I'm sitting in the MSR Social Computing symposium today and have heard great presentations from David Weinberger, Matt McLaurin, Anne Kirah, Genevieve Bell, and now Eric Paulos. As last year, the backchannel and hallway conversations are fascinating, contextualizing, and unburdened by restraint, forethought, or preparation. The people at this conference are passionate. Derek Powazek, senior designer at technorati.com, Molly Steenson*, and and some guy whose name I didn't catch were just talking about tagging, the subject of David Weinberger's talk this morning, out in the hallway. Flickr, of course, kept coming up. At Flickr, you can allow yourself, your friends, or anyone else to associate dynamically-defined portions of your photographs with a unique keyword, thereby making your photo more discoverable and valuable to other photo browsers. It's a brilliant idea, IMHO, and oft discussed by the social computing crowd. Derek asserted that playlists are inherently a type of tag (aka, attribute, property,...). Molly disagreed and then agreed. I responded that tags are really only valuable in combination...when they're combined. Okay, so I know that your playlist is primarily composed of "Country" music or "TechnoMix" but please tell me something that matters to me. And then I asked the question,

Are there any online services that allow embedded attribution/tagging for music content as Flickr enables for photographs? In other words, can I pause the song, select a region by timestamp, and associate a tag or attribute of my own creation within it or with it as a whole. I want to find a fast-paced Tango by Carlos Gardel that is owned by a young, unmarried, native of Buenos Aires that they think soulful but somebody else thinks depressing and which appears in the same playlist as a song by Mana or Sting and might be good to play in combination. Go, tag, find. Musicr, where are you?

   *Molly appears to have been thinking about playlists for awhile. Boring luddite that I am, I don't have a playlist...anywhere, not even in the mediaplayer that came bundled with my Windows installation.