We aim to support the sustainable development and use of software and data to enable high quality research in the audio and music research community.
We want to make software developed in the community contribute to reproducible, sustainable and reusable research. In this way "my research helps your research".
To do this, we will:
- Help researchers find and use existing research software suitable for their needs;
- Work with researchers to develop research software so as to make it sustainable and usable by other researchers;
- Provide a repository for research software and data tailored for the needs of the community;
- Promote the availability of software, data and services to relevant research communities;
- Encourage long-term development of sustainable and reusable research software amongst researchers, through
the provision of training in research software development, data usage and research methodologies;
- Transform the expectations and norms for research activities and funding, so that sustainable, reusable research software becomes part of the research culture;
Why is this needed?
Many researchers in the audio and music community work on different platforms and use a wide variety of batch and real-time environments (Matlab, Python, Max/MSP, SuperCollider). Others do not have the skills or desire to write their own code, or piece together other code, but benefit greatly from "straight out of the box" software. While there may be potentially useful software in other fields that could help them with their research, they are often not be aware of its existence, and it is often not available for the platform or environment they use.
Other specific software- and data-related difficulties faced by researchers include:
- Software designed for legacy platforms (Sun SPARC, NeXTSTEP) and/or no longer maintained;
- PhD students graduate or staff move: their web pages containing original software and/or data lost;
- Code for some systems never released (not considered a priority for researchers, or code not considered "ready");
- Software and/or datasets in slightly different versions (due to error corrections or enhancements);
- Copyright issues of datasets (e.g. audio of Beatles tracks cannot be placed on the web).
Other examples of software-related needs of researchers for high quality research, which we aim to address, include:
- For audio researchers: Reliable means to compare their new algorithms to state-of-the-art approaches; Long-term cross-platform availability of own code to increase impact of own research;
- For music information retrieval researchers: Repository of standard datasets for algorithm comparison; Occasional access to large computing resources, perhaps via an online service; Maintenance of resulting systems beyond life of specific project for comparison by other researchers.
- For musicology and music therapy researchers: Software to analyse and visualise musical pieces and collections; assistance with creation of new analysis tools; advice on audio recording for best subsequent analysis results;
- For music interaction and performance researchers: availability of analysis and creation software in real-time frameworks (e.g. Max/MSP, SuperCollider); advice on recently developed audio research tools and techniques;