[Smt-talk] Indiana University's Variations2 open source software now available

Isaacson, Eric J isaacso at indiana.edu
Wed Feb 18 14:51:04 PST 2009

Dear Theorists,

A number of you have seen me and others give talks or demonstrations involving the Variations2 Digital Music Library system, developed here at Indiana University.  As the announcement below indicates, the software for the system is now being made available as open source, via SourceForge.  You may wish you bring this to the attention of your music library.  As noted in the announcement, the digital timeliner tool (useful for creating annotated timelines of audio recordings) is available as a stand-alone application.

Best wishes,
Eric Isaacson

Indiana University Offers Open Source Digital Music Library Software
February 18, 2009

Indiana University today announces the release of open source software to create a digital music library
system. The software, called Variations, provides online access to streaming audio and scanned score
images in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Variations enables institutions such as college and university libraries and music schools to digitize audio
and score materials from their own collections, provide those materials to their students and faculty in
an interactive online environment, and respect intellectual property rights.

A key feature of the system for faculty and students is the ability to create bookmarks and playlists for
use in studying or in preparing classroom presentations, allowing easy access later on to specific audio
time points or segments. A key feature for libraries is a flexible access control and authentication
system, which allows libraries to set up access rules based on their own local institutional policies.

This software is the culmination of nearly fifteen years of development and use of digital music library
systems at Indiana University. Creation of the current Variations software platform was originally funded
by the National Science Foundation. In 2005, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded
Indiana University a National Leadership Grant to extend this highly successful system to the nationwide
library community.  Beyond IU, the software is currently being used at the Ohio State University,
University of Maryland, New England Conservatory of Music, and the Philadelphia area Tri-College
Consortium (Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr).

This open source release of Variations complements IU's earlier release of the open source Variations
Audio Timeliner, which lets users identify relationships in passages of music, annotate their findings, and
play back the results with simple point-and-click navigation.  This tool is also included as a feature of the
complete Variations system.

Indiana University plans to offer a free one-hour Variations webinar at 4:00 PM EST on March 4, 2009
for institutions and individuals interested in learning more about the system. To register, e-mail
mnotess at indiana.edu.

The Indiana University Digital Library Program and Cook Music Library created Variations in
collaboration with faculty and students in IU's Jacobs School of Music. The IU Digital Library Program is a
collaborative effort of the Indiana University Libraries and the Indiana University Office of the Vice
President for Information Technology.

For more information on the Variations open source release, see:

Eric J. Isaacson
Associate Professor of Music Theory (isaacso at indiana.edu,  812-855-0296)
Director of Graduate Studies (musicdgs at indiana.edu,  812-855-1738)
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

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