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Music Media

Open Content Music Database Launched 148

An anonymous reader writes "The open source music database MusicBrainz was launched officially today. The data is partly in the public domain, partly under an open content like license. It includes artist/album/track information, with more to come. There's support for CDDB-like CD identification (actually, a lot of the current data was imported from freedb), but also identification of single tracks via audio fingerprints (TRMs). Help both in adding new content by tagging your music collection and consolidating the existing data is welcome. Also check out some technical information on the XML database at IBM developerWorks."
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Open Content Music Database Launched

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  • SCHWEEEEETTT (Score:2, Interesting)

    Now if only they would allow you to upload play lists, and classify your Mp3's =)
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:01AM (#5286338) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine wanted to open up a punk CD store on the web. Being the nice friend I am I helped him import a large amount of data from the CDDB into his OScommerce store (Os commerces is an open source store package, pretty cool)

    After much alignment of tables, farting around with the data eventually we got it right but with one small detail left out....

    We didn't have cover art images...

    So frantically he tried copying the images from other sites, then he kept insisting there was a way I could easily parse the obsfucicated data from other stores (album art gif's are never the same name as the album)

    So eventually he gave up on it, but it got me to thinking, would the cover art be something unlawful for a CDDB type of entity to host?
    • Technicalities aside (it's not very hard to do it at all, all it takes is a bit of perl tomfoolery - trust me ;), I believe it's illegal, since the art is copyrighted, and it's not fair use, since you're in essence redistributing it.
      • IANAL but I believe that if the store is selling CDs they are allowed to post the cover art as "a picture of the item they are selling". Just like if I owned a painting (that is clearly copyrighted) I can post photos of it on my website if I wanted to sell it and those were advertisments.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Does "illeagle" mean un-American? I've always wondered. The "ill" seems to be a negative, and the "eagle" part must be refering to our national bird, the symbol of our nation.
    • by gnurb ( 632580 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:19AM (#5286381) Homepage
      You can get a 300x300 pixel jpg cover art image, at amazon with their webservices []

      example image []

    • It's pretty easy to get all the cover art from, if you have the ASIN numbers.

      As far as the legality, as long as you are selling the items for, then you can use the images. Other than that, I doubt it ;-).

      --sex []

      • by tamnir ( 230394 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @06:07AM (#5286460)
        As far as the legality, as long as you are selling the items for, then you can use the images. Other than that, I doubt it ;-).

        (Insert the usual IANAL disclaimer here).

        This sounds like a reasonable assumption at first, but if you look at it more closely, on which legal basis could prevent you from using these images? They are not the copyright holders of the art. All they did was a simple scan/resize/save_for_web...

        Amazon could overlay a "" on the scans to make the reuse more annoying, but then they could face suits from the artists...

        Now the artists could prevent you from using their art. But if you are not defaming them, I don't see why they would. I think they will rather appreciate the publicity.
        • While I'm not a lawer and certainly not one specialiced in american copyrights, I'm quite certain that over here (the Netherlands) there are different kinds of things that can be copyrighted among which a collection. And given that copyright laws have a tendency to converge..

          Concreet example, While i'm allowed to call everybody personal and ask them for their phonenumber and other info. Compile them in a handy index and publish it as telephone reference. I'm NOT allowed to take a shortcut and copy all this info from a phonebook.

          Amazon may not have the copyrights on the artwork for cd covers, they probably do have a right on the collection in their database and can prohibit redistribution. Given that this is america it wouldn't supprice me if they licensenced the artwork themself.

          Anyhow, in general it's my understanding that the right to use content on a public network doesn't imply the right to redistribute.
        • Now the artists could prevent you from using their art. But if you are not defaming them, I don't see why they would. I think they will rather appreciate the publicity.

          The copyright holder will probably be the record label more often than not. And since owning the cover art is one of the "value-added" things that make people buy "real" CDs rather than obtaining illegal MP3s, I think they would very much object.

