AllMusic

Last updated on 2 October 2017

AllMusic (previously known as All Music Guide or AMG) is an online music guide. The largest music database on the web, it catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks. It was launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.[2][3]

Wordmark of AllMusic (2013).png
Wordmark of AllMusic (2013).png
Logo of AllMusic (2013).png
Logo of AllMusic (2013).png

History

AllMusic was launched as All Music Guide by Michael Erlewine, a "compulsive archivist, noted astrologer, Buddhist scholar and musician." He became interested in using computers for his astrological work in the mid-'70s, and founded a software company, Matrix, in 1977. In the early '90s, as CDs replaced vinyl as the prevalent format for recorded music, Erlewine purchased what he thought was a CD of early recordings by Little Richard CD. After buying it he discovered it was a "flaccid latter day rehash."[4] Frustrated with the labeling, he researched using meta data to create a music guide.[5] In 1990, in Big Rapids, Michigan, he founded All Music Guide with a goal to create an open access database that included every recording "since Enrico Caruso gave the industry its first big boost".[2]

The first All Music Guide was a 1,200-page reference book, packaged with a CD-ROM, titled All Music Guide: The Best CDs, Albums & Tapes: The Expert's Guide to the Best Releases from Thousands of Artists in All Types of Music.[6] Its first digital iteration, in 1991, was a text-based Gopher site.[7] It moved to the World Wide Web as web browsers became more user-friendly.[4]

Erlewine hired a database engineer, Vladimir Bogdanov, to design the All Music Guide framework, and recruited his nephew, writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine, to develop editorial content. In 1993, Chris Woodstra joined the staff as an engineer. A "record geek" who had written for alternative weeklies and fanzines, his main qualification was an "encyclopedic knowledge of music".[4] 1400 subgenres of music were created, a feature which became central to the site's utility. In a 2016 article in Tedium, Ernie Smith wrote: "AllMusic may have been one of most ambitious sites of the early-internet era—and it’s one that is fundamental to our understanding of pop culture. Because, the thing is, it doesn’t just track reviews or albums. It tracks styles, genres, and subgenres, along with the tone of the music and the platforms on which the music is sold. It then connects that data together, in a way that can intelligently tell you about an entire type of music, whether a massive genre like classical, or a tiny one like sadcore."[8]

In 1996, seeking to further develop its web-based businesses, Alliance Entertainment Corp. bought All Music from Erlewine for a reported $3.5 million. He left the company after its sale.[4] Alliance filed for bankruptcy in 1999, and its assets were acquired by Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Equity Fund.[5]

In 1999, All Music relocated from Big Rapids to Ann Arbor, where the staff quickly expanded from 12 to 100 people.[4] By February of that year, 350,000 albums and 2 million tracks had been cataloged. All Music had published biographies of 30,000 artists, 120,000 record reviews and 300 essays written by "a hybrid of historians, critics and passionate collectors".[9][10]

In late 2007, AllMusic was purchased for $72 million by TiVo Corporation (known as Macrovision at the time of the sale, and as Rovi from 2009 until 2016).[11]

The AllMusic database is powered by a combination of MySQL and MongoDB.[3]

The All Music Guide series

The All Media Network also produced the AllMusic guide series, which includes the AllMusic Guide to Rock,[12] the All Music Guide to Jazz and the All Music Guide to the Blues. Vladimir Bogdanov is the president of the series.[13][4]

Reception

In August 2007, PC Magazine included AllMusic in its "Top 100 Classic Websites" list.[14][2]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Allmusic.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Wolf, Gary (February 1994). "All Music". Wired. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Ernie (September 16, 2016). "The Story of AllMusic, the Internet’s Largest, Most Influential Music Database". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bowe, Brian J. (January 24, 2007). "Make it or Break it". Metro Times. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Herbert, Daniel (January 24, 2014). Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. p. 209. ISBN 0520279638. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Formats and Editions of All Music Gude". worldcat.org. World Cat. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  7. ^ Nosowitz, Dan (January 30, 2015). "The Story of AllMusic, Which Predates the World Wide Web". Vice. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  8. ^ Smith, Ernie (September 20, 2016). "The Big Data Jukebox". tedium.com. Tedium. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric (February 23, 1999). "Conjunction Junction". Village Voice. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ Powers, Ann (June 3, 2015). "Digital Underground Who Will Make Sure The Internet's Vast Musical Archive Doesn't Disappear?". NPR. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Focus Article: Rovi Corporation". insidearbitrage.com. Inside Arbitrage. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  12. ^ Toon, Jason (July 21, 1999). "Rock Stock: A book report on the best tomes to consult before buying tunes". Riverfront Times. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Bruno, Anthony (February 28, 2011). "AllMusic.com Folding Into AllRovi.com for One-Stop Entertainment Shop". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  14. ^ Heater, Brian (August 13, 2007). "Top 100 Classic Websites – AllMusic – Slideshow from pcmag.com". PCmag.com. Retrieved September 24, 2013.

External links

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