Monthly Archives: June 2007

The BBC partners with MusicBrainz for Music Metadata

I’m very proud to announce that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has teamed up with MusicBrainz!

The BBC has taken a license to our live data feed and has augmented their music web pages with MusicBrainz data. The new and improved web pages show a complete discography for the artist and a collection of AR links that give BBC listeners more context about the music that the BBC broadcasts. For example, see this improved White Stripes artist page on the BBC pages and compare the links found there to the links we have for the White Stripes.

In exchange, MusicBrainz receives a monthly license fee that will allow MetaBrainz to hire some engineering help in the coming months to work on new features and to improve the existing infrastructure. This is quite significant since MusicBrainz has been resource constrained for many months now — having paid people on staff will ensure a more reasonable amount of progress moving forward.

Even cooler, the BBC online music editors will soon participate in the MusicBrainz community contributing their knowledge to MusicBrainz. The goal is to have the BBC /music editorial team round out and add new information to MusicBrainz as they need to use it in their MusicBrainz enabled applications internally.

This represents a gigantic step for MusicBrainz! First, it gives MusicBrainz a significant vote of confidence from a large and respected organization. Second, it brings in a team of music experts that will participate in MusicBrainz. For the most part, MusicBrainz has been maintained by music enthusiasts and not by music experts. It will be an interesting journey for us to welcome the BBC team and see how they can participate in our community.

If you’d like to learn about about the /music team participating in MusicBrainz, take a look at theBBCTeamsEditingMusicBrainz wiki page — we’ll endeavor to keep this page up to date with information regarding out partnership. Also, you may be interested to take a look at the press release that we’ve issued today.

The number of people who worked hard to make this happen inside the BBC is very long, so I won’t go and thank every person (I’ve not even met them all!). But I must thank Micheal Smethurst, Stephen Butler, Matthew Wood, Amy Taylor and Tom Scott for their diligence, persistence and vision for getting this deal done. Its been a long three years since I first made contact with the BBC, but good things come to those who wait, right?

FreeDB -> MusicBrainz gateway now available!

After an extensive testing period and a long road to finding a place to host the FreeDB -> MusicBrainz gateway, I’m pleased to announce that we finally have the gateway open for business for the general public!

This gateway allows anyone on the internet to point their FreeDB enabled CD player/ripper/whatever to a mirror of the MusicBrainz data. Over the last couple of years the data quality inside of MusicBrainz has exceeded the data quality commonly found in the FreeDB project. Thus, people have been asking for a way for their old FreeDB enabled player to connect to MusicBrainz to retrieve higher quality metadata.

If you’ve been wanting to get better metadata out of your FreeDB enabled player, please take a look at our instructions for how to point your player at our new gateway. This gateway is generously sponsored by Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab. Thank you for your support!

Also big thanks for Lukáš for writing the gateway and for Inhouseuk for adopting, debugging and deploying it!

MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz Talk at Queen Mary University

I recently gave a presentation about MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz to the Queen Mary University in London. The talk was billed as:

MusicBrainz: Tearing Down Walled Gardens in the Music Industry

If you’re curious about the beginnings of MusicBrainz, my sugar mama or how MusicBrainz and its IDs hopes to change the world, you may want to watch the video stream of my presentation.

Thanks to Steve Welburn for inviting me!

MusicBrainz and Last.fm agree to license terms

After it seemed likely that hell would be serving slushies before Last.fm and MusicBrainz ever came to an agreement, I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of slushies in the netherworld!

Last.fm and MusicBrainz have finally settled on terms for the MusicBrainz data license and shook hands on the deal. Now the lawyers need to nail down all the details and then the contract will be signed.

I’m immensely pleased that we’ve finally agreed to terms and are moving forward. I’m hopeful and excited that this new partnership will prove to be beneficial for both MusicBrainz and Last.fm!