          Of course, you could argue that the amazon scans are sufficiently low-res and quality that a colour printout made from them wouldn't look nearly as good as the "real" cover, so this point might not apply.

        • There's no difference between cover art and the music itself - it's a copyrighted work which is owned (usually) by the label. I run a fan site for a band over here in the UK, and I have explicit permission to host images, cover art, videos and music samples from the copyright holder. I do however have to put explicit disclaimers on the site reminding people that just because I can use them on my site, doesn't mean they can use them on their site.

          Sure, the label may well choose to allow you to post the images, like you say it's good publicity - but they could, if they wanted, force you to stop it. Just like you may think that hosting 30 second clips of the songs would be OK and good publicity, they could stop you if they wanted, it is (technically) an infringment.
        • One can copyright a photograph of public domain artwork. For example, it would be illegal to scan in every photograph from your favorite Michelangelo picture book and post them on your web site.

          IANAL, but I would presume that, similarly, one cannot use Amazon's scans of cover art, except as provided by fair use.

    • The RIAA has been actively threatening sites that carry high res album art. Several of them have closed.

      Whether it's actually illegal or people without time/money to fight I don't know.
      • The RIAA has been actively threatening sites that carry high res album art.

        Yup, it's unbelievable. You'd think that these sites would be providing free promotional information about the artists and that would increase visibility and sales. If someone sees an image on a website, where is the sale that is lost? Copyright law is to protect your revenue. There isn't revenue here.

        I can see their argument about pirates using them for printing off covers, but there are a dozen other sources of getting the artwork, be it from a friend, a lending library, p2p (yes, the jpgs are there), commercial website, music database, and on, and on.

        I really get the feeling that the RIAA are very stupid. Either that or they are so smart that no one can figure out what they are up to!

      • Photographs are protected by copyright.

        Typically the labels only have limited rights themselves with respect to the cover art. Specifically, they usually only have the right to use the cover art when selling or promoting the album. Third parties, having no contract or license from the photographer, will not have any right to exploit the artwork. In fact, if someone uses the artwork in a way that generates money (including ad revenue), they should not be surprised if the photographer (or other album art copyright holder) goes after them and their earnings. Granted, I haven't heard of this happening before...
    • it's might not be a concern of legality, but one of bandwidth. i assume lots of people use winamp to play audio cds, and winamp gets it's track listings from CDDB. while i'm not hugely knowledgable on the subject, what kind of track listing service does windows media player use, cause that download's cover's of audio cds.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      MS Media Player 9 (*cough* *splutter*) has a "get album details" feature that helps beef out tag details and also retrieves a small jpg of the album cover art which is used to decorate the folder in Windows Explorer.
      Hate 'em as much as you like, but it's a nifty and helpful little feature, though still needs tweaking.
    • So eventually he gave up on it, but it got me to thinking, would the cover art be something unlawful for a CDDB type of entity to host?

      Insert usual IANAL, however, I did some work with a museum who was putting photos of their collection on-line, and this was researched.

      With artwork, usually the artist holds the copyright, and upon death, it transfers to the next of kin. This is what it boiled down to with one small exception: you can do thumbnails. Largest side cannot exceed 150 pixels.

      so 150x150 pixels should not be a problem.
    • While the original works are certainly copyrighted and probably illegal for distribution by any means, what about the home tapers/traders who create their own artwork? Could they in essence release artwork of their own under a Creative Commons license so that others (FreeDB) could distribute this "other" artwork electronically?

      Can a tracklist of an album be protected under copyright laws as well?

    • The simple answer is yes, the album art is covered under similar copyright as the music for an album.

      Web sites and software applications can be authorized to use cover art if it is used expressly for the purpose of promoting a retail purchase of the album.

      Windows Media player does not use CDDB, it uses metadata from AMG. The same data can be accessed directly at Windows Media player is able to use cover art because it provides links back to AMG to purchase music (hit album details).

