Monthly Archives: January 2006

Releases: Picard and libtunepimp

We released the 0.6.0 version of Picard today — this release fixes many bugs and adds the much anticipated mp4, mpc and wma plugins! Also included in this release are support for generating cuesheets, M3U, PLS and XSPF playlists.

The downloads links are:

To make all the changes happen inside of Picard, we also needed to release a new version of libtunepimp:

Thanks again to Lukáš Lalinský for brining you this release!

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Two Dell Poweredge servers donated!

Halsey Minor with Minor Ventures and David Ulevitch of Freedom Networks just donated two Dell Poweredge 1750 servers to the MetaBrainz Foundation! Each of these two 1U servers clocks in with:

  • Dual 2.8 Ghz Xeon processors
  • 2 Gb RAM
  • 2 Ultra 320 36Gb SCSI drives with RAID controller

These two machines help us quite a way toward our current hardware fundraising goal — now we only need to find a beefy database server and we’re ready to migrate into the colocation facility here in SLO.

Thank you so much Halsey and David — the entire MusicBrainz community will love you for your generous donation!

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Introducing: Linkara Musica

I’m immensely pleased to announce the first commercial project built with MusicBrainz data: Linkara Música

Linkara is a social networking site similar to Friendster here in the US. However, Linkara goes far beyond what Friendster has done and offers its users to connect on their interests in books, movies, and now music. Users can search for music/books/movies, rate them and find other people who share similar tastes.

Linkara is based in Barcelona, Spain and caters to the Spanish market — so be ready with your best Spanish skills when you click on the link above. I wanted to thank Tim Towle and the rest of the Linkara team for bearing with MetaBrainz as we worked out the legal contracts necessary to close this deal.

The amazing part of this announcement is that the MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz model works — it is possible to license public domain data! Even more amazing are the vast numbers of users who helped create MusicBrainz and enable Linkara Música. 183,000+ users have in some way or another participated in MusicBrainz and overall managed to not step on each others toes to create a growing database of music metadata. Thanks to everyone who has participated — this would not have happened without you!

P.S. I know that Last.fm has been using the MusicBrainz data for a while now, but we still haven’t entered into a business relationship yet, so it doesn’t count. Yet.

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Hardware wishlist & colo migration

MusicBrainz has been growing by leaps and bounds — pretty much every month is our busiest yet and our overall service is getting noticeably slower. Many moderation searches are timing out because too many tagger users are putting a heavy load on our database server. After the recent fundraiser, I started thinking about how to expand the capacity that MusicBrainz has, and there is no quick fix.

This is complicated by the fact that CCCP is full and cannot accept new servers. We’re outgrowing this service and its time for us to move to a new hosting company. I am considering different options for this, but I am very much favoring a data center here in SLO. This will give Jeff Simmons (our sysadmin helper) and myself immediate access to all of our machines. Right now our machines are 200 miles away from here, which does not lend itself to quick fixes.

So, I would like to expand our capacity and move our servers closer to home at the same time. For that we need to purchase or preferably beg for more hardware. Our hardware wishlist looks like this:

  • One database class server — 2U, dual 32 Bit processors, 12GB RAM, RAID-10 SCSI with loads of fast SCSI drives (donated!)
  • Two webserver class servers — 1U, dual 32/64 bit processors (AMD preferred), 4GB RAM, SATA or SATA RAID, with SATA drives (donated!)
  • One server mobo, 2GB RAM, SATA or SATA Raid, with SATA drives (donated/purchased!)

I know, those are stiff requirements that clock in near $10k new. And I also know that I may as well be smoking crack — but hey this is a wishlist, right?

So, if someone has this killer hardware laying around or they are looking for a serious tax write-off please start by leaving a comment.

UPDATE: So much for smoking crack — this wishlist is now checked off and complete!!

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Debian maintainer for Picard wanted!

libmusicbrainz and libtunepimp and many of the requirements of Picard are in Debian, but Picard itself has not been packaged up for inclusion into Debian. I would love to find a volunteer to take on the task to package Picard into a .deb so we can get it into the Debian respositories. If you’d like to help, please post a comment!

