Alexandre Passant of DERI Galway recently launched a new web service called seevl, and will speak about it further at June’s SemTech Conference. According to Passant, seevl “reinvents music discovery. We provide new ways to explore the cultural and musical universe of your favorite artists and to discover new ones by understanding how they are connected. In addition, we let you comment every piece of data about them.”

In a recent interview, Passant stated, “The main idea is to offer context around the recommendations, while existing systems are opaque, or rely on collaborative filtering techniques. So that a user know why he could / should like X if he’s browsing page about Y. We hope (and we’ve seen it from our user feedback so far) that it can help to discover new bands and hidden connections.”

The interviewer commented that seevl offers developers a web API that doesn’t seem to utilize semantic web standards. Passant responded, “We use content-negotiation to provide machine-readable data for every page (search results, entity description, related artists, etc.). If by non-SW standards you mean non-RDF, indeed, we provide JSON instead of RDF/XML or N3, etc. But our JSON integrates URI that you can dereference and follows a similar approach than other existing RDF-JSON serialisation. So, why JSON you may ask. Because our developer target is music hackers, and all APIs from this community (last.fm, echonest, etc.) offer JSON, not RDF. Learning a new JSON schema takes 5 min, learning RDF takes much more. But we believe that a JSON-RDF serialisation combines the best of both worlds. Actually, we could say we provide our data using standards (we’re giving back a graph that follows the RDF abstract model, with links to dereferencable URIS) but not in a (so far) standardised serialization.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy seevl