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 The Sound Index - Next Generation Music Chart

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Posts : 175
Join date : 2008-04-03
Age : 52
Location : NY

PostSubject: The Sound Index - Next Generation Music Chart   Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:28 pm

Ever wondered what fortysomething female electronica fans in the US rate? The BBC can help, says Chris Salmon

Last Friday, a low-key entry on Radio 1's Chart Blog announced a major new BBC web innovation, the Sound Index A call to the Beeb's press office confirmed the site is still being tested, hence the distinct lack of fanfare, but it's a terrific idea. With record sales tumbling as online listening rockets, the Beeb has essentially created a next generation music chart. Every six hours, the Sound Index trawls the net's biggest music sites - Bebo, MySpace, Last.FM, iTunes, Google and YouTube - before counting and analysing around 10m comments, posts, plays and views to make instant charts of the most popular 1,000 artists and tracks on the web. At the time of writing, Britney is the world's most popular artist, with Metallica at number 2, the Stone Roses at 556 and Arsenal at 987, one place above Dora the Explorer (well, they're still testing it).

The site offers YouTube videos for many of the top 1,000 tracks, allowing you to hear them and, presumably, boost their next chart position. However, with many acts' videos still uploaded illegally by fans, it'll be interesting to see how the labels react to the BBC embedding them on their site. Another major feature is the ability to filter the Sound Index data by age, sex, genre and location. So, for instance, we can discover that the current favourite track of fortysomething female electronica fans in America is Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence. The BBC insists the data is gathered anonymously, but it's slightly unsettling that such detailed browsing habits can be acquired by a third party. Even so, don't bet against the enormously usable Sound Index establishing itself as the first definitive music chart for the internet age.
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