MusicBrainz Summit #9: 10 May, London UK

After last year’s invite-only summit, its time to have another summit with a more informal agenda and an open invite:

What: MusicBrainz Summit #9

Where: London, England (exact details will be posted later)

When: 10 May

Who: You!

The rough plan is to have a general socializing evening on Friday as people trickle in from all corners of Europe (UK, Sweden and Germany). Then on Saturday May 10 we will find a quiet place to sit and discuss some of the following issues:

  1. Google Summer of Code — All three students and two mentors will be present.
  2. MusicBrainz server development over the summer. Perl, python, Template::Toolkit
  3. Picard and Alexander’s SoC project to improve usability
  4. Niklas Berglund’s Music Collection project for SoC
  5. Next Generation Schema (NGS) and how that is impacted by the summer coding sprint
  6. The BBC’s efforts to help MusicBrainz with NGS.
  7. Your favorite topics as time allows

We’ve asked to allow us to hold the daytime events at the office. Personally, I want to play in the ball pit — who doesn’t? After the day-time activities we’ll find a pub and a have some drinks as we wind the day down. Then sunday morning everyone will scatter back to their respective corners of Europe.

We’re currently working to find crash spaces on couches and floors in various Londoner’s flats — if you live in London and can put up a brainzer on your couch, please speak up!

We’re coordinating arrivals times and summit details on the Summit #9 wiki page. Please add yourself if you plan to come — at time of writing, we’re up to 11 people! Watch the wiki page for details as we get closer to the event.

Amazon ASIN cleanup

Back in prehistoric times, MusicBrainz used to use an automated script for matching releases to Amazon’s ASINs. But quickly people interjected and demanded to be able to use ARs to associate ASINs to releases. So, we added support for using ARs, but we never got rid of the old system and that has caused a few bugs over time.

I’ve written a script that takes the first step in removing the old amazon ASINs and converts them to AR links. I’ve run this script on my test server — please go to that server and pick your favorite ASIN screw up and let me know if its working.

If this script turns out to work well, I can run it on the main server later this week in order to remove these pesky ASIN issues.


UPDATE: This script has been run on the main server and all Amazon ASINs should now be user editable. No new links have been generated — we’ve only converted old style ASIN matches to ARs so that our editors can make changes.

Google Summer of Code projects announced!

Google has announced which summer of code projects and MetaBrainz accepted three sexy proposals. A big, fat round of congratulations go out to:

  • Niklas Berglund, Music Collection: “This project aims to make it easy to keep track of new releases of your favorite music artists, and making it easy to see which of their releases you are missing in your collection.”
  • Oliver Charles, Port the existing mb_server code base to use Template Toolkit templates, “I will split the current Perl code base of mb_server into separate Perl files, and corresponding Template Toolkit templates. I will do so by writing some in-between bridge Perl code, and extracting existing HTML from the mb_server code into templates.”
  • Alexander Hupfer, Wizard for PicardQt: “New users often find that PicardQt is difficult to use or/and have problems to use it the right way. The wizard will solve both shortcomings by guiding the user through the necessary steps when using PicardQt including file import, library organisation and handling of duplicates.”

We’re quite excited by the applications we received this year — our experience from last year allowed us plan our approach better. We were able to quickly identify good students with proposals that we liked and help them along to make their proposals better and to have them fit smoothly into our plans for the next few months. Also from this you can see that we’re going to stick with perl for a while longer while we clean up the existing code base to make it ready for adding more complicated features drawn from the NGS proposal.

This is quite exciting! Thank you to Google for supporting us again and congratulations to Niklas, Oliver and Alexander!

MetaWeb signs up for our live data-feed

I’m pleased to announce that MetaWeb has signed our live data-feed contract and is now a customer of MetaBrainz and thus a supporter of MusicBrainz!

MetaWeb operates FreeBase, the open, shared database of the world’s knowledge. MetaWeb will be using the MusicBrainz live data-feed to add music metadata to FreeBase. Previously, MetaWeb contributed to the MusicBrainz by sending Chis Maden to the MusicBrainz Summit #8.

Thanks for all the support MetaWeb! Big thanks go to Robert Cook, Paul Davison, Chris Maden, Tomi Pierce and Patrick Tufts (the latter two have moved on from MetaWeb, but were instrumental in getting MusicBrainz support in FreeBase).