The Echo Nest has been called "the most important music company on Earth" for good reason: 12 years of research at UC Berkeley, Columbia and MIT factored into the development of their "musical brain." The platform combines large-scale data mining, natural language processing, acoustic analysis and machine learning to automatically understand how the online world describes every artist, extract musical attributes like tempo and time signature, learn about music trends (see: "hotttnesss"), and a whole lot more. Echo Nest then shares all of this data through a free and open API. [read more here]
FMA's library of 40,000 free & legal music files have now been analyzed by the Echo Nest and made easily accessible to the developer community through a common Artist, Track, and Album ID system. Licensing information is included as part of the API, and so developers working in the Creative Commons sphere now have an incredible pool of curated audio to draw from for their noncommercial music applications.
Combining The Echo Nest's music intelligence tools with the FMA's curated approach opens up exciting possibilities for interactive music applications and new music discovery. For example, the Echo Nest's sandbox documentation describes how to query for artists who share music via the FMA and are similar to Radiohead
The Echo Nest presents as part of WFMU's RadioVision Festival NYC, as part of the October 30th "Reinventing Radio" Hack Day along with the FMA and Zeega, an open-source html5 platform for digital storytellers -- RSVP here