The MusicBrainz service aims to become a community-driven replacement to CDDB, which your favorite MP3 encoder / CD player uses to pull down metadata for the CDs you stick in your computer. CDDB, as you’ve probably discovered, is full of errors, the metadata categories are limited, and results can be ambiguous. The CDDB API is also notoriously difficult to build apps around.

MusicBrainz aims to fix all that in two ways: 1) By using positive, unambiguous techniques to fingerprint specific tracks (imagine sending a friend a playlist file and it working on their computer even though the filenames, paths, and metadata are different), and 2) Letting communities collaboratively build metadata and enhance it over time via constant collaborative peer review, Wiki-style. Sounds a lot more capable than freedb.

This could become a beautiful thing. Or at least interesting to watch. Boing-Boing has more.

Music: Mekons :: Tribbles Down South

4 Replies to “MusicBrainz”

  1. Here’s a curious thought. If I were the RIAA and wanted to know who was “pirating” what music (ie ripping it to their hard disk, as the Free Use doctrine allows) I’d quietly find a way to get into CDDB and see what data people are pulling up from it. It never occured to me to be paranoid about that. :) Of course I have to wonder how this new effort will avoid being coopted by the RIAA for their purposes. The whole comment on fingerprinting tracks brought this to mind.


  2. Yeah, I don’t think you need to worry about that because all CDs are being ripped. The RIAA isn’t concerned about or trying to just protect the most popular discs – they want to clamp down on all of them at once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *