Category Archives: musicbrainz

Picard 2.0 beta2 announcement

Hello people,

Thank you so much for reporting bugs in our Picard 2.0.0beta1 release. We fixed most of the critical bugs that you guys and gals reported. You can find the beta2 release with the fixes here – Picard 2.0.0.beta2

If you have been following our Picard related blogs, you will know that we decided to release a new stable version of Picard before the beginning of the summer.

To help us, advanced users, translators and developers are encouraged to:

Note – If any of you are seasoned Windows/macOS devs and have experience with PyInstaller, we need some help with PICARD-1216 and PICARD-1217. We also need some help with code signing Picard for OSX. Hit us up on #metabrainz on freenode for more information. We will be very grateful for any help that you may offer!

A simplified list of changes made since 1.4 can be read here.

Be aware that downgrading from 2.0 to 1.4 may lead to configuration compatibility issues – ensure that you have saved your Picard configuration before using 2.0 if you intend to go back to 1.4.

Our next major challenge: Fixing the MusicBrainz site design for an improved user experience

Back in 1998 when I started playing with Perl and wrote the CD Index (the pre-cursor to MusicBrainz). I was learning web development and had little understanding of web design. The tools I was using were primitive at the time and the results were cringeworthy and have not withstood the test of time.

Fast forward some 18 years and we’ve arrived at the current MusicBrainz site design — there have been minor facelifts over time and a bigger one once we released NGS back in 2011. But really, the site design hasn’t changed much and we’ve kept gluing features and new bits of data onto the crappy design, leaving us with the current mess of a UX experience we know as the modern MusicBrainz.

Our community has been asking us to improve UX for a long time — we need to:
Empower our community with better tools for developing, editing, viewing the magnificent data that we have.
Build a stronger foundation for further development, interaction, and extension of our projects in future
Make our projects more welcoming to newcomers, by lowering the learning curve as well as keeps the workflow of an advanced editor intact.

Fortunately for us, Chhavi [a design student from IIT, India] has become an active contributor to the MetaBrainz projects. She has been studying our sites and how we work as a team and has volunteered to drive the process to fix the UI and the user experience issues on the MusicBrainz site. She has proposed a part of this work as her Google Summer of Code project.

Our overall goal as a team is to create a design system which will help the designers and developers stay in sync, give a more unified theme to our projects, and make it easier for new contributors to join our projects. This will also make it much easier for our developers to address your requests for features/bug fixes faster in the future.

We are not barging into your online lives and trying to make our sites pretty — instead, we are focusing on the real experiences you have with them. We held long detailed conversations during our last summit in Barcelona, where Chhavi was also present and discussed a lot of concerns that might be running in your head while you read this.  As part of this initiative, we have been interviewing a number of key members of our project to understand what we and our users really need from this revamp. We have also kept track of community discussions around this topic. From this we decided that our users fall into three broad categories:

  1. There are those who contribute to code and understand database tech.

  2. Experienced/advanced MusicBrainz editors who don’t understand database tech.

  3. New users, who feel hopelessly lost in the current scenario.

To make all this research/discussion/feedback available for everyone to go through, we have started a Jira issue type Design that tracks all the design related tickets of MusicBrainz. The most notable tickets that show mock-ups of future MusicBrainz pages include:

When you look at these pages, please keep in mind that we’re trying to clean up the clutter and to make things simple and clean. Easier to understand for an experienced editor or a new one. The data that we have should be presented in a way that makes sense. The data should present the gaps and holes that it presently has, for people to be able to improve the data gaps. Data should also be our binding link to exploit the full potential of the projects that we have, such as ListenBrainz or CritiqueBrainz.

We are not trying to fluff things up and make them look pretty. Prettiness might come with the simplicity that we are chasing. Having user flows that do not hamper the speed and makes our life easier, is our utmost goal.

That said, we are happy to receive feedback on the upcoming designs as well as the process– if you have any, please post your comments to the appropriate tickets in Jira that we linked above. We’re currently getting some pressing dev tasks out of the way before we start the actual implementation of the redesigned project. Once our team is ready to work on this, we will public more blog posts about how this project will unfold and how it will impact our users.

 

Picard 2.0 beta announcement

Hello people,

We saw a flurry of updates to Picard these last few months and I am happy to announce that Picard 2.0 is finally in beta. You can find it here – Picard 2.0.0beta1

If you have been following our Picard related blogs, you will know that we switched up our dependencies a bit. What this means is that Picard should look better and in general feel more responsive.

We also decided to release a new stable version of Picard before the beginning of the summer.

To help us, advanced users, translators and developers are encouraged to:

A simplified list of changes made since 1.4 can be read here.

Be aware that downgrading from 2.0 to 1.4 may lead to configuration compatibility issues – ensure that you have saved your Picard configuration before using 2.0 if you intend to go back to 1.4.

 

 

Web Service ver 1.0 (ws/1) will be removed in 6 months!

With the release of the Next Generation Schema in May of 2011 we officially deprecated the use of version 1 of our XML API. Now, 6 years later, we feel that we can finally pull the plug on this version of the API — it receives less than 1% of our Web Service traffic.

On the first release after 1 August 2018 we’re going to remove the Web Service version 1 (ws/1 API endpoint) support. If you are one of the few authors of software that has not updated your software to use the newer ws/2 endpoint, your software’s MusicBrainz functionality will cease to work after 1 August.

We think more than 6 years is enough time for people to upgrade their tools. 🙂

 

 

Inviting testers for MusicBrainz live search

Hello everyone!

So as you might know, I recently joined the MetaBrainz team and my first project was the completion of our long-standing Solr search project to provide live search indexing for the MusicBrainz database.

I am happy to announce that we are finally rolling out an alpha release for you to test out. You can try it at https://test.musicbrainz.org/search or use the webservice end-point at https://test.musicbrainz.org/ws/2/

What this means –

  1. You can now instantly search for entities that have been updated. There should be a maximum 15 second delay between the database update and the entity changes being reflected on the search.
  2. This implies that once we have ironed out the Solr search we can finally retire the direct database search on the main site and use Solr with its advanced search syntax. For details on the new syntax features you can refer to the Lucene query parser documentation. For details on field types you can refer to our Search Syntax guide.
  3. As I said, the Solr search is still in its alpha stage, thus it can be unstable and have bugs. As such do not depend on it for your critical applications.
  4. Speaking of bugs, here’s where we need your help the most! We want testers to use Solr as extensively as possible and file any bugs you encounter at our Solr Issue tracker. You may encounter bugs like –
    • Missing fields in the API output for the webservice.
    • Certain types of queries not working in Solr search that happen to work on the main website.
    • Missing data/edits/updates not being indexed.
  5. Since we haven’t ported our search analyzers in their entirety, Solr might have worse search results than our main search.

I would like to re-iterate – Solr is still in alpha and not everything is perfect. We need your help to make it so.

 

New MusicBrainz virtual machine released

I have recently released a new MusicBrainz virtual machine. This virtual machine includes all the important bits of MusicBrainz so you can run your own copy! I’d been hoping for feedback if people have encountered any problems with this VM, but I’ve not received any feedback. Here is to hoping that no news is good news!

For information on how to download, install and access this new virtual machine, take a look at our MusicBrainz Server setup page. The new VM can be downloaded from here via direct download or a torrent download.

Most of the outstanding bugs should be fixed in this release — if not, please open a new ticket.