    • just riffing off yr spelling of illegal...

      have the illegal actions of the u.s. of a. in militarily and covertly attacking and destabilising many, many nations throughout the world over the last 50 years, finally caught up with this world class bully, which is increasingly resembling an old ill eagle?
  • by trotski ( 592530 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:02AM (#5286343)
    I wonder if this is with or without the support of our friends at the RIAA. I mean after all, the data being stored may violate copyright laws... a list of songs on a CD, maybe some sample lyrics, all without the approval of the goons in the RIAA.

    It's probably a non issue, then again the RIAA has a record of making big issues out of non-issues. It will be interesting to see if anything will happen.
    • I don't think you can copyright the list of songs on a cd, since that's a fact and you cant copyright facts.
    • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @06:46AM (#5286518)
      AFAIK, the RIIA isn't opposed to you having information about the music that you own. They are just against you listening to the music that you own.
    • Lists of songs on CDs and lists of CDs by artists, like any collection of facts, are not copyrightable information.

      song lyrics and album cover art, on the other hand, are copyright, being creative works. i don't think MusicBrainz stores either of these things.
    • Most of the meta-data (playlist, title, publisher, artists, etc. etc.) is not protected or protectable. Lyrics are another issue. If they are copyright protected they can't be published without permission (I know, I know, a lot of it goes on - but it would be a mistake to include it in a project like this that is striving for legitimacy).

      All of this is just more evidence of the way things are going, incidentally. Although at a very early stage, I think the trend is very promising.

  • er.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kalewa ( 561267 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:04AM (#5286347)
    I find the idea of a program that can identify my MP3s by audio fingerprint, and will submit that information to somewhere on the Internet a little creepy...
    • Some AC says to tag and log and we're expected to jump and go? Isn't that how chain letters get started? ....c'mon...
    • by Alan ( 347 )
      Yup, my thoughts exactly. About a year ago some friends and I thought up a scheme to do mp3 fingerprinting. At the time it was simply to deal with the PITA of setting/verifying mp3 tag information. In the end we ended up not pursuing it because the theory was that someone (the RIAA) would now not have to play "my_loud_fart.mp3" to find out it was really "britney_spears-new_hot_song.mp3", but compare tags.

      This would empower the axis of evil in ways that we weren't comfortable with, so the project was put on the back-burner.

      We never had such grandious plans as musicbrainz, but all in all, I'm glad someone finally did this, if only so I don't have to deal with tagging my mp3s! :)
  • Hehe (Score:4, Funny)

    by EnderWiggin99 ( 84576 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:05AM (#5286348)
    Anyone else notice they're being hosted by CCCP? Seriously, they could've chosen a better moniker...
  • in the news (Score:1, Funny)

    by lexcyber ( 133454 ) had to close their site only after one day of operation. They suffered a severe dos-attack known in the computer geek underground as "slashdotting". Goverment officials are very disturbed about this and action are beeing takeing to find the source of this attacks!

  • by gnurb ( 632580 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:12AM (#5286362) Homepage
    I stumbled upon this site earlier today completely by accident. I was trying to find an alternative to the gracenote database for use on my website, since Amazon's XML doesn't provide track listing. I did a search for "free database cd dvd" Found an article on The Register about a year old that mentioned MusicBrainz. Did a search, and baMM! discovered a great project.

    I had brought up to my friends several times, how it would be great to start something similiar. The metaratings are a great idea, providing the database openly to the public is great, and i'm falling in love with their tagging utility.

    And it's all non-profit! (and will likely get better each and every day now that it has all this slashdot traffic)

    I am this close to posting the 28 meg mysql database on my school account, but I think the coe admins would kill me!!

    • by Snoe ( 114590 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:27AM (#5286395)
      Well I WAS indexing all of my mp3s (about 20gigs of albums) using their tagger and it was working very, very well. If something is misidentified it is very easy to spot and remedy.

