Schema upgrade downtime: Monday, 18 May, 2015 @ 17:00 UTC

Our next schema change version will be released on Monday, 18 May, 2015 around 10am PDT/1pm EDT/17:00 UTC/18:00 BST/19:00 CEST. We expect that MusicBrainz will be unavailable for 15 – 30 minutes during this time. We will put up the downtime notification on the site and tweet from @musicbrainz right before the release.

Since we’re total slackers, we still haven’t set up our backup database server since it suffered a hardware failure. This means that we won’t be able to put the site into read-only mode and will require us to do a full downtime. Hopefully for our next schema change we’ll have tackled our backlog of sysadmin duties and will have a backup DB server to make the release easier.

Sorry for any trouble this may cause you.

P.S. Look for another blog post on Sunday for details on where to get your access tokens for the Live Data Feed.

Nearly final round of logos!

Most of the logo decisions have been made and we’re ironing out the last details of font placement. Open questions are:

  1. What text placement do we like?
  2. Which of the new AcousticBrainz logos we we like?
  3. For the large MusicBrainz logo, do we want to have the drop shadows?

MusicBrainz_logos_12-05-15_v2

As usual, let us know your thoughts on our blog!

(P.S. Some of the logos have some minor artifacts on them — we’re aware of them and we’ll fix those in the final logos)

Downstream Wikipedia link usage and migration to Wikidata

MusicBrainz has linked to Wikipedia for many years and we now have links to Wikidata as well. Wikidata, however, acts as a central repository for Wikipedia links, so it does not make sense for MusicBrainz to maintain its own separate set of Wikipedia links, especially since Wikipedia URLs are not very stable (because of page moves and deletions) and require a lot of maintenance. Most of our data with Wikipedia links is now also linked to Wikidata, so we plan to start removing Wikipedia links where we have a Wikidata link which has the same Wikipedia link.

What this means for downstream data users:

If you use Wikipedia links, we will provide Wikidata links but you will need to fetch the Wikipedia links you want from Wikidata separately. Wikidata has information on ways to access their data at https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:Data_access

We plan to start removing the links after the schema change this month, starting with the less common languages and entity types. It will take a while to work through the existing links, so we don’t expect to start removing English links from artists until after the Autumn schema change.

We recognise that some people may have code which depends on these links – if you’re using these links and the above sounds problematic, please let us know how you’re using the data (which languages and entity types) and how much time you would need to support Wikidata.

One more round of logos

Thank you for your feedback from the last round of logos! The most important messages that we received from the last round were:

  • The colors were too saturated
  • There logos contained too much detail and when made smaller, would not look good

Nico, our designer from Monkey.Do, has taken this to heart and come up with the next round of logos. In this iteration, he is demonstrating progressive details with a logo: At the lowest level of detail the brain is just the split hexagon as suggested by Aerozol, and as the logo gets larger, more detail appears in the logo.

Have a look:

MusicBrainz_logos_30-04-15

As usual, we’d love your feedback!

Server update, 2015-04-27

Here’s the final server update before our 2015-05-11 schema change. This posting comes late, which I apologize for, since the release coincided with switching over to our new load balancers, and I had trouble deploying things at first.

Included in this update are new “Guess feat. artists” buttons, seen on recording, release, and release group edit pages. Their purpose is to help move featured artists from titles to artist credits. To find them, look for icons with “ft.” next to the older guess-case ones.

We also now have the possibility for ordering relationships other than series ones (say, work parts), though as of this writing, they still need to be enabled as a style matter.

Thanks to chirlu, nikki, Ujjwal Wahi, and the MetaBrainz team for contributing to today’s release. The git tag is v-2015-04-27 and the complete changelog is below.

Bug

  • [MBS-8284] – Contact user form should require a verified email address
  • [MBS-8321] – Readding same information in the relationship editor gives unexpected results
  • [MBS-8349] – Unique (medium, position), (track, position) indexes no longer created on slave databases

Improvement

  • [MBS-3375] – Ability to specify sort order for sub-works that are part of an aggregate work.
  • [MBS-3799] – Show more information for releases in the inline search
  • [MBS-8332] – Make removing URLs an auto-edit for auto-editors

New Feature

  • [MBS-3388] – “Guess artist credits” – automation support for RFC-327 and moving feats etc to artist-credits

Task

  • [MBS-8344] – Remove abbreviation expanding from guess case

Congratulations to our Summer of Code Students!

This year’s Summer of Code participants have been announced. For the MetaBrainz Foundation, we will have these four students hacking:

  • Roman Tsukanov (Gentlecat): After having made a name for himself last year, Roman returns to hack on AcousticBrainz for us this year. His project, that he is already a good ways into (surprise!), is to create a data set creator for AcousticBrainz. This project will allow anyone to create a data set that will be used to train the high level descriptors in AcousticBrainz. We’re hoping to crowd source this data set creation task in an effort bust open the walled gardens that normally contain this type of work/research.
  • Shadab Zafar (dufferzafar): Duffer is also a returning student for us. Last year he hacked on the Picard website and this year he will pick up where Roman left off working on CritiqueBrainz. He will work on the moderation interface and if there is time he will add support for reviewing places, events and works.
  • Ruchiranga Wickramasinghe (ruchiranga): Ruchiranga is new to MetaBrainz this year and will be working on a unified browse and search interface for MusicBrainz. Our current search facilities are still quite primitive and we’ve recently turned off our browsing features since they were effectively useless. This project aims to bring MusicBrainz browse and search into modern times.
  • Jeff Weeks (weeksio): Jeff is going to continue Mineo’s work on moving our search infrastructure over to SOLR. This project was started last year, but we knew that it might not be completed in the course of the summer. Unfortunately Mineo was not available to continue the work on the project, but we have high hopes that Jeff will move the project along, in hopes of us pushing it live towards the end of the summer.

I wanted to give a warm welcome and wish our students the best of luck for the summer! Now one final parting observation: This is the first time that we have an equal number of MusicBrainz projects to non-MusicBrainz projects. We’re finally growing the scope of efforts of the MetaBrainz Foundation!