Category Archives: Annual Report

For annual report blog posts.

September, October, and November 2015 Community Recap

Jeez. This has been overdue! So a lot of things happened, and this Community Recap series kind of got put on the back burner, which obviously means a lot of things have piled up, so if I forgot something you thought should have been mentioned, please share it in the comments below.🙂 I will be doing a few months at a time until I’ve caught up to the now().

With that said, let’s proceed!
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Recap of the MusicBrainz Summit 15

The MusicBrainz Summit 15 participants.

From left→right (top) chirlu, reosarevok, ruaok, Freso, (bottom) Leftmost, alastairp, Gentlecat, bitmap, zas, and LordSputnik. Special guest on the laptop monitor: caller#6.

A couple of weeks ago (Oct. 30th through Nov. 1st), the MusicBrainz Summit 15 took place in Barcelona, at Rob “ruaok”‘s place. We had all of the MetaBrainz employees there, Rob/ruaok (local), Michael/bitmap (US), Nicolás/reosarevok (Spain/Estonia), Roman/Gentlecat (recently local), Laurent/zas (France), and myself, Freso (Denmark) – in addition to a bunch of other people from the community: Sean/Leftmost (US) and Ben/LordSputnik (UK), the two lead developers of BookBrainz; chirlu (Germany), long-time volunteer developer on MusicBrainz; and Alastair/alastairp (local), lead of AcousticBrainz. Between us, we represented 7 countries, 8 nationalities, and 9 languages.

Talking around the table. We managed to cover a lot of ground on the serious topics, discussing how to avoid data/MBID loss and how to version data, how to deal with labels (the entities, not the corporations…) and other unresolved style issues, how to integrate all the various *Brainz projects more and better, and a bunch of other things. The official notes for the summit is stored in a public Google Docs document. Feel free to read through and it jot down your own comments!

One of the big things was the we decided again-again-again (for the third or fourth year in a row?) to release the translations of But this time we actually did it! So is now available in German, Dutch, and French (in addition to English) – go check that out if you have not done so already.😉 At some point in the not-too-distant future™ we will also enable translating all of our documentation. Sean/Leftmost volunteered to look into options for this. Expect to hear more on that later!

MusicBrainz Style BDFL: Nicolás/reosarevok

Our Style BDFL: Nicolás a.k.a. reosarevok

We had some talk about how and why MBIDs get lost and what we can do to prevent this. As part of this discussion, we decided to make more edits autoedits for everybody. This was partly due to a wish of having a shorter queue of open edits (and there’s been a significant drop in open edits since Nov. 16!), but also very much to avoid losing MBIDs once they have been generated. More in depth discussion of the reasoning (and some of the community’s response) can be seen in the server release blog post and its comments.

We talked about a few other things like genres, reviewing the work of the style BDFL and the community manager, the future direction of the MetaBrainz Foundation, and a couple of other topics. The summit notes should contain more information on what we talked about and decided on these points.

Obviously it was not all talk and talk and talk. There was also plenty(!!) of chocolate. yeeeargh helped us by getting a lot of Ritter Sport as he apparently lives right next to their factory, and sending it along with chirlu to Barcelona. Thank you, yeeeargh! Gelato! We also managed to take in a vast amount of gelato (Italian ice cream), as there was an amazing gelato place close by Rob’s apartment. And got to walk a bit around the city of Barcelona. And have various social hanging out that only most of the time was Meta-/MusicBrainz related… but not all of it.😉 Our system administrator, Laurent/zas, also took a bunch of pictures capturing the summit. A few of them are shown here, but you can peruse them all in the slideshow at the bottom.

Finally, a big thank you to Google and Spotify for helping to fund this meeting. It would have been a lot harder to bring all these people together from around the world without their (continued, no less!) support. Here’s to 2016 and summit 16!

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Style update, 2015-09-08

Hi everyone! Here we are with another very, very late style update for the last couple months.

Apart from quite a few smaller changes (full list below), we split the translator relationship so that it’s its own relationship rather than lyricist + attribute (so if any of you were using translator data at all you’ll want to change the way you query for it). Similarly, we got rid of the “transliterated” vs. “translated” difference for alternate tracklists: it often wasn’t clearly one or the other, and the information wasn’t particularly useful in any case without checking the language and script of the release, so now there’s only one relationship type without attributes.

We also demoted the “Do Not Cluster” guideline – while it’s a good thing to keep in mind when creating relationship types, it’s not really something users should be worrying about (and the cases where they might have to are already covered in the specific relationship documentation).

If anyone has any question about these or any other changes, feel free to ask in the comments! And if you want to propose other changes or additions, remember you can always do it from the STYLE section of our bug tracker.


  • [STYLE-315] – Remove the option to add publisher relationships to recordings
  • [STYLE-474] – Introduce the option to add phono rights relationships to recordings

New Feature

  • [STYLE-481] – Add artist-release group “has dedication” relationship
  • [STYLE-505] – Add “written at” relationship between work and place/area
  • [STYLE-538] – “Arranged at” Place relationship
  • [STYLE-542] – Allow soundcloud/mixcloud etc. links on event series (festivals)
  • [STYLE-548] – Event – Release Group rel: Performed


  • [STYLE-392] – Make “Do not cluster” more sensible
  • [STYLE-420] – Drop “transliterated” attribute from the “transliterated/translated tracklist” relationship type
  • [STYLE-435] – Split “Translator” into its own relationship
  • [STYLE-460] – Revisit the [dialogue] guideline for NGS
  • [STYLE-482] – Deprecate the release-URL samples IMDb entry relationship type
  • [STYLE-494] – Add dorian keys to the list of keys for works
  • [STYLE-520] – Clarify the soundtrack guidelines stance on VA usage
  • [STYLE-528] – Add Turkish Makam work attributes
  • [STYLE-539] – Specify that tribute albums are cover albums

Style update, 2015-06-02

Ok, so the “have a report every two weeks” thing didn’t work out very well lately. But things have been happening anyway, so here’s all that has happened in the last few months!