      Then, about 15 minutes ago I noticed the program was no longer speaking to their servers. Lo and behold, the story was put up on slashdot about 15 minutes ago. Not to sound paranoid or anything but I think this coincidence is a little creepy.

    • ...excuse me for not getting 'it', but how is musicbrainz different from freedb? is freedb the data-collection project while musicbrainz provides an interface like (thesameas) gracenote?

      How are they different? how are they the same?

  • by nizcolas ( 597301 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:21AM (#5286384) Homepage Journal
    than open source music is a simple way of getting samples put onto vinyl. Ive seen so called "computer dj" programs and its still nothing close to cutting on real vinyl.

    Though I do like the idea of freeing up music, beats, samples etc, with out a good medium to manipulate the audio this is less of an achievement than it seems.

    The reason I say this is because Im a skrxtch dj so this problem of manipulating the audio affects me much more than someone who's mostly doing music on the computer [various forms of electronica]

    Another interesting point is that that most skrxtch records encourage reusing the samples and beats. In fact I have a copy of Tales from the Crate next to me that on the cover reads "Unauthorized Duplication is prohibited. Unauthorized flipping, mixing and juggling is recommeneded" [Thats an approximation, I couldnt find the sleeve]
    • If final scratch []
      doesn't do what you're looking for, why not buy Vestax's "affordable" $10K dubplate cutter?
    • If you want the ultimate blend of the usability of vinyl with the freedom of computer sampling, I suggest you check out the amazing final scratch system [] by Stanton. Used by such world renowned DJ's as Ritchie Hawtin, you use a specially encoded piece of vinyl on your normal turntable to control MP3 or WAV samples and tracks through a laptop. It's absolutely brilliant.
    • I assume you've seen Final scratch []?

      It's really difficult to put music on vinyl retroactive because the original (pre-mastered audio) should be mastered differently for vinyl than for cd:s. Otherwise it will sound crap on the vinyl in the end. At least club music would suffer heavily from this treatment...

    • And you know that Native Instruments will work closely with Stanton to finish a new version of Traktor which will be integrated with Final Scratch? That's going to be soooo nice...

      Btw: my new blog [] is about things like this...

  • by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:50AM (#5286427) Homepage
    A system that doesn't allow anonymous (unsigned) files to be shared... enforcing user accountability and ensuring all content is in fact freely redistributable (if not, you know who to go after, and you may be able to revoke the user's account, making all files signed by him unshareable)

    The RIAA _claim_ sharing their content hurts the bottom line, but imagine the damage caused when people learn they can find their own legal music and don't have to settle on RIAA-dictated tastes.

    • The music isn't for everyone but Furthurnet [] already has such a service. Also, for the shorten compressed files, they can be verified by a central database found here [].
    • "The RIAA _claim_ sharing their content hurts the bottom line, but imagine the damage caused when people learn they can find their own legal music..."

      Yeah, it's about time there were alternatives to all that overpriced commercial music.

      Let's create free, open-source versions of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys!

    • A system that doesn't allow anonymous (unsigned) files to be shared.

      And why should you be obliged to sign your own creation, or public domain one ?
      How do you sign ? Is it free ?
      When you can sign pubdom, what prevent you to sign unfree ?
      • Presumably it would be free. gpg is free, so it shouldn't be hard to make a free version. The goal is that if I put a piece of music up and sign it, anyone can share it, if someone (RIAA) accuses them of sharing illegally, that person just points to me "He said I could do this legally". Since the music is signed it is easy to prove that I gave that permission, and the RIAA takes me to court. Of course since I own the copyright they have no ground to sue me.

        The difficulty is if I would make a new key, giving my name is Britney Spears, and sign some Britney Spears music, and upload it all at a public terminal. They then have no way to trace who the music is from, but it is on the network, so the RIAA gets to shut down your network just because someone used it against your policy.

