Category Archives: Annual Report

For annual report blog posts.

Picard 1.3 released

Version 1.3 of Picard has been released today, with some notable features and bug fixes.

This release has few visible changes, but overall performance and stability were much improved. A lot of minor annoying issues were fixed. Cover art code was reworked, and notably one can now enable fallback on release group cover art if no cover art exists for a specific release.

Logging was improved, user can now enable debug mode from About →View Error/Debug Log, it may help to see what is going on if needed, passwords and sensible information were hidden from the log, so user can now safely post his log to get help.

To report any issue concerning this release, please use our bug tracker. As usual you can also get help on forum or on IRC (freenode, #musicbrainz).

Special thanks to Sophist, Wieland Hoffmann, Michael Wiencek, Johannes Dewender, Lukáš Lalinský, Frederik “Freso” S. Olesen, and the whole MusicBrainz Team.
Many thanks to all users, developers, bug reporters and translators. Code contributions since 1.2 are visible on Github Contributors graph.

Unfortunately the OAuth support patch (PICARD-305) didn’t make it in this release.

Picard 1.3 can be downloaded on the Picard’s website.

Be aware that downgrading from 1.3 to 1.2 may lead to configuration compatibility issues, better save your configuration before installing 1.3 if you intent to go back to 1.2.

Among changes since 1.2:

  • The “About” window now displays the versions of libraries used by Picard
  • Picard now correctly handles matching of MP3 files saved in ID3v2.3 tags (which is the version that Microsoft Windows and iTunes both use).
    Note: You may need to re-save your tags once to get them to match in future.
  • A sort tags plugin is now provided as tag data is no longer displayed sorted by default.
  • A new tag, musicbrainz_releasetrackid, containing the MusicBrainz Track MBID introduced in the May 2013 schema change release, is now written to files.
  • Add %_recordingtitle% (PICARD-515)
  • Fix plugin install bugs (PICARD-444)
  • Fix Options → File naming examples to handle primary/secondary release types (PICARD-516)
  • A new advanced option is available to permanently set the starting directory for the file browser and “Add files/folder” buttons.
  • Requests to Musicbrainz against your own account e.g. for collections are now handled through SSL (PICARD-337)
  • Refresh of Albums using Ctrl-R and selection of Other Releases are now more responsive during batch lookups.
  • Main window is now emitting a “selection_updated” signal, plugin api version bumps to 1.3.0
  • Append system information to user-agent string
  • Compilation tag/variable functionality (for tagging & file naming) has been split into two:
    %compilation% is now aligned with iTunes, and set only for Various Artists type compilations
    %_multiartist% variable now indicates whether this release has tracks by multiple artists
    (in order to prepend the artist name to the filename as shown in the default file naming script)
  • autodetect the CD drive on Mac OS X (PICARD-123)
  • Ignore directories and files while indexing when show_hidden_files option is set to False (PICARD-528)
  • Add ignore_regex option which allows one to ignore matching paths, can be set in Options → Advanced (PICARD-528)
  • Added an “artists” multi-value tag to track metadata, based on the one in Jaikoz, which contains the individual artist names from the artist credit. Also useful in scripts (joining phrases like ‘feat:’ are omitted) and plugins.
  • Added “_artists_sort“, “_albumartists“, “_albumartists_sort” variables for scripts and plugins.
  • Made Picard use the country names also used on the MusicBrainz website (PICARD-205)
  • New setup.py command `get_po_files` (Retrieve po files from transifex)
  • New setup.py command `regen_pot_file` (Regenerate po/picard.pot)
  • New Work tag (which for Classical music is often different from the track title) saved as ID3 TOAL tag.
  • New Composer Sort Order tag (variable %composersort%).
  • Improve the Other Releases list to prioritise and separate releases which match the correct number of tracks and your Options → Metadata → Prefered Releases settings for Country and Format.
  • New %_absolutetracknumber% variable numbering tracks sequentially regardless of disc structure (so you can numbers tracks on multi-disc releases without a disc number)
  • Support dropping image directly from Google image results to cover art box
  • Add %_musicbrainz_tracknumber% to hold track # as shown on MusicBrainz release web-page e.g. vinyl/cassette style A1, A2, B1, B2
  • Show the ID3 version of the file in the Info… dialog (Ctrl-I) (PICARD-218)
  • Fixed a bug where Picard crashed if a MP3 file had malformed TRCK or TPOS tags (PICARD-112)
  • Add –files option to setup.py build_ui, used to force .ui to .py regeneration (PICARD-566)
  • New setup.py command `update_constants` (Regenerate countries.py and attributes.py)
  • Made Picard use release groups, medium formats and cover art types also used on the MusicBrainz website
  • Use MusicBrainz Server translations for release groups, medium formats and cover art types
  • Add checkbox to toggle debug at runtime in log/debug view dialog
  • Add a plugin to add Artist Official Homepage relationships to the website tag (ID3 WOAR tag)
  • Add integrated functions $eq_any, $ne_all, $eq_all, $ne_any, $swapprefix and $delprefix.
  • Add %_performance_attributes%, containing performance attributes for the work e.g. live, cover, medley etc.
  • Use $inmulti in file naming scripts i.e. …$if($inmulti(%_performance_attributes%,medley), (Medley),)
  • Add optional `priority` parameter to `register_album_metadata_processor()` and `register_track_metadata_processor()`
    Default priority is `PluginPriority.NORMAL`, plugins registered with `PluginPriority.HIGH` will be run first, plugins registered with `PluginPriority.LOW` will run last
  • Add Standardise Performers plugin to convert e.g. Performer [piano and guitar] into
    Performer [piano] and Performer [guitar].
  • Add support for release group cover art fallback (PICARD-418, PICARD-53)
  • Add a clear button to search box
  • Honour preferred release formats when matching AcoustIds (PICARD-631)
  • Prevent ZeroDivisionError in some rare cases (PICARD-630)

Annual report for 2012 finally posted

I finally completed the 2012 annual report! This year has been busy, so I apologize for finishing it this late.

Our cost per 1M web hits dropped significantly, we finished our first year in the red and we created 1/4 of all of our edits to date in 2012! Go read the report to find out who was the top editor, the top voter and other interesting tidbits about MusicBrainz in 2012.

Thanks to Navap, Nikki and Reosarevok for helping in putting this report together!

MetaBrainz Foundation Annual Report for 2010

Introduction

2010 was a big development year for us with an amazing amount of tangible progress on the Next Generation Schema (NGS). NGS would prove to be our number one task in 2010, with no server releases happening at all because of our focus on NGS.

Early in the year we increased our engineering capacity with Kuno Woudt joining us as a full time developer in February; Oliver Charles moved from a part time position into a full time position in June 2010. Their sole focus for the entire year was to finish NGS, and we got within a few months of finishing it.

We transitioned from Subversion to Git as our version control system in the process of writing NGS. From Nov 2009 to Feb 2010 the MusicBrainz Server codebase went from ~224,000 lines of code down to ~72,000 (the lowest since 2003!). By the end of 2010 we reached ~130,000 lines of code. NGS does a lot more, but with a lot less code. NGS was a much needed cleanup and overhaul of our aging codebase.

Financially we started 2010 off pretty weak, but got an early boost with a $50,000 donation from Richard Jones (one of the founders of last.fm) and later a $40,000 donation from Google. These generous donations allowed us to continue focusing on NGS — thank you Google and Richard Jones!

MetaBrainz took on The GuardianmusiXmatch, and ZeeZee as new data customers in 2010.

Google Summer of Code 2010 resulted in an exciting new addition to our product line – the MusicBrainz Android App. Developed by Jamie McDonald, the Android app allows anyone to carry the MusicBrainz Database around in their pocket wherever they go. It is a very handy app to settle music debates at parties!

Jess Hemerly conducted a study and wrote a paper on MusicBrainz as part of her Master’s program at the UC Berkeley School of Information. Among many other topics, she answered questions such as ‘Why do people contribute?’, ‘What characterizes editors’ participation?’, and ‘What is the role of metadata in music technology?’.

Profit & Loss

In 2010 the foundation took in $177,740.94 and spent $172,904.94 for a total excess income of $4,836.00.

