Author Archives: ruaok

New autumn schema change date: 17 November, 2014

Due to two conflicting summits in (our own and the GSoC Summit) around our usual schema change release date, we’ve decided to move the autumn schema change to 17 November, 2014. This will ensure that our developers are properly rested before attempting a hard task such as a schema change.

We hope this won’t cause too much trouble for everyone downstream.

May 2014 virtual machines released

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just released the May 2014 Virtual Machine images of the MusicBrainz server!

If you’d like to direct download or BitTorrent download these images, head on over to our Server Setup page.

There have been no real changes to the setup of the VM images — we still publish a VirtualBox and a VMWare image. The instructions for using the VMs haven’t changed; the latest data and the May 26th version of the software are loaded on these images.

Have fun!

Announcing the beta launch of CritiqueBrainz

I’m proud to announce that we’ve launched a beta version of our new project: CritiqueBrainz.

CritiqueBrainz is a music review site, where anyone can write a music review for an artist or a release-group (album, single, etc). Unlike Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy, this site is about passionate reviews about music. If an album is horrible, please write a review about why it is horrible. If it is great, please write one telling us what makes it great.

All of the reviews in CritiqueBrainz will be Creative Commons licensed. The user has a choice to license their review under CC-by-nc-sa (disallowing commercial use) or CC-by-sa (allowing commercial use). To get the site started, the BBC was kind enough to send us their collection of almost 9,000 CC licensed reviews. Go and have a look — there are a lot of reviews for you to read, right now!

CritiqueBrainz is a new web site that was originally written by Maciej Czerwiński for last year’s Summer of Code. All of the goals for the project were met last year, but that didn’t leave us with a site that was ready for deployment. For this year’s Summer of Code, Roman Tsukanov picked up the project and immediately started fixing bugs, making improvements and generally rocking the project into stability and drastically improved the look and feel of the site. On the beginning day of Summer of Code, we’re ready for a beta release!

This past weekend, I attended Music Hack Day San Francisco and worked with Roman to add Spotify integration into the site. If you have a Spotify account, you can listen to the music as you read the reviews. So far, we’ve matched 250,000 release-groups in MusicBrainz to Spotify! Even if an album doesn’t have a review, you can still browse all of MusicBrainz via CritiqueBrainz and if we have a matched Spotify album, you can listen to it by clicking the play button under the cover art.

If an album you find doesn’t have a match in Spotify, we invite you to help us find a match and submit it to Spotify. Click on the “Match this!” link, which will execute a search via Spotify’s API to try and find a matching album. Due to some limitations in the Spotify API, this doesn’t work as well as we want to — we plan to pester Spotify to improve their API to make this a better experience.

We’re hoping to make CritiqueBrainz a user site that uses more cover-art and white space to make a site that is friendlier to browse the amazing pieces of information that MusicBrainz has collected. Unlike the data nerds at MusicBrainz, not everyone loves information overload; this site should hopefully make non-data nerds happy about MusicBrainz data.

If you find a bug, or have a suggestion for improving the site, please file a bug report here and Roman will have a look at it.

Thanks to everyone who had a hand in making this project a reality and thanks to Google’s Open Source programs office for making Summer of Code happen!

MHD San Francisco 2014

MusicBrainz is represented at Music Hack Day San Francisco 2014 this weekend!

If you’re a hacker who is participating, this page collects a number of interesting things about MusicBrainz that lets you get started with MusicBrainz easily.

If you’d like some help with MusicBrainz, come see Rob in the the back of presentation area. Rob is the guy with the crazy hair and the bright orange t-shirt.

Have fun!

MetaBrainz is on Amazon Smile

Amazon has created a program where your purchases at Amazon can support your favorite non-profit. This program is called Amazon Smile and MetaBrainz is enrolled in this program. If you would like to support MetaBrainz (and thus MusicBrainz), start with this link when you start shopping:

Metabrainz Foundation Inc

Alternatively you can bookmark this link:

http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-1644586

We’ll be integrating links to Amazon Smile into the MusicBrainz web site soon, so you won’t have to remember these links.

UPDATE: This only works for the US based Amazon store.

May 14 schema change release time

The schema change release is approaching fast and we’re making good progress taking care of all the tasks that need to be completed. During yesterday’s meeting we agreed on the time to do this release: 14 May 1600UTC (9am PDT, 11am Chicago, 17h BST, 18h CEST, timezone map).

We will start the release process at this time — the exact time when the site will be down will depend on how long it will take us to walk through our pre-release checklist. We will be announcing the exact downtime via Twitter (@musicbrainz) and via a banner on the main MusicBrainz pages.

We expect our downtime to be somewhere between 15-30 minutes.

Thanks!

Summer of Code: We’ve accepted these projects

I’m pleased to announce the following 5 projects were accepted for this round of Summer of Code:

  • A new website for Picard and its plugins by Shadab Zafar: Give Picard a new website that will be used to host everything Picard related especially its plugins. Also add an interface which can be used to download those plugins right from picard.
  • MBS-6201: Add an “event” entity by reosarevok: Finalising the basic implementation of MBS-799 by adding an event entity to MusicBrainz.
  • Finishing and deploying CritiqueBrainz by Roman Tsukanov: Last year Maciej Czerwiński started work on repository for Creative Commons-licensed reviews – CritiqueBrainz project. He implemented core functionality: storage, API, and web interface. During Google Summer of Code 2014 I’d like to continue his work, finish and deploy the project.
  • MB UI TLC by navap: Spend some major TLC on all the templates and UI of MB.
  • Move MusicBrainz Search to SOLR by Wieland Hoffmann: The goal of this project is to move the MusicBrainz Search server to use SOLR for faster and in-place index updates.

The whole MusicBrainz dev team is very excited to have students take on these projects. We’ve been waiting for events for an eternity and after 9 months of no progress, I’m stoked that soon we will release CritiqueBrainz.

Congratulations to mineo, navap, duffer, gentlecat and reosarevok. And big thanks to Google for having us in Summer of Code again.

Phew: MusicBrainz is unaffected by the Heartbleed fiasco

As you’ve probably heard all over the net, a vulnerability was found in a very popular and critical piece of software that a lot of sites on the net use. While we also use said piece of software, our version is a bit older and therefore we’re not affected by this bug. There is no need to change your password, unless you use a common password on any of these affected sites listed in the link above.

To get an idea of how serious this issue is, take a look at this stunning list of affected sites!

But, don’t take our word for it. Use this link to check to see if musicbrainz.org is affected.

Now go and change your passwords. NOW!