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Mission StatementLucas Gonze

Low-hanging fruit for NFTs as a whole is fixing the issues Jonty pointed out in his epic March 17, 2021, tweet thread (https://twitter.com/jonty/status/1372163423446917122). These issues are not new features or use cases, but are blockers for new features.

Principles:

Genre & tagging — Jeremy Stern

The intentions behind including both a genre string and tags array are similar; primarily to improve the discoverability of the song. While genre can be fluid and sometimes even misleading, it is commonplace in the existing music world and a label that is helpful for listeners and artists alike. Since a single genre string may fail to adequately categorize a given song, a tags array provides the desired ability to label music with more nuance and detail.

If both of these fields are to effectively aid in the discoverability of music, there are complications with how each tag is defined. If songs are indexed and queried on exact string comparison, there will inevitably be silos due to slight mismatches in spelling or formatting (e.g. Hip-hop vs hip-hop vs Hip hop). It feels a bit unethical to strictly enforce any one spelling/formatting for a given genre or tag — artists should have the freedom to use all caps or special characters if they so choose, even at the expense of discoverability. It would also be wrong (and impossible) to predefine enum values for all possible genres.

Fuzzy searching may mitigate some of these issues. One approach for music NFT platforms to reduce redundant genres/tags is to provide suggestions as users type out genre + tag info, potentially surfacing the number of existing NFTs using the suggested string as an indicator of the most adopted formats/spelling.

Mutability of metadata — Jeremy Stern

The Catalog ERC721 contract allows the creator (artist) to update the metadataURI on all of their Catalog records. We expect only a small percentage of artists to make updates, and actively encourage them to think of their mints as permanent. That said, our thinking behind enabling mutability is:

In the context of mainnet Ethereum, updating the metadataURI is costs much less gas than burning and re-minting the NFT (assuming it hasn’t already sold).

Enabling mutability introduces the risk of artists making unwanted updates in the future against their collectors will (e.g. changing the song title), but this is reduced by the artist’s incentive keep a good reputation with collectors and avoid reducing the primary/secondary market value of their records.

Wallet addresses in metadata — Jeremy Stern