  • Slashdot effect... (Score:5, Informative)

    by pouwelse ( 118316 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @05:53AM (#5286432) Homepage

    Google cache of []

    One of the MusicBrainz developers here.
    It seems our provider cannot handle the bandwidth requirements for the Slashdot effect. We are very sorry about that. Please come back tomorrow if you like out project.

    Our dual 1.2GHz Linux server is doing OK:

    1:39am up 178 days, 8:42, 2 users, load average: 0.04, 0.11, 0.20

    146 processes: 145 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
    CPU0 states: 3.0% user, 11.0% system, 0.0% nice, 85.0% idle
    CPU1 states: 3.0% user, 0.1% system, 0.0% nice, 95.0% idle
    Mem: 1551632K av, 1467548K used, 84084K free, 0K shrd, 69944K buff
    Swap: 2096472K av, 491708K used, 1604764K free 994652K cached

    17639 pouwelse 16 0 1076 1076 828 R 11.3 0.0 0:00 top
    17267 nobody 9 0 18976 18M 12188 S 2.6 1.2 0:00 httpd
    17256 nobody 9 0 20032 19M 12000 S 1.7 1.2 0:01 httpd
    17271 nobody 9 0 20204 19M 11824 S 1.7 1.3 0:01 httpd
    17245 nobody 9 0 18584 18M 12536 S 0.8 1.1 0:01 httpd
    1 root 8 0 468 428 416 S 0.0 0.0 1:33 init
    2 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 keventd


  • Tagger win-only ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by theefer ( 467185 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @06:16AM (#5286466) Homepage
    The MusicBrainz Tagger application allows you to automatically look up the tracks in your music collection and then write clean metadata tags (ID3 tags or Vorbis comment fields) to your files. As you tag the files in your collection that MusicBrainz didn't recognize, you submit the acoustic fingerprints (TRM ids) of your files back to the server. Submitting acoustic fingerprints will allow MusicBrainz to automatically identify these tracks in the future, so that other people using the Tagger can benefit from the work you have done.
    This sounds really nice, but it works only on Windows ! The code being GPL, I hope it will soon be ported to other free OSes.

    Or does anybody know such a tool working under Linux ?
    • TuneTagger [] is my own first attempt at this. The MB Tagger, the windows only version, has advanced by leaps and bounds and the server interface has changed to accomdate it. I haven't had the time to catch up, maybe this weekend.

      At first I coded this in Python/GTK, but with the new server interface you don't need a web browser as much, so the rewrite will use Python/wxWindows which will run on W32/MacOSX/Linux.

      Free free to help.

  • Musicbrainz may have been officially launced today, but the project has been around for quite some time [] already.
  • questions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @06:38AM (#5286507)
    I looked at this project about 8 months ago and planned to use this setup for an open source media utility.

    I stopped short at that time because :

    1) the TRM (song fingerprint) technology was owned by a seperate entity and was closed/private.

    *Paranoid pondering* what if the TRM tech owners decided to charge for future use after the database was largely used and accepted. Although the database would remain open, they could charge for new fingerprints (song IDs). Not neccessarily a bad thing but we've all seen things how f'd up these situations can get.

    2) the TRM generation took place on the server. Doing a batch of fingerprints would tie up a connection for quite a while.

    My brainz a bit fuzzy on this but I think a portion of the actual audio data is uploaded and then processed on the server. I figured that generating TRMs completely client side and then uploading/matching song data to the server would do better for scalability.

    Just the same I haven't looked a the project recently and it may have since changed.

    Regardless I think its a pretty cool idea.
    • *Paranoid pondering* what if the TRM tech owners decided to charge for future use after the database was largely used and accepted.

      This is almost exactly what happened with CDDB, which is why freedb exists. CDDB changed their protocols and you can no longer program for their service without using their own plugins (DLLs or librarys) -- which requires registering with them, and agreeing to pay a fee.

