The National Library of Australia and a leading Australian digital music provider, destra Media, have entered into an innovative government-business partnership to enhance the MusicAustralia online service www.musicaustralia.org

MusicAustralia, hosted by the National Library, showcases Australia’s musical culture and helps people to discover and explore all types of Australian music – from the earliest published to the latest hit. Its innovation lies in the way it links the business, arts, academic, cultural and information sectors to provide a coherent vision of the nation’s music.

The new partnership has expanded MusicAustralia with more than 45,000 tracks of contemporary Australian music and added a new e-commerce function that allows people to obtain in-copyright recordings through legal downloads.

Jan Fullerton AO, the National Library’s Director-General, said the groundbreaking partnership has many benefits.

“Since its launch in 2005, MusicAustralia has attracted more than 20 million page views, a sign of the immense public interest in finding, using and getting Australian music online.

“The partnership with destra Media enables the library sector to provide access to online in-copyright materials to anyone seeking Australian music. It also helps us to support contemporary Australian artists by using rights management technologies to build digital music collections for the future,” said Ms Fullerton.

Simon Crean, General Manager destra Media, said he is excited to be working with the National Library because this project gives long-term access to destra Media’s rich data repository. 

“This forward-thinking collaboration places destra Media’s services in an entirely new context. It is creating a new model that breaks down the divide between the commercially-driven music industry and the world of information.

“We are excited that the company’s growing digital resources will become a permanent record in the nation’s collections of Australian musical culture and heritage,” said Mr Crean.

destra Media, a divison of destra Corporation (Australia’s leading independent digital media company), has a comprehensive music catalogue that totals more than 1.6 million songs and is one of the largest commercially legal digital databases in Australia.

Media contacts: Yvonne Kennedy, National Library of Australia ( 02 6262 1353;

0411 753 891; ykennedy@nla.gov.au

Emily Venardos, launch management group 02 9270 0200; 0413743 737 emily@launchgroup.com.au

About the National Library of Australia

The National Library collects, preserves and safeguards documentary resources relating to Australia and the Australian people. As part of this endeavour, the Library has built the largest research collection of Australian contemporary and historical printed music, music archives and manuscripts, pictures, performance memorabilia and archival sound recordings as well as books, journals and electronic resources about music and musical life.

The Library also cooperates with other libraries, archives and specialist organisations to collect and digitise notated music, collect new formats and digitally preserve sound recordings and to archive Australian music websites. The partnership with destra Media is part of the Library’s strategy to support new modes of collecting digital resources to ensure their longevity.

The Library also actively takes a national leadership role in sharing expertise and coordinating national services that help people to discover online the diversity and richness of Australian culture. The development and production of MusicAustralia is one of the Library’s key projects with the aim of making all Australian collections and information more easily accessible to the world through collaborative arrangements with other libraries and information providers.

The partnership with destra Media has enabled the Library to directly harvest, safeguard and showcase aggregated digital data created by the Australian music industry, and to support access to this digital music through legal music download mechanisms.

About Music Australia

Launched in March 2005, MusicAustralia is an online collaborative service developed by the National Library and the National Film and Sound Archive on behalf of more than 50 cultural organisations around the nation, including state and academic libraries and specialist organisations such as the Australian Music Centre.

MusicAustralia is recognised internationally for the way it integrates the nation’s music across formats and musical styles and across contemporary and historical periods. It integrates both resources and information about Australian music seamlessly through a single point of access. Where a digitised or digital object is available online, people can view, listen, download, print or use musical resources online; where resources are not online, the service guides the user as to how and where to get a copy. Well over 20 million page views have been recorded since the launch of the service.

Currently the service includes approximately 215,000 resources, with almost 60,000 available online, plus almost 5000 entries describing people and organisations associated with Australian music. The partnership with destra Media has resulted in the addition of 45,000 online albums and tracks of contemporary in-copyright sound recordings, together with cover art and artist profiles.

The second release of MusicAustralia in May 2007 includes many new features of navigation and display making the service especially easy for any user to search or explore. In 2005 the majority of the online resources were digitised heritage materials no longer in copyright. This new release substantially increases the number of contemporary in-copyright materials that are available online, with 30 second sound samples, cover art and artist profiles displayed and linked to an e-commerce facility for purchase and legal downloading of full tracks and albums.

The partnership with destra Media required both organisations to develop alternative models and innovative solutions to achieve the desired outcomes: that is, to increase online contemporary Australian music content and to provide access to in-copyright material through a digital rights management system. The National Library maintains the MusicAustralia database of bibliographic records and resources, but relies on participating organisations to archive and deliver their own online resources. The partnership with destra Media has required a new model for harvesting and converting commercially produced metadata, including management and delivery of digital objects to sustain long term and permanent access to them.

About destra Media

Destra Media operates numerous online communities including MP3.com.au (largest independent music MP3 site), TheScene.com.au (music fashion and lifestyle), Planet X (extreme sports); Niceshorts.com.au (Short films) and is a division of destra Corporation. destra Media is one of the largest digital music providers in Australia, with access to over 1.6 million tracks from major record companies that include EMI, SonyBMG and Warner, with digital music delivery managed through retail partners such as Harvey Norman’s ChannelGO, and JB HI-FI Music.

About destra Corporation

Destra Corporation Ltd (ASX:DES) is Australia’s leading independent digital media company. It has three core divisions:

Destra Entertainment: One of the largest CD and DVD publishers in Australia with content ranging from Sports (AFL, NRL, World Cup Soccer), to Music (Dannii Minogue, Joel Turner, Johnny Cash and thousands of others) and Video (Prehistoric Park, Crusty Demons and thousands of others). Destra Media: Operates numerous online communities including MP3.com.au (largest independent music MP3 site), TheScene.com.au (music fashion and lifestyle), Planet X (extreme sports); Niceshorts.com.au (Short films) and many more. Brand New Media: Focusing on Media representation across Internet, Subscription TV and In-Flight properties, Brand New Media is a leader in brand funded content. Its exclusive representation network includes Fashion TV, CNBC, Star Asia, ESPN Asia, Movie Network, Virgin Blue In-Flight and many more.