Income

Direct Donations $90,278.89
PayPal Donations $6,867.99
Consulting $2,669.75
Live Data Feed Licenses $52,682.76
CC Data Licenses $5,100.00
Amazon Associates $1,299.94
Tagger Affiliates $18,147.62
CD Baby Affiliate $12.00
Bank Credits $0.10
Bank Interest $681.89
Total Income: $177,740.94

Expenses

Bank Fees $995.30
PayPal Fees $1,263.63
Rent $2,856.00
Hardware $5,455.15
Travel $4,806.26
Internet $184.56
Development $109,991.19
Gifts $458.63
Events $270.98
Hosting $16,900.00
Filing Fees $60.00
Software $99.00
Entertainment $331.53
Books $20.99
Insurance $2,025.00
Accounting $1,200.00
Shipping $87.51
Payroll Taxes $25,639.39
Advertising $259.82
Total Expenses: $172,904.94

The Profit & Loss shows:

  • In 2010 the foundation spent $22,355.15 on hosting and hardware costs and served out 3.2 billion web hits and 1.5 billon web service hits. Calculating a cost per hit, we find that we spent $6.93 per one million web hits and $14.50 per one million web service hits. Compared to our 2009 figures of $8.66 per one million web hits and $14.37 per one million web service hits, these numbers didn’t change much.
  • End-user donations via PayPal came to $6,867.99 which is roughly 10% less than last year. End-user donations came to less than 4% of our overall income due to the much larger role of sponsors such as Google and Richard Jones.
  • Development costs in the form of salaries paid to Robert Kaye, Oliver Charles, and Kuno Woudt came to $109,991.19. It is amazing what we were able to accomplish with such a limited budget for paid engineers.
  • In 2010 we earned $52,682.76 from live data feed licenses and $5,100.00 from Creative Commons licensed data for a total of $57,782.76. This is up 28.8% from the total of $44,878.50 in 2009.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet for the end of 2010 showed the MetaBrainz Foundation with $77,011.94 retained earnings, a net income of $4,836.00, and cash assets totalling $81,847.94.

Traffic

The following chart shows our overall web traffic to musicbrainz.org for 2006 – 2010:

Musicbrainz Traffic 2006-2010

The blue line represents the overall number of hits to musicbrainz.org and the red line shows how many of the overall hits were web service (API) hits. As in previous years, our web service hits represent about 85% – 90% of our overall traffic. Please note that in September of 2009 we switched to a more accurate method for keeping track of our overall web services hits. Prior to this, the graph shows the sum of the artist/release/track counts, rather than the total web service traffic.

Our traffic grew considerably in the first half of 2010, but then leveled off for the second half of 2010. We don’t know what accounted for this leveling off, but we suspect that the lack of new features for the MusicBrainz server generally decreased interest in the project.

Top contributors

Top Editors
1. drsaunde 73982
2. brianfreud 72121
3. gswanjord 58933
4. murdos 54517
5. HumHumXX 43985
6. dimpole 39527
7. salo.rock 38644
8. nikki 37770
9. reosarevok 37702
10. refresh_daemon 34806
11. jesus2099 33515
12. Senax 30956
13. MeinDummy 25521
14. mr_maxis 24743
15. Billy Yank 20248
16. dinog 20215
17. crazee_canuck 18537
18. ojnkpjg 18469
19. Bitmap 17612
20. kepstin 16550
21. NAvAP 16095
22. Jeroen 16064
23. rswarbrick 15972
24. zos18 15204
25. fred576 14897
Top Voters
1. chabreyflint 49247
2. salo.rock 48651
3. murdos 33786
4. Locustus 29267
5. SuicideScrub 24312
6. bogdanb 22473
7. nikki 21085
8. brianfreud 20606
9. gswanjord 19276
10. Bitmap 17956
11. MClemo 17362
12. drsaunde 15082
13. KRSCuan 13922
14. dinog 13844
15. reosarevok 9650
16. MeinDummy 9262
17. HumHumXX 8534
18. mr_maxis 7617
19. PhantomOTO 7194
20. articpenguin 7092
21. ojnkpjg 6977
22. Plagueis 6877
23. alphaseven 6762
24. fatih 6611
25. alllysssa 5819

Server farm

At the end of 2010, MusicBrainz had 14 machines in service. From the top, going down:

  • moose: Our database server
  • scooby: Our aging catch all server: blog, forums, mailing lists, etc
  • catbus: Raw database server (raw tags, collections, etc)
  • bender: Former TRM server, now idle cold spare machine
  • blik: memcached
  • stimpy, dexter: web service servers
  • cartman: Search server, index builder
  • wiley: New catch all server: SVN, git, jira, wiki, trac, mail, backups
  • lenny/carl: Redundant network gateways
  • tails: Front end web server
  • asterisk: Search server
  • jem: Search server

