New server image for 20060712 release available

Rod Begbie has created a new VMWare player image based on the 20060712 release of the MusicBrainz server. The VMware Player and Rod’s image allows you to download the free VMWare player and then run a musicbrainz server on your windows or Linux machine, without having to go through the pain of doing a full install of the MusicBrainz server.

Thanks Rod!

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TRM, Picard and Picard on OS X

As the TRM server is getting close to another pruning round it flaked out for a few hours today — its back up and running now.

I had hoped that we would’ve come along further in moving Classic Tagger users over to Picard, but instability problems of the wxWindows toolkit continue to plague Picard users. For some users it works great, for others it crashes every 30 seconds, and yet its stable for Lukas who is working on Picard the most. This makes using Picard very difficult and even harder to convince our users who love the track based Classic Tagger to move to Picard.

Given this, we plan to do the following:

  1. Extend the end-of-life deadline for TRM until the end of 2006.
  2. Migrate Picard away from wxWindows and start using the Python bindings for the QT toolkit.
  3. Revamp the user interface in Picard to support both track based tagging and album based tagging.
  4. Make the Picard user interface easier to use for new users and offer methods other than drag and drop to tag files.

We hope to complete all of this before the end of the year. But, should we not make that deadline, we’ll extend it again until most everyone feels that Picard has replaced the Classic Tagger. The key metric for turning off the TRM server is to watch the traffic to the TRM server slow to a near crawl so that when we do turn it off that only stragglers will be affected.

Tobias Rundström has volunteered to work on a UI mock-up of the new Picard UI that will be based on our Picard user interface brainstorming. Once he has done that we’ll post screenshots or maybe even an application for people to look at and give us feedback on.

Finally, the switch to QT will also have positive benefits for Picard on Mac OS X. The QT toolkit is considerably more stable on the Mac than wxWindows and that will enable us to finally roll out a Mac OS X version of the tagger. I understand that there is frustration about the lack of a tagger on OS X — Geof Morris has now even offered up a bounty for someone to develop a new UI for Picard for the Mac. But, there isn’t anything we can do for a few months — please sit tight. We’re aware of the situation and are as unhappy about it as you are!

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freedb and MusicBrainz in Frankfurter Rundschau online

Freedb and MusicBrainz are discussed in this Frankfurter Rundschau online article (Article is in German):

Freedb war nicht der einzige Versuch, Gracenote Konkurrenz zu machen. Zeitgleich mit dem jetzt gefährdeten Projekt startete die Musik-Datenbank Musicbrainz. Deren Gründer Robert Kaye glaubt, mittlerweile ein besseres Angebot zu besitzen. “Unsere Daten sind sauberer und umfangreicher als die von Freedb”, sagt er. “Wir geben uns viel Mühe, doppelte Daten rauszuschmeißen.”

The article almost has more content on MusicBrainz than it does for Freedb — thanks much Janko!

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Main server update updated

We’ve gotten a slew of bug reports overnight as to what was wrong with the latest release. Keschte and I worked hard to address a number of these issues and I’ve done a mini update on the server. Check out this list of recently closed bugs to see what we did. Thanks to all those who reported bugs!

The broken tagger issues should also be resolved now.

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Main server updated

We just updated the main server with the long awaited new release:

Not really new, or not so obvious features

  • The MusicBrainz web pages have been polished and cleaned to be web standards compliant. We proudly serve the pages in XHTML 1.1, CSS 2.0 compliant mode.
  • The user interface has been given a face lift and a cleaner look.
  • We have made great steps on the terminology changes, which had hung in limbo for quite some time. From now on, the term ”album” is reserved for release attributes. The albums are now called ”releases”. The same is true for the term ”moderation”: we replaced this with the more appropriate term ”edit”.
  • Lots of static pages have been replaced with WikiDocs pages. This means that most of the documentation pages displayed on this very server are no longer static html pages, but are instead content transcluded from the MusicBrainz Wiki. For each of these pages, a given revision is labeled as “official content”, and is displayed inside the MusicBrainz site. (For example, compare to If the content is not labelled as official, it can still be browsed in the same way, but will be labelled as unofficial content. WikiDocs is a huge project, and some parts will always be in the works. Please talk to the Wikizens if you’d like to contribute!

