About ZikMe
This page, with all F.A.Q., is here to tell you everything about ZikMe. Please send us an email is you have another question, we'll add it here.
Thanks for your interest in that project!
About ZikMe
What exactly is ZikMe? A music encyclopedia? A discovery tool? Both?
I remember one day, a friend and I were reaching my place, and he told me: "Dude, I'd like to listen to some jazz, without voices, with saxophone. Something chill though. Do you think you can find something like that?".
Actually, there is absolutely nothing on internet that allows you to do such a search. That is the day we decided to build it. ZikMe was born.
Of course, we don't all need such sharp searches. But we all have our moments when we want to listen to a certain kind of music, with a particular mood. We all listen to some music genres alone, and definitely not with our parents!
But that is just the beginning. In fact, there are some specificities to all the tracks we like. Sometimes, we love a scale, or a rhythm, sometimes it's all about a musician or a songwriter who have that special something we love. But it's hard to be aware of those facts. It needs good musical knowledge, and a massive amount of time spent studying artists, albums or tracks.
That is when we though: "we need to enable everyone to understand what they love about the music they love. That is the only way to create discovery tools that actually work: not simply using one's playlists and facebook friends, but using explicit music data!
That is ZikMe's purpose. But in order to complete it, 2 things are needed:
  • An extremely detailed music encyclopedia, to get information about artists and albums of course but most of all about tracks.
  • Powerful tools for music discovery, that use this data.
OK, that's pretty cool, but that encyclopedia is gonna be BIG. And the only way to get that done is by making it a collaborative project. That is why everyone can participate, even anonymously. All data is open and free.
That's what ZikMe is about.
Content
About ZikMe
Are there any other music data systems?
ZikMe is providing an encyclopedia specialized in music, nothing new there... It's a hot topic though. Why?!
First of all, there are a few companies specialized in music information, and recommendation. For instance, The EchoNest, GraceNote, TasteMakerX, …
The EchoNest has just been bought by Spotify, TasteMakerX by Rdio, and GraceNote is a Tribune property since a while now...
Those are different from ZikMe for two reasons:
  • Data is gathered or created privately, and stays private. Only clients can get it.
  • They're private companies, driven by economic growth. Their recommandation tools are driven by music business interests.
Apart from those, there are some really cool projects, like MusicBrainz or Discogs. Those guys have really impressive databases, with free data, and non lucrative organisations. These projects have really impressive data about artists, albums and releases.
By the way, we really have to thank them, because ZikMe use their feed too.
What ZikMe does here is to give data about tracks, like rhythms, scales, instruments, technics. And thaht's why we can develop good discovery tools!
There is something else only ZikMe does: everyone can share personal emotions related to a track, let's say moods, or the contexts for listening to a track, or the energy it broadcasts... That is new, really personal, and incredibly helpful for discovering other tracks!
Why is ZikMe a non lucrative project?
That is a question we're wondering about since the beginning. In fact the answer was clear regarding ZikMe's philosophy.
The first reason: we want to keep music recommendation independent from any interests. That means using ZikMe, you have the same chances to get a song from a local unknown young artist, than to get a worldwild hit. We're trying to find music you like, not music that makes some branch of the music industry earn money.
Today, there is no good independent recommendation system available through a non profit organisation on the internet.
The second reason is about the encyclopedia itself. We believe it must keep being driven by the community, and by no economic interests.
I also work for a music-related project. Can I use ZikMe's data?
No problem, you are more than welcome to do so!
Data is available under the Creative Common licence "Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike". That means you're welcome to use ZikMe's data, as long as it is for non commercial purposes.
For more information, please visit our API page
Is it also possible for a commercial use?
Yes it is. We can also give you an access to ZikMe's data. The only difference is that it's not a free service if you are taking commercial benefits of that data.
Please contact us at [email protected] , and we'll talk together about it.
Just to let you knwo: all the money earned here is only used for the website exploitation, and for improving the encyclopedia.
When will the complete version be available?
We're working on it every day, and I promise we're doing as fast as we can! :)
For now, we think we'll keep beta on for the summer. We're working to make the database as complete as possible. We're also taking care of a few technical stuff about our database model. We believe ZikMe should be ready during September, October at worst.
Follow us on Facebook , Twitter or G+ to be sure not to miss the news!
Also, if you have 1 minute to spare, please complete our survey here , it's really helpful for us to know what to focus on during summer!
Thank you! :)
ABOUT THE ENCYCLOPEDIA
How can I contribute to the encyclopedia?
