Music Discovery Requirements

V.G Metadata Schemes: PBCore

PBCore is an XML-based schema for describing sound and video recordings. It was originally designed for use by the public broadcasting community in the United States and puts focus on intellectual property and rights information. It has also seen adoption in media archives. Current development is headed by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the Association of Moving Image Archivists. PBCore elements may make use of several existing thesauri, although there are small controlled vocabularies specific to PBCore as well; currently efforts are underway to make PBCore compatible with the EBUCore RDF ontology.

From a musical perspective, the structure of PBCore and the defined scope of its elements encourage the treatment of recordings (such as radio programs or program segments) as the works being described, rather than individual performances or works being performed. In essence, the schema is designed to describe programs about music or of music more thoroughly than the music itself. That means it is more difficult to provide structured, controlled access to specific musical works in PBCore than it is in some other schemas, which, depending on the purpose of the collection being described, may be a more significant drawback for some musical traditions than others. Crosswalking between PBCore and metadata schemas that provide more granular access to musical work data will almost certainly result in some loss of fidelity in either direction.

In environments that contain a significant mix of musical and nonmusical recordings (which seems likely given the impetus behind PBCore's creation), care should be used not to bend the scope of PBCore elements used for musical description in ways that produce unpredictable or inconsistent results for searchers.