Server Updates

Improved FreeDB import. Edit Artist Alias. “Smart quote” fix script.

Import from FreeDB

The process of importing a release from FreeDB has been rewritten.
The improvements include:

  • Previously it was easy to miss the “CD has multiple artists” tick box, and hence get the import wrong. Now the user is quite obviously asked to make a clear choice (with no default) as to whether a single artist or multiple artists are involved.
  • All artists can be searched for, using the same technique as is used for entering a “change track artist” moderation.
  • All fields have a “Guess Case” button; also, for single artist releases, there is a “Guess All” button. “Smart Quotes” are fixed (replaced by apostrophes) by default.
  • At any stage it’s easy to go back and change your earlier answers, without losing any later answers.

Also, releases imported from FreeDB (both automatically and manually) should
now have their track lengths set.

Other Changes

There is now an “Edit Artist Alias” moderation type, so you don’t have to
delete and re-add an alias to change it. See the “Edit” links on

Previously add links to add a note to a moderation required Javascript to
work. This has now been fixed.

For “Add non-album track” moderations, the (meaningless) track number is
no longer displayed.

A couple of security flaws relating to moderation notes have been fixed.

There is now a script to fix “smart quotes” in bulk (activated by the
server administrators).

The nightly database dump archives (mbdump*.tar.bz2) now each include a
TIMESTAMP file. This will make it easier to identify exactly when each dump
was taken, and to check that a set of dump files belong together.

Dave Evans

Server Updates

Artist subscriptions.

Artist Subscriptions

On each artist page (showartist.html or artistinfo.html) you’ll see a
“Subscribe” link; use this link to subscribe to this artist. To see your
list of subscriptions, click the “Subscriptions” link on your profile page
(moderator.html). From there you can unsubscribe whichever artist you don’t
want in your list any more.

Once a day, the system will look for any moderations added for your subscribed
artists, and e-mail you with a list looking a bit like this:

Faith No More (0 open, 5 applied)

Green Jelly (0 open, 8 applied)

Madonna (4 open, 7 applied)

The list tells you how many open and applied moderations have been added to
each of your subscribed artists. Artists with no new moderations are not
included. If there are no new moderations for your artists, no e-mail is

You must be a registered user, and have a validated e-mail address, to use
this feature. Please note that, even though it’s called “Subscriptions”,
it’s free 🙂 Finally, please be assured that, like your saved preferences,
your list of subscribed artists is not made publicly available.

Dave Evans

Server Updates

Preferences are now saved. Fixed some potential Perl errors. Differentiated the two “View Mods” links on artist pages.

Change Log for mb_server

  • Preferences are now saved (moderator_preferences table, plus internal reworking of the “User” code)
  • Potential Perl ambiguities and bugs worked around by not using barewords
  • Fixed a Mason error which showed up only if a database error occurred while entering a mod note (bug #754557)
  • sitemenu HTML code now fractionally more compact, tidier
  • Where mentioned in the HTML pages, the CVS repository is now cited as “”, not “”
  • Channel prefix “#” removed from all “irc://” links
  • The two “view mods” links on the “show album” page are now “show artist mods” and “show album mods” (bug #754314)

Dave Evans

Server Updates

New preferences: mods per page; show “add album” inline. Filter the VA album browser by release type / status.

Change Log for mb_server

  • Added EMail verifiction support: When a returning user logs in, the user will be prompted to verify or blank out their email address. New users can specify a email address when creating their account. The moderator profile now supports changing the email and sending out confirmation emails.
  • Moderators can now send mail via the ‘send email’ links in the profiles page or the moderation page.
  • Moderators also get mailed when a new note is attached to one of their moderations.
  • The support for looking up various artist albums in the FileLookup interface has been improved, and should make the tagger behave a little better. However, the tracks for VA albums are not being returned via the web service yet — that is scheduled for the next update since libtunepimp needs it.
  • Added an explanation of automoderators and which moderations qualify for automoderation to the moderation intro. This page now also lists which moderators are automoderators.
  • There is now a “List Failed Moderations” page (for you, or any other moderator). (Patch by Duncan Findlay)
  • As well as showing mods by artist, you can also show them by album. This functionality is quite limited though; it’s primarily intended to find the original “Add Album” mod and any “Edit Album Name” mods, and it *may* also find other mods (e.g. move album, edit album attributes, remove album). It *won’t* find mods for each of the tracks on the album (e.g. edit track name).
  • The voting page now performs stronger validtion, including checking that the user is logged in.
  • Previously if you did a “move disc id” moderation, then the album meta-information (including the number of disc IDs each album has) was not updated – thus, the disc ID icon would remain on the old album, but the disc ID itself would move to the new one. This is now fixed.
  • The “clientversion” table has now been moved into the “core” dump file (mbdump.tar.bz2)