      The fee is based on usage numbers of your software, not how much you charge. That can lead to a situation where a creator of successful freeware owes them money (I don't know how WinAmp does it, perhaps they have a special agreement in light of their marquee status).
      • Re:questions... (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You're wrong about the Gracenote freeware license. They don't charge freeware apps anything to use their service. Their licensing terms have been steadily decreasing in draconianness, so I think you're working on old data.
        • Re:questions... (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Gracenote now has a freeware MP3 encoding license with SDK containing the encoder software for people developing rippers. See here []. If your app is freeware, you don't pay for it, and you don't incur the possible legal liabilities of using an unlicensed MP3 encoder.
        • You gotta love this anticompetitive clause from their noncommercial license, though:

          "Requires that you use the Gracenote Database and Gracenote ENC Client in your Licensed Application as your sole source of data from the Internet that is based on reading TOC data of any CD, ECD or CD-ROM media with your Licensed Application"
        • I'm not sure why I'm replying to an AC post about "decreasing draconianness", but to clarify...

          If you look in their non-commercial developer licensing overview [], you'll find this gem:

          • This Agreement grants developers a royalty-free license to allow a maximum of 250,000 End-Users to register with Gracenote and thereby "turn-on" the Gracenote features of their Gracenote-Enabled copies.
          • If you want to license more than 250,000 Gracenote-Enabled copies of your Licensed Applications, or if your Licensed Applications are commercial in any way (see below) you must enter into a Commercial Application License with Gracenote, and you should contact

          And, funny enough, you have to first register with them to see the terms of the commercial developers' license.

          So, unless you've seen that license and know something I don't, I call bullshit and reiterate my original position: Gracenote (ex-CDDB) changed their licensing in mid-run. It's a reasonable change, but it still affects people. And it does imply a fee-bsaed relationship should your software become popular.
    • That's right. TRM is a product [] of relatable []. Last I checked, they give away an open-source program that generates a fingerprint, and have a private database that maps the fingerprint to actual songs. Napster licensed their technology in 2001 to identify illegally shared songs, as mentioned here [] and here [].

      Do we really want to help them build a bigger database?

    • I really don't know why more people haven't commented on this...

      I had similar thoughts when I had seen Musicbrainz some months before.

      I have a huge collection of MP3 from my CDs, in my home and in my computer at work and I wanted a scheme to uniquely identify each track so I could build a storage based on these IDs and then have a database which formed albums, recopilations, etc. pointing to the IDs. This wuold permit me of modifying things like track name without touching the original file. This way, I could keep syncronized copyies of the music in my computers without having to transfer the whole file just to fix a badly written name,

      I could generate random IDs. but that would prohibit me from sharing the metadata with friends who have the same albums. Musicbrainz and TRM seemed the perfect solution. But I would not rather base my work on an tagging technology which is not local (TRM has to access the relatable server), nor it is assured to be free (as you pointed in your post). To make things worse, the related data that music brainz is about to start to build (commentaries en CDs et al) would not be under the GPL or something like that, so they acn (and will) sell that data to commercial proyects and I don't like that.

      If someone know about a (free) scheme to uniquely tag music based on accoustics or something like that, please point it out, I will really appreciate that.
  • musicbrainz programs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wct ( 45593 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:11AM (#5286545) Homepage
    I find the programs that interface with musicbrainz to be very useful. The organizational view used by Zinf is probably superior to any other I have used, including iTunes and MusicMatch jukebox. It is great that we have this large database of data that can be accessed from client programs using an open api.
    • A little off-topic, but check out media jukebox []. I have tried out zinf and any other music player for Linux I could find and have yet to find another program that equals media jukebox in overall functionality but especially in terms of how it organizes your music (you can set up custom views of your music, such as by Genre / Artist / Album, etc...). It supports ripping and encoding to pretty much any format. It also has a great plugin system for transferring files to MP3 devices as well as having CD Burning functionality. If I had any coding skills I would love to bring something like this to Linux. I believe the next version will fully incorporate TV viewing, scheduled recording, etc... If there are any coders looking for a good program to emulate I highly suggest this one. (Std disclaimer; I don't work for j river, I just really dig their program)
  • FTP (Score:1, Funny)

    well, i'd be downloading the client, but the FTP server is saying that it's 10 spots are all full right now at 5AM.

