IRC Meeting, what's up with Musicbrainz

This is to expand on Don Redman’s post. (click on word post to visit it)

First of all, I would like to take the time to say thanks (in no specific order) to ruaok, luks, g0llum, donredman, yalaforge, dave evans, shepard, tarragon, nikki, inhouseuk, the board of directors, Dan Appleman, Fred von Lohmann, Randy Heinig, the sponsors, those on the top moderators list (both voters and editors) as well as countless others that built the database, refine it and help make it a great place to visit and tweak.
(no, this is not an academy award acceptance speech. ;0) )

Luks is now the keeper of picard, wow, big responsibility! Remember it’s a free program and still in beta. It has growing up to do, but isn’t it great we have the ability to utilize it now, instead of after everything is polished? That’s part of beta testing. All these people get is the bugs, they need some support and love along the way! Good job as far as I’m concerned. It’s constantly developing to a more stable and useable product.

As far as the community goes. There is first a question as to what Musicbrainz purpose is. Is it a tagger, is it a repository for information on music, is it ???. I personally feel this was best summed up by ruaok

“I think our goal needs to be a comprehensible music encyclopedia with a killer tagging app.”

So that in mind, I’m taking the initiative to sum up the chat and try to define a few things, while also getting some of the community to sit back and realize a few things.

First and foremost; This is a community! We all strive to help make it work and grow. If all you are doing is pestering for something new realize developement takes time! Either we can push for some half baked fixes, or we can be patient and wait a little while for a shiny near perfect database we all have been trying to envision and some souls have spent a lot of time and effort to perfect and create for those others of us less capable in programming or lacking in time to help.

There are numerous ways to help and join the community.

  • monetary contribution
  • which keeps musicbrainz on the web for all of us.

  • coding
  • which helps development of applications and will develop the new schema. Which I might add, will implement changes making obsolete many issues which are argued to death on the mailing lists at this time.

  • watching the issues
  • ordering them in a sensical fashion, guiding implemention of small changes where possible, as long as it doesn’t require code changing.

  • wiki work
  • helps new users better join in the advancement of the community.

  • Voting
  • helps to insure correct data is being put into the database

  • Editing
  • correcting in accuracies in the current data.

    So, there are many ways you can become an active, cherished participant of the community. Virtually, if you don’t like the way things are going, please, join us and help us improve it! But, be patient and always realize people are giving what they can to our project, which is improving with each line of code, each vote, and each piece of data corrected.

    Another thing to remember, these are people behind these names. People with lives, people with difficulties beyond your need to tag your audio file, or your desire to look at one page and have it perfectly laid out to your specifications. They get sick, they feel let down when they’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months on developing something and all they can hear is, that’s nice, I want this, or I want more. Or, worse of all, that’s crap, I don’t like it. Yes, bugs are important to be pointed out! Please provide answers, suggestions, if you have no idea of a suggestion, maybe you need to just file a trac ticket and walk on. Neutrality is a very good trait to embrace. Look from your own view, but look from theirs too.

    Coming soon is an update to give those in the community an idea of what is being done. What to expect, and a highlighting of those people in the project that aren’t as apparent from an average musicbrainizens point of view.

    Don Redman already gave a link to the log for anyone to read for themselves. I ask and close to demand those in our community sit back, relax and let some of the behind the scenes work progress. Or, better, become a part of the team, and help us develop what we are working toward, the great improvements rather than having our coders attempting to please the masses and direct their time to less important things that have been endlessly discussed and looked into. Ultimately leading to the developement time being taken away from those greater visions that aren’t too far around the corner!

    You can also greatly help by digging back through the archives and chat logs. It’s likely there has been a discussion already about what you’re seeking to have implemented.

    The more initiative you take, the more you will be involved and part of our community. Surprisingly, the community is very open and willing to help those that desire to help improve our community. The more complaining without answers, without constructive criticism, the more likely those people that support the community the most will not desire to be spending as much time in development, or will become bitter, or will need a break from this. Ultimately, would that be better? I don’t believe so. That’s my two cents, and thank you, once more to all the above I listed. I totally appreciate what Musicbrainz provides for my desires and I look forward to the future!

    Nyght aka Beth

    One thought on “IRC Meeting, what's up with Musicbrainz

    1. dupuy

      Thanks for the excellent post. I haven’t been able to read the mailing list traffic over the past week or so, but just from the volume of the backlog, and recent levels and tones of discussion, I also had the feeling that things were just a little out of kilter.

      I think that what we are experiencing is a form of growing pains; when people discover MusicBrainz, there is a heady rush of infatuation when you see what an amazing resource this is, and how it is becoming better all the time. When the rate of new community members joining starts increasing, as I believe it has, and exceeds the rate at which old farts like myself burn out and go back to spending more time with the rest of their lives, it creates some tensions and competition between people’s pet peeves/projects. But this is a good thing, as this means that the community grows, and brings new members with energy and interest and ability – of which you have shown yourself to be an excellent example.

      With a bit of time, and patience, people realize that improvement takes some time, and that you can get useful ideas from everyone’s contributions (even LA2) but that they certainly won’t all be implemented in the next release (which won’t be quite as soon as you would like, either).

      It’s too bad that there’s no way to visit and interact with the MusicBrainz site circa 2004, when I started using it. Seeing how far it has come in two years, people would have more confidence that it will continue to improve, and not be so upset with the current deficiencies, which are mostly just short-term issues.

      @alex

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