Below is a table of online music databases that are largely free of charge. Note that many of the sites provide a specialized service or focus on a particular music genre. Some of these operate as an online music store or purchase referral service in some capacity. Among the sites that have information on the largest number of entities are those sites that focus on discographies of composing and performing artists.
|Database||Services||No. of tracks||No. of releases||No. of artists||Notes||License||Full free access|
|ACRCloud||Music recognition & audio based music retrieval||~40,000,000||Commercially available with SDKs, APIs for file scanning, airplay monitoring, shazam-liked features||Free trial available in 15 days|
|AllMusic||Music information and reviews.||~20,000,000||~2,200,000||Song samples only.|
|Choral Public Domain Library||Sheet music archive of choral and vocal music in the public domain or otherwise freely available for printing and performing||Yes|
|Discogs||• Database: user-generated cross-referenced database of physical & digital releases, artists, and labels. With catalogue numbers, codes, and all other markings taken directly from each release.|
• Companies/organisations: cross-referencing all others involved in music production (record companies, manufacturers, distributors, publishers, rights holders, venues, studios, etc.)
• Images: for releases, artists, labels, and other companies/organisations listed.
• Marketplace: for trade of physical music releases.
• Free membership (which also removes all site ads).
• Marketplace lists over 35 million items (largest physical music items marketplace online).
• 1 billion edits.
|PD/CC0||Free API and XML data dumps.|
|Encyclopaedia Metallum||A heavy metal encyclopedia with information, complete discography, links, images, and reviews.||~1,900,000||~265,000||~102,000 bands, ~535,000 artists|
|freedb||Identification service for CDs.||GPL.|
|The Freesound Project||repository of Creative Commons-licensed audio samples.||CC Sampling Plus.|
|Genius||Allows users to provide annotations and interpretation of song lyrics.|
|Gracenote||Identification service for CDs and other media.||~100,000,000||~8,000,000||1 billion "submissions".|
|International Music Score Library Project||Music scores and parts, mostly scanned from publications now in the public domain; some recordings.||42,000 (370,000 scores)||14,500 composers, 387 performers.||PD/CC-BY-NC-SA.|
|Last.fm||Music community website.||~26,484,587||~3,304,568||~1,383,340||Automatically creates online library/collection of listened to music and generates recommendations.|
|LyricWiki||Lyrics wiki on Wikia.||~1,653,416||~159,749||~82,226||Yes, but no access to the lyrics via API.|
|MAQAM||Largest Database of Arabic and Middle Eastern music artists, tracks, and albums.||20,000||1,200|
|MuseScore||Online sheet music sharing.||Also includes free music notation software to enable a wide range of instrumental music scores to be created, printed and shared||No—free accounts are permitted five uploads; beyond that, payment is required|
|MusicBrainz||Open content music database.||~28,608,635||~2,350,941||~1,559,670||GPL/LGPL/PD/CC-BY-NC-SA.||Free API and XML data dumps.|
|MusicMight||Biographies and discographies.|
|Musixmatch||The world's largest lyrics platform.||Yes.|
|Mutopia Project||repository of free content sheet music.|
|Quantone||Database of physical/digital products, venues, photos, artists, participants, composers, movements, labels, publishers and rights.||12,000,000||301,000||For commercial business-to-business usage only.||API available.|
|Rolldabeats||Drum N Bass music database, physical releases only.|
|University of Pittsburgh Library System Archives Service Center|
|Werner Icking Music Archive|
|Wikifonia||Free lead sheets in MusicXML format, contributed and editable by users.|
|WhoSampled||User-generated database of comparison between original tracks and covers, or songs that use samples.||460,000||150,000|
|Database||Services||No. of tracks||No. of releases||No. of artists||Notes||License||Full free access|
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create a collaborative music database that is similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database (CDDB), a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured online database for music.
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.
Tabular Data Stream (TDS) is an application layer protocol used to transfer data between a database server and a client. It was initially designed and developed by Sybase Inc. for their Sybase SQL Server relational database engine in 1984, and later by Microsoft in Microsoft SQL Server.
Discogs is a website and crowdsourced database of information about audio recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name discogs.com, are owned by Zink Media, Inc, and are located in Portland, Oregon, US. While the site was originally created with a goal of becoming the largest online database of electronic music, there are now releases in all genres and on all formats on the site. In fact, after the database was opened to contributions from the public, rock music began to take over as the most prevalent genre. Discogs currently contains over 11.6 million releases, by over 6 million artists, across over 1.3 million labels, contributed from over 456,000 contributor user accounts — with these figures constantly growing as users continually add previously unlisted releases to the site over time.
ArcGIS is a geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information maintained by Esri. It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information, using maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and managing geographic information in a database.
