Search fixes: Artists, annotations, FreeDB

I just committed the latest round of bug fixes/improvements for the MusicBrainz search facilities. On the road of the promised mini-release I’ve created the a milestone to keep track of the changes and have updated the test server with the latest fixes/improvements:

Artist searching:

With tons of useful community feedback, I’ve fixed up the toughest search cases. Accented characters are now being escaped, so that a search for “Bjork” will return “Björk“. Aliases are now being searched by default and no longer interfering with the ranking so that a search for “Jennifer” will return the artist “Jennifer” as the first search hit and not buried down below. I’ve also implemented a checkbox for advanced search to avoid confusion with the lucene search syntax. By default the advanced search will be off and all punctuation in a search will be ignored. If the advanced search box is checked, punctuation will be interpreted as lucene query syntax.

I think these changes will make the search behave more according to what people would expect. Please go test it!

Annotation searching:

You can now search annotations using the indexed search.

FreeDB searching:

You can now search all FreeDB CDs with our own search features. Once you find a CD you want to import, click on the category/id link and the import process starts. No more funky HTML frames with a crappy FreeDB search that goes away every other week.

I’ve taken a lot of heat over these search issues — please go test these to make sure everything is working right!

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11 thoughts on “Search fixes: Artists, annotations, FreeDB”

  1. Since now we have better FreeDB search probably you can fix the problem in upcoming mini-release, when “Change character set” button. This feature worked, but been broken at least since XHTML server update. For example when you search for artist “Prata vetra”, then select release “Izlase” (misc / 3f109314), one will see that characters are wrong (win-1257 = Baltic). If I want to fix them by pressing “Change character set” button instead of displaying the track titles in different code pages (as it used to be when all was working fine) I am redirected to new FreeDB search page (

  2. The new search functions look good, and seem to work fine for me. It’s nice to get the accented character issue dealt with.

    One minor request for the mini-release; would it be possible to enable the “Artificial (Other)” language [ISO 639 code ‘art’] in the languages table (apropos of recent discussion on mb-users)? This should involve nothing more than a change in the table value from 0 (disabled) to 2 (I think, for the full list).


  3. And one minor usability issue. Even if the Advanced Query Syntax checkbox is unchecked, the boolean operators (uppercase AND, OR, NOT) still have their special lucene meaning. All three of these words are stop-words, and thus not indexed, so have no effect on the search if in lowercase. With OR, there is no effect (terms are ‘OR’ed by default), and with AND, there is little effect, but if you search for the obscure DJ artist “DO NOT USE” in their correct(?) capitalization, you won’t find it (it is the top hit at 100% if you search for “do not use”).


  4. there is an issue with the “Limit to” drop-down. it defaults to 25 always.
    if I select “up to 100” and hit ‘search’ the next page shows me what I want, but the drop-down is reset to 25 again, unless I make a point to check it, my next search will not be ‘up to 100’ and only will show me 25 results.

    With the pagination it is even more apparent.
    When I search for ‘love’ and set 100 as my limit, I get 6 pages (while the drop-down again goes back to 25), if I then (for example) click for page 2 in the pagination routine, it shows me the default 25-per-page view and I’m suddenly on page 5 of that.

    except for this (which was an issue before the pagination and lucene fixes, I’ve just been procrastinating on writing about it :P) these new abilities are trés cool, really.
    annotation search is, just simply wonderfull, and I’ve tested the freedb show, quite cool, I must say.

  5. To solve the problem with AND/OR/NOT – I think that if the advanced search checkbox isn’t ticked off, lowercasing the three keywords (or the whole string, if the search is truly case independent – i.e. no second-order case-dependent matching for final ranking) would be better than removing them.


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