These changes were also made recently:

  • A preference was added to control how many moderations are shown on each voting page. The allowed range is 1-25; the default is 10.
  • Another preference was added to enable “Add Album” moderations to show the whole album within the voting page.
  • The “browse various artists” page now allows you to filter by release type and release status (e.g. you can browse only soundtracks).

Robert Kaye & Dave Evans

Server Updates

Reworked the moderation system behind the scenes. List moderations by moderator. Much improved “artist filter” system.

Change Log for mb_server

The bulk of the work this time was a series of changes which are actually invisible to end-users of the system:

  • Each of the 27 moderation types has been re-implemented using a dedicated “handler” module, conforming to a single moderation handler API.
  • Moderations are inserted using a more Perl-like “named parameters” style of calling. Instead of passing cryptic parameter combinations off to a POST to /bare/enter_*mod.html, each web page for editing the data (e.g. “editartist.html”, “remdiscid.html”) now call the “insert moderation” API itself.

The main effects of those changes are:

  • It will now be much easier to add new types of moderations, which in turn means that it will be much easier to extend MusicBrainz to handle new types of data.
  • It will also be much easier to adjust the behaviour of the existing moderation types, e.g. to change what is shown as “old” and “new” values for a given mod type, perhaps to make voting easier.

Although all of those changes should be mostly invisible to the end-user, a number of other changes relating to the moderation system were also introduced:

  • It’s now possible to see a list of moderations entered by any given moderator. Previously it was possible to see “My Mods”; now “My Mods” is just a special case of “View Mods by Moderator”. To see a moderator’s list of moderations, go to the moderator’s profile page (/moderator.html) and follow the “List Moderations” link.
  • The “artist filter” system used in some moderations (e.g. move album, merge artist) is now much improved. Instead of entering the artist sortname first, then perhaps having to enter the artist name on the next page (where you can’t edit the sortname), you can now just search for the artist however you like, then enter both the artist name and sortname together if required. You can also “search again”. Anyway, try it and see. It’s much nicer.
  • The “change track name and artist” page (changetrack.html) is improved. Bug #736075 has been fixed. You’re now given buttons to flick between the current track/artist names and the guessed (split) names, in case it guessed wrong. Also the order of track/artist for this album (i.e. does this album go “track – artist” or “artist – track” ?) is remembered, so you should only have to click “Swap” up to once per album.
  • It’s easier to enter “non-album tracks” than before; there’s also a link for entering a non-album track for the artist when you do a tag lookup.
  • The “moderation pending” flag is now correctly set in a few places where it never was before (e.g. for “merge albums”, all the albums in question are marked as “mod pending”).
  • When viewing moderations, the “old” and “new” values have changed in minor ways for some moderation types. For example, the tagger version is shown for “Add TRMs” mods. Bug #738587 has been fixed.
  • Previously, certain “edit” moderations were only auto-moderated if the only change was upper/lower case. Now, more things can be auto-moderated, including changing the amount of space (e.g. changing two spaces to one), and changing types of quotes (e.g. single quotes (apostrophes), double quotes, and so-called “smart quotes”).
  • The “merge albums” page has become fractionally easier to use.
  • Certain moderations (including “add album” and “add track”) now insert potentially much faster than before.
  • Security holes relating to removing moderations and adding notes to moderations have been fixed.

Bugs fixed in this release:

  • #660921 Redundant sortname changes
  • #736075 Convert to MAC, Change Track Artist doesn’t “guess” any more
  • #738587 Bad links in “Edit Track Number” mods
  • #749901 ModBot on top moderators lists

There’s also one little feature for MusicBrainz developers running “staging” servers (e.g.

  • On the “view moderation” page (/showmod.html), there are now buttons for accepting and rejecting open mods (so you don’t have to vote on them). This feature only appears if DB_STAGING_SERVER is true.

Dave Evans