Type of site
|Online music encyclopedia|
|Created by||Robert Kaye|
|Registration||Optional (required for editing data)|
|Users||~250,000 active ever|
|Launched||July 17, 2000|
|Part Creative Commons Zero (open data) and part CC-BY-NC-SA (not open); commercial licensing available|
|Written in||Perl with PostgreSQL database|
MusicBrainz is a project which 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 CD metadata (this is information about the performers, artists, songwriters, etc.) storehouse to become a structured online database for music.
MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, and the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, and the length of each track. These entries are maintained by volunteer editors who follow community written style guidelines. Recorded works can also store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata. As of August 2021 [update] , MusicBrainz contained information on roughly 1.9 million artists, 3 million releases, and 25 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as ALAC, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database; these images are hosted by Cover Art Archive (CAA), a joint project between Internet Archive and MusicBrainz started in 2012. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth, storage and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use. As with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data.Cover art is also provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images.
Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz also allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this.
In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM (a recursive acronym for TRM Recognizes Music) for acoustic fingerprint matching. This feature attracted many users and allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions. This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP (now AmpliFIND), replacing TRM with MusicDNS.TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008.
In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND.Some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems.
Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought. The Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský.While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not officially MusicBrainz projects, they are closely tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these eight times per second. Additional post-processing is then applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns. The AcoustID search server then searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers, if known.
Since 2003,MusicBrainz's core data (artists, recordings, releases, and so on) are in the public domain, and additional content, including moderation data (essentially every original content contributed by users and its elaborations), is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL. The server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products.
In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye.On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service.
On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it had licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music web pages. The BBC online music editors would also join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database.
On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Freedb clients could also access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. The gateway was shut down on March 18, 2019.
Freedb was a database of compact disc track listings, where all the content was under the GNU General Public License. To look up CD information over the Internet, a client program calculated a hash function from the CD table of contents and used it as a disc ID to query the database. If the disc was in the database, the client was able to retrieve and display the artist, album title, track list and some additional information.
FLAC is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio, developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation, and is also the name of the free software project producing the FLAC tools, the reference software package that includes a codec implementation. Digital audio compressed by FLAC's algorithm can typically be reduced to between 50 and 70 percent of its original size and decompress to an identical copy of the original audio data.
A CD ripper, CD grabber, or CD extractor is software that rips raw digital audio in Compact Disc Digital Audio (CD-DA) format tracks on a compact disc to standard computer sound files, such as WAV or MP3.
Exchangeable image file format is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras, scanners and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras. The specification uses the following existing file formats with the addition of specific metadata tags: JPEG discrete cosine transform (DCT) for compressed image files, TIFF Rev. 6.0 for uncompressed image files, and RIFF WAV for audio files. It is not used in JPEG 2000 or GIF.
CDex is a free software package for Digital Audio Extraction from Audio CD and audio format conversion for Microsoft Windows. It converts CDDA tracks from a CD to standard computer sound files, such as WAV, MP3, or Ogg Vorbis. CDex was previously released as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL); however, although the website claims that this is still the case, no source code has been released since 2005. It was originally written by Albert L. Faber, and is developed and maintained by Georgy Berdyshev. Recent versions of the software may be compromised and a security threat.
Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is a CD ripping program for Microsoft Windows. The program has been developed by Andre Wiethoff since 1998. Wiethoff's motivation for creating the program was that other such software only performed jitter correction while scratched CDs often produce distortions.
A cue sheet, or cue file, is a metadata file which describes how the tracks of a CD or DVD are laid out. Cue sheets are stored as plain text files and commonly have a .cue filename extension. CDRWIN first introduced cue sheets, which are now supported by many optical disc authoring applications and media players.
MusicBrainz Picard is a free and open-source software application for identifying, tagging, and organising digital audio recordings. It was developed by the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit company that also operates the MusicBrainz database.
A tag editor is a piece of software that supports editing metadata of multimedia file formats, rather than the actual file content. These are mainly taggers for common audio tagging formats like ID3, APE, and Vorbis comments, but can also be taggers for JPEG, PDF and TIFF metadata.
AmpliFIND is an acoustic fingerprinting service and a software development kit developed by the US company MusicIP.
Jaikoz is a Java program used for editing and mass tagging music file tags.
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.
Audiograbber is a proprietary freeware CD audio extractor/converter program for Microsoft Windows. It was one of the first programs in the genre to become popular. The data extraction algorithm was designed by Jackie Franck and was included in the Xing Technology software package Xing Audio Catalyst in the mid-1990s.
Asunder is a free and open-source graphical audio CD ripper program for Unix-like systems. It doesn't have dependencies to the GNOME libraries or libraries of other desktop environments. It functions as a front-end for cdparanoia.
Mp3tag is a freeware metadata editor for many audio file formats for Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.
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.
The following comparison of audio players compares general and technical information for a number of software media player programs. For the purpose of this comparison, "audio players" are defined as any media player explicitly designed to play audio files, with limited or no support for video playback. Multi-media players designed for video playback, which can also play music, are included under comparison of video player software.
Puddletag is a graphical audio file metadata editor ("tagger") for Unix-like operating systems.
AcoustID is a webservice for the identification of music recordings based on the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprint algorithm. It can identify entire songs but not short snippets.
Kid3 is an open-source cross-platform audio tag editor for many audio file formats. It supports DSF, MP3, Ogg, FLAC, MPC, MPEG-4 (mp4/m4a/m4b), AAC, Opus, SPX, TrueAudio, APE, WavPack, WMA, WAV, AIFF, tracker modules.
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