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?

11 thoughts on “The BBC partners with MusicBrainz for Music Metadata

  1. Matt Cox

    That’s really cool; I was kinda hoping that the BBC partnership would be to correctly tag all the music for BBC Radio Stations.

    sekrit, the Last.fm account for BBC Radio Station 6music, shows that they need their music correctly tagged.

    http://www.last.fm/user/sekrit

  2. Pierce

    Congratulations, Rob! That is too freaking cool!
    Wish I had known last night. I want to ask you more about it. Next time…next time.
    Anyway, well done. :)

  3. Kim

    Yay!

    The secret, I think, is in the length of the cocktail stick you use to poke the side of the oiltanker :)

    So glad it’s finally happened. Go you!

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