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MusicBrainz now uses Trac as its official bug tracker

We just completed the transition to Trac as our official bug tracking system! While the bug database is stored on the staging server right now, we will be moving it before too long. You can always find the current location by using these shortcut URLs:

http://musicbrainz.org/bugs — go to the list of bugs

http://musicbrainz.org/bug — enter a new bug

Please do no use the SourceForge Bug Tracker anymore!! (we will disable these trackers soon)

If you spot a bug that has an encoding problem (non-ascii characters getting garbled), please post a comment with the fixed up characters. Some of the data that SourceForge spit out for our old bugs had inconsistent encodings, which caused some bug reports to have some garbled characters. Alas.

Thanks to Lukáš Lalinský for writing the scripts that allowed us to import the data!

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Releases: Picard and libtunepimp

To go along with the recently updated server, we released version 0.5.1 of Picard today. The downloads links are:

To make all the changes happen inside of Picard, we also needed to release a new version of libtunepimp:

Important note for Picard users: Picard 0.5.1 introduces a new naming variable %albumartist (and %albumartistsortname) to support the new features on the server. Individual tracks on single artist albums may now be attributed to different artists which will cause these tracks to be saved in different locations on your hard drive if you use %artist in your naming string right now. You should replace all instances of %artist and %sortname with %albumartist and %albumartistsortname, respectively, if you want to keep organizing your files in the same manner as you did prior to the 0.5.1 release.

Thanks very much to Lukáš Lalinský, for taking on this release singlehandedly!

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Server updated

A few minutes ago we completed the update to the latest version of the MusicBrainz server.

New features:

  • Implemented the changes to alleviate some of the problems related to Style Guideline #5
  • Added new show artists link in the album edit links. This shows all of the tracks and change track artist links for a given album, which is a nice short-cut for changing one track artist and not a whole album at the same time.
  • Wiki formatting in annotations

Closed bugs:

  • Users cannot remove their email address if they have moderations open. (bug #1222947)
  • cannot create duplicate artist during change track/move album (bug #1332702)
  • changed the ‘Mailing List’ links to be consistent (bug #1333094)
  • CSS: minor margin problem in 20051023 release (bug #1344427)
  • Indicate on subject line if mod note is for your mod (bug #1348545)
  • Add rel=”nofollow” to outgoing AR web links (bug #1260342)
  • deselect AR link leads to unknown artist/album (bug #1358789)
  • AR display: still showing ‘…’ when View All Relationships (bug #1232367)
  • FreeDB’s imports of AC/DC and such bad (bug #1014240)
  • group link types for URLs selectable (bug #1363133)
  • ModBot should not delete artist if it is target for any mods (bug #1349243)
  • [patch] Homepage HTML no longer validates (bug #1337604)
  • Multiple Duplicate artists created during import of VA album (bug #1339958)
  • New “Release” page when adding album ignores preferences (bug #1335764)
  • Empty artists script causes DB server to crash (bug #1375624)

Please file a bug report if you find something amiss.

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Web service ToS follow-up

[ Rather than respond to comments to the previous post, I will create a new post -- I think this is important enough to clarify ]

Declin said:

> I don’t see how putting a particular license on the *data* solves the problem. Terms of *service* are something entirely different.

We’re not putting a new license on our data — the data remains under the existing licenses.

I am suggesting that the ToS for our web service state that:

  1. Anyone can access the web service.
  2. Data returned by the web service is covered under the CC license, since we may return data where portions are PD and portions are CC. We must use the greater common denominator license if we want to be consistent with our data licenses.

This has the effect that anyone can connect to our web service, but using the data returned from the service has to be use in accordance with the CC license. In order to not be in copyright violation, the user needs to qualify as non-commercial set out by the CC license. The two clarifications on non-profit I give serve to make it clear that these uses fall into the non-commercial realm, since the CC license errs on the side of commercial use if a use falls into a grey zone.

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