What do they say it is?
Artist Data Systems is A way for artists to simultaneously update all of their online information across all social networks, websites, and profiles with their mp3s, tour information, release dates, etc. Rather than laboriously go to each one of your online identities and bother with HTML, profile editing and individual uploads at individual sites, simply update your database in one centralised location, and ADS will take care of the rest.
What do we say it is?
F***ing awesome. This is what’s been missing from the whole distributed identity thing. If there’s one complaint I hear from artists and labels more than any other, it’s that trying to follow all the things I recommend over on New Music Strategies just takes so much time and effort. It’s important, but it’s time-consuming.
Well, if this integrates as well as I think it seems to, then you’ve just cut down your time spent doing online management stuff, so you can earn money while you sleep. Result.
What’s good about it?
It fixes a real problem. By synching with several of the major artist platforms (MySpace, PureVolume, JamBase, PollStar…), it cuts down on the amount of work that artists and independent music businesses have to spend on administration and online marketing, so that they can spend more time doing things like playing and promoting music in other ways.
What could be better?
The list of sites it synchronises with is far from comprehensive. Once Last.fm and SonicBids are on board and a few others come on line, this is going to be a compelling entrant for the Top 10 most useful sites.
Also, it’s currently only compatible with the Firefox browser (which, from my perspective, is no problem — I’d argue it’s the only one worth using, but I know opinions differ on this). Other browsers are due to come online soon. In other words, it’s not quite finished, but it’s getting there.
Even so, it’s already worth jumping on board, but there are quite a few loose ends you’ll need to still deal with.
How can I use this?
Go and sign up. Upload your content. Enter your information. Load up the database. Sync it up with as many of your online presences as you possibly can, and keep on top of it. If this goes the way I think it will, this will only become more valuable as it goes along.
Should I pay it any attention?
Yep. In fact, this is indicative of a new phenomenon: database applications for cross-web integration. If you were following the buzzwords, we’d be calling this part of the Web 3.0 ‘semantic web’. We’re not there yet, but there are some really interesting and significant developments in this area, and this is one example on the leading edge.