MusicBrainz uses 6mbits of bandwidth per second and draws 21 Amps of current for a power consumption of about 2,310 Watts. MusicBrainz physically occupies 20Us of space (half of a rack) at Digital West in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Words of Appreciation

2010 was a challenging year for us, starting off with rocky finances, but support from Richard Jones and Google put us back on track. There were many people who thought that we could not ship NGS or that MusicBrainz would languish while we worked to complete NGS. Given that we had no server releases at all in 2010, we are pleased that the project remained relevant and that our community believed in us to finish NGS.

MusicBrainz would like to thank its community of stellar editors (see above), its core developers (Lukáš Lalinský, Oliver Charles, Kuno Woudt, Aurélien Mino), our hero of system administration, Dave Evans and our goddess of bug tracking, bug fixing, editing and all things unicode, Nikki. We thank Jamie McDonald for the awesome Android app he wrote and we’d also like to thank Pavan Chander for all of his contributions.

We’d like to thank Richard Jones, Google and every single donor who donated money to MetaBrainz in 2010. We’d also like to thank our board of directors (Cory Doctorow, Brian Zisk, Matt Wood, Rachel Segal/Carol Smith), our pro bono legal advisors Daniel Appelman and Ed Cavazos, our awesome hosting company Digital West and all of our customers. Finally, we would also like to thank the music teams at the BBC for their continued support and for motivating us to bring NGS to a close.

MetaBrainz Foundation Annual Report for 2009

Introduction

In 2009 MusicBrainz placed a greater emphasis on working on our Next Generation Schema (NGS) and not focusing on business aspects of MusicBrainz as much. This turns out to have been a good strategy as 2009 was a lousy year to do business; the entire world economy was depressed. Many other non-profits had a really hard year, struggling to keep afloat. Fortunately the MetaBrainz Foundation managed to remain in the black for its fifth year in a row!

The most important aspect of work for MusicBrainz was NGS and after several years of planning we really kicked NGS development into high gear in May. Our employee Oliver Charles and our top contributor Lukáš Lalinský teamed up to tackle NGS as their combined Google Summer of Code project. Over the summer the codebase that Oliver had been tending for nearly a year already got another overhaul. And, by the end of summer a strong new MusicBrainz Server emerged! Paul Taylor took over the development of the Search Server and delivered a project that used 1/3 of the computing power than the code it replaced. In 2009 we only had one server release that brought us Release Groups and ISRC support — we had planned to have many more releases, but instead we opted to work on NGS full speed ahead.

2009 was also a year of many other changes: We switched from the MoinMoin wiki to MediaWiki; we started moving from Trac to Jira for bug tracking and we started the process of moving from Subversion to Git for the main server codebase. And Kuno Woudt quit his job and prepared to come to work for the MetaBrainz Foundation in February 2010. In November 2009 we also gathered in Nürnberg Germany for the 10th MusicBrainz summit. Finally, Carol Smith of Google became our Secretary/Treasurer in December!

In many ways 2009 was a transformative year for MusicBrainz with an amazing amount of effort spent on improving the site for future growth. Sadly we didn’t see many fruits of our labors in 2009, but 2010 promises to be amazing as we roll out NGS!

Profit & Loss

In 2009 the foundation took in $103,387.77 and spent $97,685.50 for a total excess income $5,702.27. This excess income is down from $31,724.40 from the prior year; there were two primary reasons for this decrease in revenue: 1) The economic climate of 2009 was terrible and 2) the BBC had a 6 month delay in renewing their data license contract, which accounts for $9000 lost revenue that we’ll collect in the first half of 2010. Given these two factors, I’m pleased with the outcome for 2009!