The encyclopedia is not a wiki. There's a huge difference between Wikipedia and ZikMe, for instance there is no accreditation needed to add information. The system is made in such a way to be able to check the right answers by itself.
So it's really easy to modify something. Just click on the orange pencil, edit whatever you want, and... it's done. Yes, that simple.
For now, there are 6 different pages that anyone can modify: TRACK, ARTIST, ALBUM, LABEL, GENRE and INSTRUMENT.
Track pages are, by far, the most detailed, with tons of information. On those, everything can be modified, so go ahead!
On all other pages, a part of the information is encyclopedic, and can be modified by anyone, and the other part is statistical data coming from the associated tracks (tracks made by this artist, or track on that album, etc...)
That enables ZikMe to create musical identities, which is extremely useful for music discovery!
So, it's not a wiki, but how does it work?
Ok here we're going a bit deeper into the system. To keep it simple, ZikMe is based on a pretty innovative database system.
This system can be easily customised, which enable us to modify the encyclopedia's structure without any further developments. That is great, because both music and the way we look at it change every day.
But the main point is that anyone can suggest or modify a data, without any risk even if the value is "wrong". To be precise, the result of many people participations is statistically calculated. Of course, anyone can access this calculation.
The conclusion is simple: the larger the community, the better the data. So go on, modify, edit and participate!
What happens when I contribute a lot to the encyclopedia?
When you edit a data, and your suggestion seems to be the good one, one win points, that lead to accreditations. Those accreditations are related to an artist, an album, a label or anything else, but can also concern a type of data.
For example, when a musician, with a really good ear for music, participates a lot by editing scales, he earns the related accreditation.
Those accreditations give credits to your future editing, making it more likely to be validated.
And, if you are an artist, or a label manager, you can contact us to link your user account with your artist account! You'll immediately earn the accreditations giving you priority on all the relevant data.
Can I suggest evolutions on the encyclopedia itself?
The encyclopedia is extremely flexible. It's really easy to modify any kind of information, or to add some.
Is you want to add anything, suggest an evolution, or if you are an expert in any kind of music and you want to add that knowledge, please contact us at [email protected] , or visit the Help Us page!
And thanks a lot, that's really cool! :)
ABOUT MUSIC DISCOVERY
Why discovery matters?
Music discovery is what happens when you wonder: "I want to listen to something new, something I've never listened to before." It may be a subconscious thinking, but we all have it. And we mainly use friend's recommendations, radio, or web tools.
But our musical universe keeps growing, and is actually growing faster and faster. And it's getting harder and harder to find new music that we like. That is our new problem: we're lost in an ocean of possibilities.
Musical discovery is here to help us find music we do like, by suggesting to us new tracks that we are most likely to enjoy. It's a pretty hard job, as far as guessing one's taste is definitely not easy!
But music discovery is more than just that. It's the guardian of musical diversity and quality. Indeed, music discovery is also here to enable us to hear tracks from young local artists, and help those getting known, by the public, and by established artist. And established artists are pushed further by those young artists.
That is also the purpose of ZikMe. And its tools are a powerful encyclopedia with explicit data, a community of passionate members, their recommendations, and a lot of discovery tools.
Does having an account make the discovery tools better?
An account is not necessary for using discovery tools. But those services really work better with a completed user account. Indeed, by telling ZikMe your favourite tracks, artists or albums, you grow the number of criteria those tools can use. Also, the more you use the tools, the better they work.
We really advise you to create an account, but that is not necessary to enjoy ZikMe.
Why not having the music rights?
That is a current question. Indeed, how can it be that a music encyclopedia doesn't have a listening feature?
The reason is pretty simple: having the music rights means having a limited database. That is a well known problem for streaming systems, which is usually called "Fragmentation". It's necessary to have contracts with labels and major to have the rights, and it's not possible to make everyone agree.
ZikMe is an encyclopedia, and it needs to be as detailed as possible. That is why we decided not to have music rights.
Will it be possible to listen to music through ZikMe one day?
For now, it is not possible indeed. but we're working to provide solutions.
We have a prototype for a player that would enable you to plug to many streaming sources, and use ZikMe as an ultimate music player. If you have any ideas to share here, please do so, we really need your help here!
For now, our advice is to download Clementine player, an open source software that works perfectly well, available here
ZikMe's pages will be available through that player soon.
We really hope that we answered your questions, but if not, please ask us!
Musically yours,
Cédric & Guillaume.