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Unformatted text preview: Why your iPod knows what you're playing Database company provides song titlesand quietly tracks digital music listener habits By Bob Sullivan Technology correspondent Updated: 7:13 p.m. ET March 4, 2005 If you are one of the 10 million people who have purchased an Apple iPod, you've almost certainly loaded it up with songs from your favorite CDs. And, rest assured, Gracenote Inc. knows about it. Gracenote Inc. knows almost any time a CD is "ripped" for use in a portable music player. Apple, Creative and Rio use its service, as do hundreds of software products devoted to playing and recording music CDs. Yet, few consumers know much about Gracenote. The company quietly provides an efficient and important service to digital music users. There's a common misconception that text-based information like song title, length of play, artist name, and the like, is contained on music CDs. That's rarely the case. Instead, when a CD is loaded into a computer CD tray, software such as Apple's iTunes automatically calls out across the Internet looking for help identifying the music. The questions are posed to Gracenote's CDDB, or CD database. By recognizing patterns in the data that is included on the CD -- such as the length of each individual track -- Gracenote figures out what the album is. Then, it transmits data, including music genre, composer name, language, year released, and more, back to the user's computer. Today Gracenote can recognize about 3.5 million CDs. And it works so well, most music lovers don't even know it's there. 'It is very anonymous' That near-anonymity raises some concern among privacy advocates. With the booming popularity of Apple's iPod, and its imitators, Gracenote is accumulating massive amounts of data about consumer listening habits. But some are wondering if the company, and the various music player manufacturers and software makers, have done enough to inform consumers that information on their musical tastes heads to the Emeryville, Calif. company so often....
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2012 for the course COMM 1000345 taught by Professor Mccloud during the Fall '10 term at Mohawk College.
- Fall '10