Will Bueché

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SoundUnwound

Posted in Music,Personal by Will on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 ~ 8pm

I’ve uploaded all my past “CD Covers Not on iTunes” scans to Amazon’s new music data site, SoundUnwound.com. This felt rather satisfying!

SoundUnwound is a new user-editable wiki that Amazon has created, focused entirely on bands and their albums. The ah-ha! part of this is that unlike a regular wiki, it is easy to click through to buy from Amazon. Clever bunnies.

Concerning cover art, my experience thus far is that SoundUnwound did recompress the images that I submitted, but I am pleased to report that they retained the dimensions. I.e., a 186 KB, 600 x 600 cover I upped is now 103 KB, but, the dimensions are still 600 x 600. (In contrast, on the Amazon site itself, Amazon would both recompress and resize any user submitted pics. So this is an improvement.) (And in further contrast, if you’ve ever tried to upload cover art to Wikipedia.org, you’ll know that Wikipedia is so anal about copyrights that they remove cover art most of the time, even though cover art is inherently promotional. SoundUnwound knows this — their relationship to Amazon doesn’t hurt — and they want art for every album).

Lesson is: upload cover art scans to SoundUnwound with no compression to speak of (very best quality JPG), at a device-friendly size (I suggest 600 pixels x 600 pixels) and let SoundUnwound apply whatever compression they want so there will be only one level of JPG squiggles. Result is a nation (or world?) of appreciative fans.

Of course there is more to a wiki than pictures. You can add albums that were overlooked, add track listings that are missing, etc. I did that for a few items, since the database is currently a compilation of Amazon’s data and data from something called Musicbrainz which apparently Amazon absorbed. So it is part-way there, and just needs some fixing up, as wikis do.

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