New features

  • The “Release Editor” (nicknamed “The edit page to rule them all”) replaces the FreeDB Import, the CD-Lookup as well as the “Edit all” workflows. It supports all the edit types usually applied to core entities (artist/release/tracks), including single artist conversions, various artist conversions, but also explicit changes to one track artist of a single artist release. This will allow us to more flexibly edit releases to conform to the new ReleaseArtistStyle, all in one go.
  • Timestamps on edit notes.
  • Diff display of changed titles on the voting (previously: moderation) pages.
  • Edits are linked to their respective documentation.
  • Edits show all the parent objects that are relevant for the current object (example: on a track title edit, the artist and the release are shown in the header).
  • Pending edits are shown and explained in more detail on the edit pages. Links are provided to review the pending edits.
  • The help blurbs on the editing pages were extended, and now include links to official WikiDocs documentation relevant to the current EditType.
  • GuessCase classical mode.
  • The Indexed Search was extended to include additional fields for the Artist Search. Users can choose to include artist names, sort names and alias’ for more precise search results.
  • The Indexed Search results have an additional row which allows to add the entity to the Create Relationships list. This should allow to enter relationships much faster now.

Improved features

  • Lots of fixes for the GuessCase function.
  • Numerous others: please see the closed tickets for the current Milestone and Version.

Many thanks to Keschte and everyone else who contributed and tested for your hard work on this release!

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Google pledges $15,000 to the MetaBrainz Foundation

I’m extremely pleased to announce that Google has just pledged $15,000 to the MetaBrainz Foundation!

The goal of this donation is have the foundation pay me a modest paycheck that will allow me to keep focused on managing MusicBrainz and writing more code to move the project forward. Without this support I periodically have to stop working on MusicBrainz projects for a few weeks to earn some money so I can continue to pay my bills. You may have noticed lull periods where I am not very present because contract work demands my time — hopefully we will be done with these periods. This donation will cover me for at least 6 months and by then I hope to have more data licenses sold which would keep the paychecks rolling!

A big fat thank you goes out to Google and Chris DiBona, the Open Source Programs Manager at Google. Thank you so very much for supporting MusicBrainz!

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Picard 0.7.0 released

Lukas finished the final round of bug reports in Picard and prepared the 0.7.0 final release. This is the first non-beta release of Picard with MusicDNS acoustic fingerprinting. The changes are:

  • Automatic identifying of audio files using MusicDNS acoustic fingerprinting technology.
  • Support for automatic translations of non-English artist names.
  • New file name format variable %albumtracks.
  • Support for connecting to the Internet throught a proxy server.
  • Option to write “Windows-safe” file names on non-Windows systems.
  • Detection of GNOME and KDE default browser settings, in addition to the BROWSER environment variable.
  • New file formats: Speex, WavPack, TTA !

Download links:

Thanks to Lukas for his hard work on this release!

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libmusicbrainz 2.1.3 released

libmusicbrainz 2.1.3 has just been released! Changes in this release:

  • New queries for selecting album artists:
    • MBS_SelectAlbumArtist
    • MBE_AlbumGetAlbumArtistName
    • MBE_AlbumGetAlbumArtistSortName
  • New query MBE_AlbumGetCdindexId
  • Using size_t instead of int in networking code
  • Little fixes in the API documentation
  • Python bindings:
    • Using the new ctypes 0.9.9.x API, with support to fallback to the old API if only an old ctypes version is installed
    • Removed dependency on ctypes in

You can also view the complete diff of this change. You can download the new release in the usual place. Big thanks to Lukas and Sander for working on this release!

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