do you like to get to know more about organisational issues or the challenges? Please don’t hesitate to contact info@hack.institute (Organisational) or wolfgang.senges@contentsphere.de (Challenges, Content & Concept).

Prizes

The jury consists of French and German musicians and hackers (tba). 

The basis for the evaluation is primarily the degree of innovation, but also the foreseeable benefit of your applications. The prototype should show that implementation is feasible - even if it was not possible to entirely finish it within the framework of the competition.

Your efforts will be rewarded by our partners. They want to reward the work of the winning teams. Further details will be announced shortly.

Team members of the organisers, as well as employees of the participating partners, are not eligible to win prizes, but they may take part in the Blockathon.

Good to know

Data, APIs, standards, sources ...

You will receive a data sample from one or more of our partners to develop your prototypes. The sample is put together for the Blockathon.

In addition, there are a variety of links for coders to gain insight into metadata. If you want to work with the metadata of the songs, you have two options: Either you stick to given standards, or you try to find your own and completely new approach. If you are looking for an inspiration or need some insight into existing standards, here is some information:

  • DDEX standard: Link

  • MusicBiz Whitepapers: Link

The CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) offers a comprehensive selection of documents in its document library. The search for terms like metadata, standards or formats helps with the first step:

Since for every coder in database design IDs are the one and only, you may be interested in the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) and the International Standard Work Code (ISWC):

  • Songtrust: Link

  • Creative & Productive: Link

Streaming services such as Spotify or SoundCloud usually offer freely available custom APIs:

  • Spotify: Link

  • SoundCloud (API & SDK): Link

Alternatively, it is also possible to use freely available data sources and APIs from the Web. Some options are:

  • AudioKit Pro (sounds, loops, fx): link

  • BBC (sounds, fx): link

    • Article about this on lifehacker: link

  • FreeMusicArchive (audio): link

  • FreeMusicArchive (API): link

  • last.fm (API): link

  • MusicBrainz (metadata, API): link

  • MusicMachinery (list of various APIs): link

  • Programmable Web (list of various APIs): link

  • RapidAPI (list of various APIs): link

Pitch template

If you are planning to draft a business model, it’s useful to have at least one pitch template at hand This one has been suggested by Jonathan Aufray (Co-founder and CEO at Growth Hackers): Link

More information…

Equipment

Bring your own device! You will only use your own hardware. Which one you decide. The Blockathon is open to any device, any development platform, any programming language.

Catering

You will receive free catering at the get-together (29.04.) and during the hackathon (30.04.-01.05.). Breakfast at the hotel or in your accommodation is not included.

Arrival & Accommodation

You are booking accomodation and travel. We are supporting you by covering a part of your total cost:

  • a maximum of 120 € for French participants and

  • a maximum of 80 € for German participants.

Details will be announced soon.

 

Rights of use

The right to use the prototypes developed by you remains 100% with you after the hackathon.

The Blockathon will be documented and the documentation published after the event. No details of your prototypes will be passed on. On the contrary, the documentation also serves to generate attention for your solutions from the media, investors and other companies.

The small print

There shall be no entitlement to payment of the balance of the maximum refund. In the event of cancellation of the trip due to cancellation by the participant, there is no entitlement to reimbursement of travel or cancellation costs.

This hackathon is organiSed by

 

This project is funded by

 

Supported by

 

Photo Credits:

  • [Earphones, headphones, black and music HD photo by Malte Wingen (@maltewingen) on Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/PDX_a_82obo)

  • [DJ at work photo by Marcela Laskoski (@marcelalaskoski) on Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/YrtFlrLo2DQ)

  • [Woice, Liquid Spectrum, Centrála photo by Jan Střecha (@jan_strecha) on Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/tSnAnpRlDqw)

  • [Coding, programmer, computer and man HD photo by Steve Halama (@steve3p_0) on Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/Yhc7YGZlz3g)