A discographical database with exchange capabilities is not
pie-in-the-sky. It's already in place, named Brian (after Brian Rust)
and it's by Steve Albin, a professional database programmer, not just
an amateur collector.

The structure matches the conceptual organization of the FRBR
(Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) principles which
are the latest innovation in the library world. It is not an
inventory catalog program. It is session-based, as discography in the
jazz realm has been since the 1930s.

The exchange function uses XML. It is still being enhanced, but
sessions can be easily exported and imported. This is not theoretical
- it has been used to create discographies that can be seen on the
website. I've been using the program since 1997 and there is now a
small consortium of users around the US, and in England, Spain,
Germany, and Australia.

This program is specifically tailored for jazz, but it is my opinion
that, as a rule, jazz discography goes into far more discographical
detail than classical discography, for example. I'm sure each person
here could wish for some alteration, but again - this is here and now
(and improvements are on the way, based on the recommendations of the
various users). One thing that is of significance is that local
authority control is used to minimize the errors and confusion that
are rampant in things like the Lord CDROM.

A presentation on this application was made at the Cleveland ARSC
convention. For more information, please see URL below. If there are
those who would be interested in seeing a PowerPoint presentation,
please contact me off-list.


P.S. - did I mention that the program is free for non-commercial use?
Available for Mac and Windows.

mike at