Income

Direct Donations $30,170.00
PayPal Donations $7,631.97
GSoC Mentor Income $1000.00
Live Data Feed licenses $42,078.50
CC Data licenses $2,800.00
Interest $517.53
Amazon Associates $1,112.21
CD Baby Affiliate $19.00
Tagger Affiliates $17,842.96
Reimbursements $215.60
Total Income:   $103,287.77

Expenses

Bank fees $366.67
PayPal fees $1,243.34
Rent $2,856.00
Hardware $3,152.56
Travel $2,229.15
Internet $100.00
Marketing $100.00
Development $67,231.41
Gifts $16.81
Events $1,481.18
Hosting $15,475.00
Utilities $13.42
Filing Fees $50.00
Entertainment $300.16
Insurance $2,025.00
Accounting $1,000.00
Shipping $44.71
Total Expenses:   $97,685.50

The Profit & Loss shows:

  • It costs $18,627.56 to host MusicBrainz in 2009 — this includes hardware and hosting costs.
  • PayPal donations, which are end-user donations, come to $7,631.97 about 7.3% of our overall income. This is down from 10.5% in 2008, presumably because of the horrible economic times. Counting Tagger Affiliate income (which is income from end-users via our Tagger Affiliates) our end-user contributions totaled $25,474.93, which exceeds our hosting costs by $6,847.37. This means that we’re still well within our goal of having end-user contributions cover our hosting costs — even in a down economy.
  • Development costs in the form of salaries cost $67,231.41 for both Robert Kaye and Oliver Charles. This figure will increase drastically in 2010 since Kuno Woudt joined the team. This presents the largest financial challenge facing the foundation in 2010.
  • $44,878.50 was earned in license fees in 2009. Counting the BBC license fees that should have been collected in 2009 we would be at $53,878.50 as compared to $62,872.56 in 2008. Our license fee income represents 52.1% of our income, up from 49.7% in 2008.

In 2009 the foundation spent $18,627.56 on hosting and hardware costs and served out 2.1 billion web hits and 1.3 billon web service hits. Calculating a cost per hit, we find that we spent $8.66 per one million web hits and $14.37 per one million web service hits. These values are down significantly from the 2008 values of $16.21 and $26.58 respectively.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet for the end of 2009 showed the MetaBrainz Foundation with $71,309.67 retained earnings, a net income of $5,702.27 and a total of cash assets of $77,011.94.

Traffic

The following chart shows our overall web traffic to musicbrainz.org for 2007 – 2009:

Musicbrainz Traffic 2007-2009

(click on the image to see a larger version)

The blue line represents the overall number of hits to musicbrainz.org. The red line shows how many of the overall hits were web service (API) hits; In 2009 60% of our hits were web service hits, which stays roughly consistent with our figure of 60.9% in 2008. Please note that this does not mean that 40% of our hits were full pages that were served; the total hit count includes images and other static content required to load a web page. It appears that about 10%-15% of our total hits were complete pages we served.

Top contributors

Top editors

1. drsaunde 80921
2. murdos 45003
3. nikki 41438
4. brianfreud 40312
5. voiceinsideyou 39372
6. NAvAP 29648
7. ojnkpjg 28369
8. reosarevok 28132
9. crazee_canuck 25100
10. MeinDummy 24914
11. fred576 24891
12. gnu_andrew 22367
13. salo.rock 21668
14. mr_maxis 21620
15. HumHumXX 20082
16. Senax 19867
17. cooperaa 17980
18. jesus2099 16320
19. Dr. Default 15601
20. chabreyflint 13297
21. MrH 13135
22. zos18 12524
23. KRSCuan 12179
24. Fabe56 11544
25. mudcrow 10603

Top voters:

1. voiceinsideyou 47841
2. murdos 34898
3. chabreyflint 31919
4. drsaunde 30487
5. MClemo 28067
6. KRSCuan 22779
7. Fabe56 19651
8. ojnkpjg 18192
9. nikki 16656
10. bogdanb 15239
11. wheelpoint 13891
12. chiark 13299
13. SuicideScrub 12843
14. NAvAP 11362
15. PhantomOTO 11238
16. teleguise 10963
17. Plagueis 10924
18. salo.rock 10724
19. MeinDummy 10402
20. ulugabi 10112
21. DrMuller 9818
22. yoursvivek 9674
23. fred576 7924
24. cooperaa 7787
25. pankkake 7154

A big thank you to all of the editors/voters who contributed! MusicBrainz would be nothing without your hard work!