Google Developers is Google's site for software development tools, application programming interfaces (APIs), and technical resources. The site contains documentation on using Google developer tools and APIs—including discussion groups and blogs for developers using Google's developer products.
LyricWiki was an online wiki-based lyrics database and encyclopedia. In March 2013, it was the seventh largest MediaWiki installation with over 2,000,000 pages including 1.5 million songs. Prior to being locked in 2019, users on the site could view, edit, and discuss the lyrics of songs, which are also available for purchase from links on the site. The site is searchable by song, artist, album, genre, hometown, label, and language. Users are told to be mindful of copyright while contributing, and copyright violations are removed upon request. All the lyrics on LyricWiki are licensed through LyricFind.
Gracenote, Inc. is a company owned by Nielsen Holdings which provides music, video and sports metadata and automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies to entertainment services and companies, worldwide. Gracenote's music recognition technologies compare digital music files to a worldwide database of music information, enabling digital audio devices to identify songs. The company licenses its technologies to developers of consumer electronics devices and online media players, who integrate the technologies into media players, home and car stereos, and digital music devices. The company operates five businesses: Music, Video, Sports, Automotive and Video Personalization. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, the company employs approximately 1,700 people in 20 offices around the world.
Apache Cassandra is a free and open-source, distributed, wide column store, NoSQL database management system designed to handle large amounts of data across many commodity servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure. Cassandra offers robust support for clusters spanning multiple datacenters, with asynchronous masterless replication allowing low latency operations for all clients.
CDDB, short for Compact Disc Database, is a database for software applications to look up audio CD information over the Internet. This is performed by a client which calculates a (nearly) unique disc ID and then queries the database. As a result, the client is able to display the artist name, CD title, track list and some additional information. CDDB is a licensed trademark of Gracenote, Inc.
MetroLyrics is a lyrics-dedicated website, founded in December 2002. The MetroLyrics database contains over 1 million songs performed by over 16,000 artists.
Studio System by Gracenote, formerly known as Baseline StudioSystems, is an American e-commerce company. It was founded in 1982 and licenses its commercial entertainment database, known as Studio System. It is owned by Gracenote, a subsidiary of Nielsen Holdings.
Ubuntu One is an OpenID-based single sign-on service operated by Canonical Ltd. to allow users to log onto many Canonical-owned Web sites. Until April 2014, Ubuntu One was also a file hosting service and music store that allowed users to store data "in the cloud".
A GSM Cell ID (CID) is a generally unique number used to identify each base transceiver station (BTS) or sector of a BTS within a location area code (LAC) if not within a GSM network.
An application programming interface (API) is an interface or communication protocol between different parts of a computer program intended to simplify the implementation and maintenance of software. An API may be for a web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware, or software library. An API specification can take many forms, but often includes specifications for routines, data structures, object classes, variables, or remote calls. POSIX, Windows API and ASPI are examples of different forms of APIs. Documentation for the API usually is provided to facilitate usage and implementation.
The Chinese Text Project is a digital library project that assembles collections of early Chinese texts. The name of the project in Chinese literally means "The Chinese Philosophical Book Digitization Project", showing its focus on books related to Chinese philosophy. It aims at providing accessible and accurate versions of a wide range of texts, particularly those relating to Chinese philosophy, and the site is credited with providing one of the most comprehensive and accurate collections of classical Chinese texts on the Internet, as well as being one of the most useful textual databases for scholars of early Chinese texts.
WeRelate.org is a wiki genealogy website, that provides genealogy tools and data. It bills itself as the world's largest freely licensed genealogy wiki, with almost 5 million wiki pages. Its information is free, and the site is non-commercial and nonsectarian. WeRelate had over 2.5 million person pages, over 930,000 family pages and 44,000 images in Jan 2014.
Apache Flink is an open-source stream-processing framework developed by the Apache Software Foundation. The core of Apache Flink is a distributed streaming data-flow engine written in Java and Scala. Flink executes arbitrary dataflow programs in a data-parallel and pipelined manner. Flink's pipelined runtime system enables the execution of bulk/batch and stream processing programs. Furthermore, Flink's runtime supports the execution of iterative algorithms natively.
JamBase is an online database and news portal of live music and festivals with a focus on jam bands. It was founded by Andy Gadiel and Ted Kartzman in 1998. The website primarily acts as a service, providing a public API that concert promoters and venues use to publish concert data to the site. The data is also used by third-party developers for other products. In addition to raw data, the website includes a news section publishing information about concerts in a blog format.
The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) is an open-access database of medical images for cancer research. The site is funded by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Cancer Imaging Program, and the contract is operated by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Data within the archive is organized into collections which typically share a common cancer type and/or anatomical site. The majority of the data consists of CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine images stored in DICOM format, but many other types of supporting data are also provided or linked to, in order to enhance research utility. All data are de-identified in order to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and National Institutes of Health data sharing policies.