    c'mon now, this is Slashdot! Open 400,000 users on your FTP server, pay for all the bandwidth yourself, go bankrupt, then post your project on sourceforge =]
  • Open Source Jukebox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 601843 ) <david&locarecords,com> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:34AM (#5286578) Homepage Journal
    I am not really sure how useful this will be. We are an Open Source music label LOCA RECORDS [] releasing tracks onto Vinyl (as well as old fashioned MP3) and the problem is not that of tracknames and tags etc but of distributing the music itself.

    A system is needed to be able to allow users to provide feedback (and hence publicity to new music) and most importantly somehow give the artists some money for the work they produce, afterall they need to eat too.

    • by Eamon C ( 575973 )
      This (or something like it) will be extremely useful for building the next great P2P client. I believe that Audiogalaxy was the best service to fall to RIAA pressure. What made Audiogalaxy so great? The fact that they had a *database* of songs -- you find the track you wanted on Audiogalaxy, and then if another user who had it was online, you could start downloading it from them.

      We (P2P users) are learning that any centralized service simply won't be able to dodge the legal bullet for very long. While we have yet to design a decentralized service that doesn't suffer from scaling problems, I'm confident that eventually, somebody will -- it's really the only place to go.

      The only way a decentralized P2P network could match the ease-of-use of Audiogalaxy is for its clients to use a separate database of track information. This is exactly what MusicBrainz gives us. Music sharing will once again become as easy as browsing artists and albums, selecting a track, and downloading it from another person (or group of people) that has it.
      • For me the even better feature of AG was the "related artist" feature. Many many times I would find a song by someone I liked and see the "other people who like this artist also like...." line and either recognize an artist I'd forgotten about, or be introduced to new artists that were in line with my musical tastes. Very cool.

        The ability to populate your download queue from anywhere on the web, so I could download to home from work, something you can't do with kazaa/gnutella/etc.

        Wish they'd come back....
    • I wonder if a system like slashdot could work.

      I imagine a system where users are required to listen to some number of new songs when they log on. They can categorize it and rate it. Track user's preferences, then you could do some sort of "users that liked * also like *" service.

      I figure the site could give out MP3 copies. To make money, add a system to make it easy to pay the band if you like the clip. Either that, or more to my liking, pay to burn a CD.

      Don't worry about copy protection. If it is cheap and easy to pay, I expect most people will do it. Alternately, you could have some sort of free/pay split (like the adult sites), but I think the goal here is exposure. If the bands make it big, then they can go to the big labels to get rich (or is that raped?)

      I think this type of service would help music listeners that like obscure music. The record labels will come up with something to serve groups that sell 100,000 copies and more, but there really is a need for something to help the small bands. If a site like this became popular, the major labels might use it as well, for all those 30-year-old albums that take decades of searching dusty stores to buy.
  • by rasteri ( 634956 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:35AM (#5286579) Journal have it store a list of emotions associated with the songs, eg romantic, depressing, happy and so on. You could then build a playlist for whatever mood you were in, or mood you wanted to be in. This is FAR more effective than simply categorising music by genre (in my experience anyway).