Server farm

MusicBrainz has grown to 14 machines in service:

From the top, going down:

  • moose: Our database server
  • scooby: Our aging catch all server: blog, forums, mailing lists, etc
  • catbus: Raw database server (raw tags, collections, etc)
  • bender: Former TRM server, now idle cold spare machine
  • blik: memcached
  • stimpy, dexter: web service servers
  • cartman: Search index builder
  • wiley: New catch all server: SVN, git, jira, trac, backups
  • tails: Web server
  • lenny/carl: Redundant network gateways
  • misty/jem: Search servers

MusicBrainz currently requires somewhere between 5 and 6 mbits of bandwidth per second and draws 19 Amps of current for a power consumption of about 2,090 Watts. MusicBrainz physically occupies 20Us of space (half of a rack) at Digital West in San Luis Obispo, CA. Additionally, we have a mirror server was hosted at Last.fm in London and a test server hosted by Amplifind Media Services in Los Angeles.

Words of Appreciation

2009 was often challenging; trying to retool a large web site on a shoe-string budget is never fun. But in the end 2009 was the best year in MusicBrainz history — never before did we accomplish as much as we did in 2009!

Oliver Charles, Kuno Woudt, Paul Taylor, Lukáš Lalinský, Aurélien Mino, Nikki, Pavan Chander, Phillip Wolfer and Brian Schweitzer — your contributions to MusicBrainz cannot be underestimated! And, Dave Evans, continues to be our behind the scenes hero — MusicBrainz keeps running because of you! Also a big thanks to our board of directors who keep me in line and ensure that we keep out of legal trouble. I’d also like to thank Google and the entire Open Source Programs Office for supporting MusicBrainz in 2009 again.

Onward to an exciting 2010!

MetaBrainz Foundation Annual Report for 2008

Here is the MetaBrainz Foundation annual report for 2008:

Introduction

2008 was a busy year for MusicBrainz: Our traffic doubled from January to December, we grew from 8 to 13 servers and we earned $35,000 more than in 2007. Most importantly we started 2008 with only one full time employee and ended the year with 2 and a half full time employees. Between having more employees and having three students work on Google Summer of Code projects, we’ve had more code written in 2008 than we have ever had before. A lot of these projects were long-term projects that would take us well into 2009 before seeing benefit from this work. Consequently we had only one server update in all of 2008, but we’re expecting to have about 3 major releases this year.

Despite widespread upheaval in the world economy, MusicBrainz managed to grow and stay consistent all through 2008. We added Amazon.com, MetaWeb and Cloudspeakers as our major customers and Google sponsored MusicBrainz with another $30,000 donation. Finishing 2008 with $71,000 in the bank MusicBrainz starts 2009 strong and healthy.

Profit & Loss

In 2008 the foundation took in $126,442.26 and spent $94,717.79 for a total profit of $31,724.47. (non-profits can still earn a profit, but that profit must be reinvested into the company, not paid out to its officers and directors.) A detailed break down of where the income came from and where it went to is shown below:

Income

Direct donations $30,219.00
PayPal donations $13,271.25
Consulting (GSoC Mentor income) $1,500
Live Data Feed licenses $60,472.56
CC Data Licenses $2,400.00
Interest $1,211.92
Amazon Associates $1060.72
CD Baby affiliate $11.00
Tagger Affiliates $16,294.94
Bank Credits $0.87
Total income:   $126,442.26

Expense

Bank fees $240.90
PayPal fees $1,546.61
Rent $2,856.00
Hardware $9,107.98
Travel $2,456.61
Internet $275.41
Marketing $1,564.69
Development $60,415.16
Supplies $38.23
Gifts $100.00
Events $792.17
Hosting $11,904.50
Filing Fees $45.00
Software $239.92
Entertainment $75.15
Insurance $2008.00
Accounting $965.00
Shipping $86.46
Total expense:   $94,717.79

This Profit & Loss shows:

  • It cost $21,012.48 to host MusicBrainz in 2008 — this includes hardware and hosting costs.
  • PayPal donations, which represent end-user support for MusicBrainz, came to $13,271.25, about 10.5% of our total income. It has been our goal to have the end-users pay for hosting MusicBrainz, but this year we fell significantly short of that goal due to greatly increased hardware costs. However, if we take into account the income from the Tagger Affiliate program, then the picture improves quite a bit. Tagger Affiliate income is MusicBrainz’ 10% revenue share of end-user registrations of third party applications that use MusicBrainz. Counting these, our end user contributions total $29,566.19, which exceeds the cost to host MusicBrainz by over $9,000.
  • As expected, salaries continue to be the largest expense for The Foundation. In 2008 it paid $58,000 in salaries to Robert Kaye, which was still below a reasonable salary level for an Engineer/Executive Director in California. Its first non-founder employee Oliver Charles was paid $2,415.16 for just over three months of work.
  • $62,872.56 was earned licensing the MusicBrainz data for commercial use, which represents 49.7% of the total income. This is up over 9% from last year.