Guidelines for artists have been updated for what is and is not a different artist (since now relationships can also have credits) and for areas (main artist area is still somewhat fuzzy because it is a fuzzy concept, but at least there’s something now).

Also new (although most parts were just moved into it from existing guidelines where they didn’t really fit) are the guidelines for artist credits.

The English guidelines got cleaned up a bit, but without major changes (only the addition of a section on “O’Clock”).

The alias guidelines got updated to take into consideration the “primary for locale” option, and got a section for sort names (based on the old guidelines for label sort names, which were removed since labels themselves no longer have sort names).

Some indications on barcodes were added to the release guidelines.

The ability for work-work relationships (like “part of” and “version of”) to have dates was removed. Dates should be on the appropriate artist-work relationships, in most cases (like “arranger” and “translator”), and works which get new parts added / removed should be counted as different parent works to begin with.

“Different bootleg recordings of the same concert” was added to the list of things that should be in the same release group.

The guidelines mandating expanding abbreviations like “Vol.” and “Pt.” have been removed (the special exception of “feat.” has not changed). Titles should, in general, follow the release/track title. The only standardisation left is for series: see the series numbering guidelines.

Some basic work guidelines have been added, both for when to set a type and for when (and when not) to add a disambiguation comment.

Apart from that, a fair amount of relationships and release formats have been added and some sites whitelisted. See the full list below for details.


  • [STYLE-427] – Style/Artist hasn’t been updated for areas
  • [STYLE-524] – "Personal label" has the wrong cardinality


  • [STYLE-149] – Update "Artists with multiple names"
  • [STYLE-203] – Add a "In homage to" relationship to works
  • [STYLE-228] – Allow grouping of multiple "identical" bootlegs w/ different titles
  • [STYLE-431] – Add "marketed by" release-label relationship
  • [STYLE-436] – Add to the Other Databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-447] – Add treble/boy soprano as a vocal type
  • [STYLE-453] – Add "Pathé disc" format
  • [STYLE-472] – Add to the Other Databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-487] – Remove honorary titles from artist names
  • [STYLE-492] – Add "printed in" release-area relationship
  • [STYLE-508] – Clarify the barcode field guideline when the scanned value differs from the numerical value
  • [STYLE-511] – Add SMDB to "Other Databases" whitelist
  • [STYLE-515] – Reorganise and clean up Style/English
  • [STYLE-522] – Create a basic Artist Credits style page
  • [STYLE-523] – Update Style/Aliases for "primary for locale"
  • [STYLE-527] – Work-work relationships shouldn’t allow dates

New Feature

  • [STYLE-437] – Add VHD as a media format
  • [STYLE-439] – Add Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) as a media format
  • [STYLE-442] – Add to Other DBs whitelist
  • [STYLE-446] – Work-Event rel: Premiered at
  • [STYLE-450] – Add Copy Control CD (CCCD) as a media format
  • [STYLE-451] – Add to the Other Database whitelist
  • [STYLE-475] – Add artist-place "organist" relationship
  • [STYLE-479] – Add artist-artist teacher relationship
  • [STYLE-483] – Add "incidental music" work type
  • [STYLE-498] – URL whitelist request : mvdbase
  • [STYLE-512] – Add an artist-artist "composer in residence" relationship


  • [STYLE-393] – Drop "EP" attribute from the "single from" relationship type
  • [STYLE-404] – Update series (volume number, etc) guidelines now that we have series
  • [STYLE-414] – Add Spirit of Rock to the Other Databases whitelist
  • [STYLE-441] – Add guideline which covers artists in work disambiguation comments
  • [STYLE-444] – Add a relationship type for linking recordings to their corresponding music videos
  • [STYLE-445] – Add a relationship type for artists featuring in videos
  • [STYLE-491] – Add guideline about where to set a work type
  • [STYLE-496] – Other DB: Traditional Tune Archive (
  • [STYLE-497] – Other DB: FolkWiki;
  • [STYLE-500] – Ability to link to
  • [STYLE-501] – Add "has BookBrainz entry" relationship
  • [STYLE-513] – Add SHM-SACD as a medium format
  • [STYLE-514] – Clarify how "o’clock" should be capitalised in English
  • [STYLE-516] – Add a relationship for linking artists to their tours
  • [STYLE-517] – Update Theatre guidelines to remove link to deprecated Opera guidelines
  • [STYLE-518] – Approve MusixMatch as a lyrics source
  • [STYLE-521] – Label sortname guideline needs updating

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 command `get_po_files` (Retrieve po files from transifex)
  • New 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 build_ui, used to force .ui to .py regeneration (PICARD-566)
  • New command `update_constants` (Regenerate and
  • 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!