    I think there is a windows program called Moodlogic that did this but it was closed source, expensive, and it used a proprietery database. It also used the accoustic properties of the song, so it could identify badly-named mp3s.
    • i have been adding mood tags (really in the comments, but structured) to my tracks for some time.. there is much room for improvement in what ID3 tags allow -- they are geared for management, not *use* of tracks.. i had hoped to migrate my "tags" (many other types, such as multiple genres, similarites to other music, bpm, containership of special sounds, etc.) into a personal database, but a universal database would be even better
  • I've been wanting to start something similar to this so that musicians and songwriters could collaborate on songs online and share riffs, lyrics, and chord progressions under an open license (letting people freely sample each others creative work as long as their finished product was also "open sourced"). I can't wait to look into this further! This is a great thing indeed.
    • I've been wanting to start something similar to this so that musicians and songwriters could collaborate on songs online and share riffs, lyrics, and chord progressions under an open license (snip)

      Myself and a few of the Linux Audio Development folks have started work on what I (for the time being, anyway) call the Open Music Resource Library. I have a SourceForge page up for the dev work at [] and a mailing list ready to go at evel [].

      The idea is to share musical "raw materials" for "open musicians", such as loops, sample sets, softsynth patches, and the like.
  • lest we forget... (Score:5, Informative)

    by big.ears ( 136789 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:47AM (#5286740) Homepage
    ...the .mp3 wars of '00, MusicBrainz has been around a long time, and their 'trm' tech was apparently the stuff used by emusic to stick it to Napster:
    cf. slashdot [] and wired [].
  • Please, MusicBrainz people, develop a linux version of your 'tagger' software.
  • Is the musicbrainz site slow or my network connection is bad? I have a high speed connection and its taking almost 2 minutes to get to every page!
  • So if I use MusicBrainz to tag my music files... won't MusicBrainz then have a list of all my files aong with my IP address? What if the RIAA or some other entity demands to see the list?
  • by icantblvitsnotbutter ( 472010 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @12:29PM (#5288117)
    Someone mentioned that this technology helped the music industry in its lawsuit against Napster (or another service?), showing which files were being swapped. I haven't been able to quickly find that post again, so here's my thoughts in the void.

    Would technology that allows fingerprinting down to the file level, in conjunction with a user-supported (i.e. richly populated) database, actually help music file swapping? Conceivably, someone could integrate this into their service to indicate that a file was what it was called before it was transferred.

    Granted, there are other ways to fake a file than just giving the "right" name to a bogus file of the right size. But I imagine something like this (along with checks) could make it much more difficult to kill PNP by populating services with bogus files.

    A half-baked idea, but my two cents' worth anyway.
  • by PW2 ( 410411 )
    I started my own intranet movie database. The problem is that populating it takes so much time, even with the helper apps I made. I really wish someone with the server resources would allow developers to work on a movie database similar to CDDB. The benefit of it would be that people would be able to import data (title, description, rating, length, actors, etc) via XML/etc to use to populate an offline database of movies they own. This personal database could be used to do custom searches on movies the person owns. Imagine having guests stop over for movie night, hand them a wireless PDA or wireless keyboard to media PC (widescreen) for movie selection; they search by a theme, "Camping" and get two results, one of which you end up pulling off your shelf to watch with them.
  • I did a quick query for the artist Tosca (aka Richard Dorfmeister of Kruder and Dorfmeister) who is big in the downtempo music scene and it only turned up one of his full albums, one remix disc, and a compilation he has a track on. AllMusicGuide has nine discs by him in their db, most with well-written (albeit characteristically glowing) reviews, and an in-depth artist bio. CDDB had them all too.
  • 220 ProFTPD 1.2.5 Server (ProFTPD Default Installation)[]
    530 Sorry, the maximum number of allowed clients(10)already connected.

    They're not going to get very far at this rate..
  • What is to prevent this from turning into another CDDB? What is to prevent MusicBrainz from deciding to close their DB and start charging for use after they've milked the community to build the DB?
    The DB implementation may be open source but without the information in it, the implementation is useless.
  • this sounds an interesting project and i intend to read more about it

    - however, on first viewing the website, my very first impression is that they have one of the worst logos i have ever seen

    to put it bluntly,
    it looks like a pile of shit
    with 3 or 4 flies buzzing around it

    even when you work out that the picture is meant to represent a brain with musical notes hovering around it, it still looks really dumb

    now, on to read about what sounds like a valuable project

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"