In 2008 the foundation spent, $21,012.48 on hosting and hardware costs and served out 1.3 billion web hits and 790 million web service hits. Calculating a cost per hit, we find that we spent $16.21 per one million web hits and $26.58 per one million web service hits. These values are down significantly from the 2007 values of $17.89 and $33.58 respectively.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet for the end of 2008 showed the MetaBrainz Foundation with $39,525.20 retained earnings, a net income of $31,249.67 and total cash assets of $71,249,67.

Traffic

The following chart shows our traffic growth for 2007 and 2008:

Musicbrainz Traffic 2007-2008

The blue line represents the overall number of hits to musicbrainz.org. The red line shows how many of the overall hits were web service (API) hits; as you can see towards the end of 2007 half of our overall hits were web service hits. Towards the end of 2008 our web service hits accounted for 60.9% of our overall hits, up from 50% in 2007.

Top data contributors

Top editors:

drsaunde 141064
ojnkpjg 40796
murdos 33517
voiceinsideyou 32660
knakker 31598
brianfreud 30242
teleguise 29756
bgibbard 23676
MrH 22521
Isomer 21203
cooperaa 19808
mudcrow 19162
fred576 17634
chiark 17561
StoneyBoh 16637
zos18 16466
Jormangeud 16264
leivhe 15983
Mistoffeles 15710
Creap 15373
jesus2099 12990
Dr. Default 12099
montesquieu 11810
infofarmer 10990
nikki 10015

Top voters:

ojnkpjg 35834
drsaunde 35374
voiceinsideyou 28376
chiark 20704
mudcrow 19892
murdos 14793
leivhe 12864
bogdanb 12560
bgibbard 11898
cooperaa 10954
symphonick 10642
teleguise 9778
vincentrichter 8668
MClemo 8302
DrMuller 6847
bawjaws 6208
infofarmer 5861
PhantomOTO 5747
Kerensky97 5740
debris77 5611
lukz 5460
dmppanda 5163
krazykiwi 5097
dj_empirical 5035
Atedos 4970

A big thank you to all of the editors/voters who contributed! MusicBrainz would be nothing without your hard work!

Server farm

MusicBrainz has grown to 13 machines in service:

MusicBrainz Servers

From the top, going down:

  • moose: Our database server
  • scooby: Our aging catch all server: blog, wiki, forums, mailing lists, etc
  • catbus: Raw datavbase server (raw tags, collections, etc)
  • bender: Former TRM server, now idle cold spare machine
  • blik: Backups and memcached
  • stimpy, dexter: Web, web service servers
  • cartman: Search server
  • wiley: New catch all server: SVN, trac
  • lenny/carl: Redundant network gateways
  • misty/jem: Search servers

MusicBrainz currently requires somewhere between 3 and 4 mbits of bandwidth per second and draws 18 Amps of current for a power consumption of nearly 2,000 Watts. MusicBrainz physically occupies 20Us of space (half of a rack) at Digital West in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Words of Appreciation

2008 was an exciting year for MusicBrainz and it could not have happened without the countless volunteers who have spent inordinate amounts of time and effort working on MusicBrainz. It is not possible to thank everyone who has contributed — for starters see the list of top editors and top voters. There were so many people behind the scenes or at partner companies that are not readily apparent from the outside.

MetaBrainz would like to thank Matthew Wood and his entire team at the BBC; through Matthew’s efforts the relationship between the BBC and MusicBrainz has been flourishing. Wendell Hicken and Sergey Borisov at MusicIP are the stars at MuiscIP who look out for MusicBrainz every day. Lukáš Lalinský, Oliver Charles, Aurélien Mino and Brian Schweitzer — your contributions to the MusicBrainz server cannot be underestimated! Dave Evans, you’re MusicBrainz’ unsung hero for all of your efforts behind the scene — MusicBrainz keeps running because of you!

