Monthly Archives: August 2010

MusixMatch becomes our customer!

MusixMatch, a new lyrics start-up company in Bologna, Italy just signed up to be our latest customer!

MusixMatch aims to license lyrics from all over the world (and not just the usual US/western Europe suspects) and aims to make accessing and licensing lyrics much easier than it currently is. I spent three days in June with the whole MusixMatch team to figure out how MusicBrainz and MusixMatch can work together, and we found a number of interesting ways in which we can help each other.

MusixMatch needs to match lyric publisher data to music metadata like the data in MusicBrainz. This matching will enable MusixMatch to instantly license lyrics to anyone who speaks MBIDs or anyone who can match their data to our metadata. And MusicBrainz will benefit from this relationship by being able to show lyrics on MusicBrainz pages, which enriches MusicBrainz and takes us one step further on our road to being a comprehensive music encyclopedia.

However, it should be noted that MusicBrainz is not getting into the lyrics business. We will never store Lyrics in our database since those are copyrighted! We plan to fetch lyrics from the MusixMatch servers to display them on our site. MusixMatch, however, plans to offer our music metadata and lyrics in a package deal once we’ve matched our data and have lyric support on musicbrainz.org.

All of this lyrics work will come after we’ve shipped NGS — until NGS we will not adapt any new features! We are really keeping our focus on delivering NGS as soon as we’re happy with its stability.

Track level Advanced Relationships for NGS

As you may know, in our Next Generation Schema release we are including support for musical Works. Our definition of a Work is a musical composition that will at some point be performed and possibly recorded, in which case it will become a Recording. In the current MusicBrainz implementation we do not have the concept of a Work and a lot of the Advanced Relationships (ARs) we have are muddled between the concept of a Work or a Recording.

This left us with the tricky task of reviewing all track level ARs and prying apart which ARs should be moved to Works and which ones to Recording. Or both! To accomplish this task, Brianfreud had compiled a list of open issues, which Ian McEwen has adopted and nutured. Today we convened an IRC meeting with Nikki, Pete Marsh from the BBC, Ian and myself. If you’re interested in how we reached the decisions we did, please take a look at the chatlog.

Our decisions have been captured in this wiki page — please take a look at it and see if we’ve missed anything or if there is anything you disagree with. If we do not hear any feedback on this topic, we will change our NGS data conversion script to convert the data as decided in this page.

Thanks to Ian, Pete and Nikki for your help in this meeting! And big thanks also go to Murdos for all of your help in steering me towards getting all Works related issues on to the table!

Please welcome our new Style Leader: Nikki

The MusicBrainz Style Leader has a really hard job — this position requires people to to have a thick skin, a deep understanding of MusicBrainz and the patience of a saint. Its a really challenging job! And because of this, people burn out fast and generally abandon their jobs after a while. This has been the pattern for many years for us and its been very frustrating. And now its has happened again: Brian, the Style Leader up til today, has not been responding to me. I’ve not heard anything from him in weeks.

In an effort to try and break out of this cycle, I am going start a new experiment: Make the Style Leader a paid position.

While we have some money in the bank, its not massive amounts of money and the pay for this position reflects just that. Its not a whole lot of money, but I am hoping its enough money to offset the pain of being the Style Leader and will keep the Style Leader engaged over a longer period. With that in mind, I am proud to announce that Nikki will be our next Style Leader and our first paid Style Leader.

Nikki has been tasked to ensure that the style process moves along and is properly documented. Her goal is to drive consensus among the brainerz who participate in the important Style process and to keep proposals on track. Once a proposal’s RFC/RFV periods are up, its Nikki’s job to ensure that the proposal is acted upon by the appropriate people. She should also help to keep the style process evolving as the MusicBrainz style needs evolve.

Thank you for all your hard work Brian! I look forward to working with you more closely Nikki!

BTW: Warp will still be involved in helping Nikki lead the style process, but his focus is on NGS for the time being. We’re very much dedicated to staying focused on delivering NGS as soon as we can.