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"One of the first satirical examinations of the concept of Metadata as we understand it today is American Science Fiction author Hal Draper's short story, MS_Fnd_in_a_Lbry (1961). Here, the knowledge of all Mankind is condensed into an object the size of a desk drawer, however the magnitude of the metadata (e.g. catalog of catalogs of... , as well as indexes and histories) eventually leads to dire yet humorous consequence for the human race. The story prefigures the modern consequences of allowing metadata to become more important than the real data it is concerned with, and the risks inherent in that eventuality as a cautionary tale." --Sholem Stein

"I remember first realising that a lot of records I loved on the Cadet label - from Terry Callier, Rotary Connection and Minnie Riperton - where produced by Charles Stepney in the late '60s and early '70s. I started to look for Stepney's credits on records in second-hand stores, and recognised his epic, experimental production style on tracks from compilations. In this case, Charles Stepney was the key bit of metadata, the root connecting me to lots of other interesting artists. In fact, he actually created Rotary Connection as a front for his studio experiments. How would you come across this information without being able to pore over music sleeves, etc?

Ok, so this is still a real minority interest, and most users are more than satisfied by being able to type 'Coldplay' into a search box and downloading the results, but the products of these twisting paths of metadata sometimes find their way back into the mainstream. Beat-digging has returned the forgotten contributions of visionaries like David Axelrod and Galt MacDermot to public attention, whilst the huge amounts of beats sourced from obscure music library records from the 60's and 70's has gained long-overdue credit for artists like Alan Hawkshaw, Nino Nardini and Cecil Leuter. Metada isn't just about search, but about noise. The more there is, the more signals you can extract from it.

My favourite music-metadata discovery? After a long search, I managed to track down a copy of Labi Siffre's rare album 'Remember My Song' for the killer track 'I Got The...', which has a *huge* break sampled by, among others, Eminem on 'My Name Is...' Checking out the credits on the album, I noticed that bass and guitar players where none other than Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock, popular English session musicians at the time. That meant that one of the fattest bass breaks in hiphop was played by a member of the oft-derided cockernee novelty act Chas & Dave. As a spurs fan, this was priceless..." --Matt Locke

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Metadata is "data that provides information about other data".

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Metadata" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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