Thanks to everyone who helped MusicBrainz in 2008 — MusicBrainz could not exist without you!

Finally, in 2008 quite a few contributors donated chocolate to MusicBrainz as a form of appreciation. Last year working on MusicBrainz was helped along with chocolate from Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom. Thanks to everyone who sent in chocolate!

MetaBrainz Foundation Annual Report for 2007

(Yes, this report is a year late — I had spent a lot of time on the annual report for 2006 and got so little feedback on it that I assumed no one cared. But now in 2008 I’ve been getting many more requests, so I’ve gone back and with the help of Pavan compiled the stats for 2007.)

Profit & Loss

In 2007 the foundation took in $89,645.59 and spent $64,543.84 for a total profit of $25,101.75. (non-profits can still earn a profit, but that profit must be reinvested into the company, not paid out to its officers and directors.) A detailed break down of where the income came from and where it went to is shown below:

Income

Direct donations $30,205.00
PayPal donations $14,575.59
Consulting (GSoC Mentor income) $1,500
Live Data Feed licenses $30,340.47
CC Data Licenses $1,900.00
Interest $357.45
Amazon Associates $714.39
Tagger Affiliates $10,052,69
Total income:   89,645.59

Expense

Bank fees $64.65
PayPal fees $1,570.92
Rent $2,779.00
Hardware $732.06
Travel $2,933.49
Internet $89.01
Marketing $765.00
Development $39,500
Supplies $56.88
Events $400.92
Hosting $12,240.00
Filing Fees $25.00
Software $-41.45
Entertainment $27.32
Insurance $1,996.00
Accounting $1,200.00
Total expense:   $64,543.84

This Profit & Loss shows:

  • It cost $12,972.06 to host MusicBrainz in 2007 — this includes hardware and hosting costs.
  • PayPal donations, which represent end-user support for MusicBrainz, came to $14,575.59, 16.3% of our total income. The Foundation aims to have end-user donations pay for the actual cost of running the service and the end-users did in fact pay for slightly more than what it cost to host MusicBrainz in 2007!
  • As it is with a lot of companies, salaries accounted for the largest slice of expenses. The Foundation paid $39,500 in salaries to Robert Kaye in 2007, which was still far below a reasonable salary level for an Engineer/Executive Director in California.
  • $32,240.47 was earned licensing the MusicBrainz data for commercial use, which represents 40% of the total income.

In 2007 the foundation spent $12,972.06 on hosting and hardware costs and served out 725 million web hits and 386 million web service hits. Calculating a cost per hit, we find that we spent $17.89 per one million web hits and $33.58 per one million web service hits. These values are up slightly from the 2006 values of $17.56 and $30.58 respectively.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet for the end of 2007 showed the MetaBrainz Foundation with $14,323.45 retained earnings, a net income of $25,101.75 and total cash assets of $39,525.20.

Traffic

The following chart shows our traffic growth for 2007 and 2008:

Musicbrainz Traffic 2007-2008
The blue line represents the overall number of hits to musicbrainz.org. The red line shows how many of the overall hits were web service (API) hits; as you can see towards the end of 2007 half of our overall hits were web service hits.

Top data contributors

Top editors:

drsaunde 125665
ojnkpjg 106211
brianfreud 102090
mudcrow 44423
murdos 32111
teleguise 26541
dmppanda 23264
cooperaa 16705
Schika 16420
zout 16160
voiceinsideyou 15268
artysmokes 13380
Kerensky97 12174
foolip 11403
lukz 11031
bench12345 10014
AnAlach 9323
gioele 8742
headlocker 8450
Pianissimo84 8364
SenRepus 8183
leivhe 7815
Liff 7748
lytron 7740
zos18 7533

Top voters:

drsaunde 47850
ojnkpjg 41365
brianfreud 27382
voiceinsideyou 19874
cooperaa 19348
headlocker 16183
lukz 13792
mudcrow 12861
gioele 11259
cadalach 10677
bogdanb 10496
CatCat 9214
symphonick 8767
teleguise 8571
Dr. Default 8313
BrianG 7936
crazee_canuck 7842
keschte 7838
cybercox 7802
Xaiver 7699
Pianissimo84 7175
murdos 7165
artysmokes 6495
helver 6349
debris77 6276

A big thank you to all of the editors/voters who contributed!