In a nutshell: Lets you create an iTunes-like information browser -- and not just for music.
Imagine more than Google Imagine a better iTunes Imagine Google on iTunes
mSpace is an interface service that includes an interaction model and software framework to help people access and explore information. mSpace helps people build knowledge from exploring those relationships. mSpace does this by offering several powerful tools for organizing an information space to suit a person's interest: slicing, sorting, swapping, infoViews and preview cues. An mSpace presents several associated categories from an information space, and then lets users manipulate how many of these categories are presented and how they're arranged. In this way, people can organize the information to suit their interests, while concurrently having available to them multiple other complementary paths through that information. How mSpace does this is described below, but first an example.
"I may not know much about Classical Music, but I Know what I like when I hear it." What if you want to find something from an domain where you have a general interest but not specific knowledge? How would you find classical music you might enjoy if you don't know what Beethoven or Berlioz sounds like? What a Sonata is? The difference between Baroque or Romantic? What do you type into Google? If you type in "Classical Music" you will find a list of classical music information pages. So you can find text-based descriptions of classical music, long lists of classical music terms, and in some places, even recommendations of what to try. But this means hacking and hoping through a forest of clicks. iTunes Music Store might help: its browse area lets you use its famous iTunes software to browse the classical music available in the store. Scroll through a list of all the artists, and quickly see all the albums by that artist. Move from one list to the next without clicking into new windows. And best of all, hear the actual music by selecting tracks from an album listing. But even here, you have to know what you want, and in this case, you have to know what Artist you'd like to hear, and find composers from there; there's no list of composers. You can't organize the browser by instrument (Piano or Violin or Cello) or genre (Symphony, Sonata, Concerto) or period (Romantic, Contemporary, Early) either. Nor do you have any information about what any of those terms mean.
What if you could combine the ease of iTunes with the information of a Google search -- and make that better? The mSpace software framework lets you wrap iTunes-like browsers around any kind of information domain and associate any kind of media with that information and explore it just about any way you'd like. ...
Build new knowledge through exploring rich relationships The idea of mSpace is that by supporting in context and user-determined organization of information, we may be able to build new knowledge, ask new kinds of questions that aren't always readily expressible for a search engine. For instance, by exploring the classical music browser, one may be surprised to learn just how many big names in classical music were around until recently; that Bach didn't write anything on piano - it didn't exist when he was composing; that Napoleon was a contemporary of Beethoven; that Beethoven and Bach didn't know each other; that concertos and symphonies are different, though orchestras can perform both, and maybe most importantly, you can figure out that you really do like baroque serenades, but only on period instruments. This is new knowledge you can share with your friends, or take into a library or record store, or for that matter, now type into Google.
Not just about music An mSpace can be applied potentially to any area of information. Like movies. Like the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). To test the mSpace Framework Software, we wrapped an mspace around IMDB (which supports export of its data) and a few other info sites about movies, and created an mSpace Browser (or explorer) for Movies. For preview cues, we've associated freely available trailers. Don't know about Film Noir? Preview some trailers to get a feel for the genre, then explore by decade, director, cast, studio, country. Interested in the kinds of films the UK was making during the early years of WWII? Explore through decade and country and studio. Easily compare UK output with other countries at the same time. See information about genres, directors, actors too.