MetaBrainz team changes, autumn 2018


The only constant in the world is change, right?

First off, the somewhat sad news: Sambhav, AKA samj1912, has left MetaBrainz the team as a contractor and has moved to London. The upside of this news is that he will continue to work on Picard for us and will remain a part of our team as a volunteer, but his presence will not be quite as intense as before. Thank you for your hard work these past months, especially for finishing the impossible Solr search project!

With Sambhav’s departure and our improved finances, I’m proud to announce that we’re taking on two new contractors!

Nicolas Pelletier AKA Monkey: You may remember the talented Monkey from when we designed our new logos. He was the designer who created the logos and our new bootstrap theme that adorns most of our pages now. Working with Monkey was straightforward, effective and the results were great, so when he expressed interest in working on BookBrainz, I was pleased to hear this news. Monkey will be working for us full time and spending 75% of his time on BookBrainz and 25% of his time to help with design and UX work for the rest of our projects. In the next blog post I’ll talk more about BookBrainz and what we can expect from that project in the future.

Nicolás Tamargo AKA Reosarevok: Reosarevok is no stranger to our community — he’s made 1.7M edits to MusicBrainz, is our Style BDFL and answers all of our support@ emails. He’s been learning more programming and asked to be part of the MusicBrainz team part time. We agreed to give this a go and in the short term he will be focusing on genre support and helping with the React migration among other tasks. If this trial run works out, we’ll see about expanding his scope on our team.

Welcome on board Monkey and good luck with the new position, Reo!



10 thoughts on “MetaBrainz team changes, autumn 2018”

  1. «…the short term he will be focusing on GENRE support…»
    Do you have any more details for this part?

  2. If you want the code-monkey perspective: is what I have so far 🙂 (needs updating though).

    If you want a human-friendly perspective: at first at least the genres will just be a subset of tags that have a “genre seal of approval”, so to say. At some point it’d be awesome to turn those into something more than tags (so that they could have, say, translations and Wikipedia info), but this is a very basic “we want some way to look at things by genre” option that mostly doesn’t change how MusicBrainz itself works. It should be a bigger change for say Picard, since instead of looking at all tags it could just look at genre-approved tags and set those as genre. We actually decided on this as the “easy” starting point at our summit a couple years ago, it’s just nobody had had the time to actually look into working on it! :/

  3. Genres and their assignment is the area full of controversy and disagreement. I am not aware of any consistent conceptual framework for tackling this task. All existing music databases are amateurish in this regard and frequently don’t even have clear genre definitions. Let alone the established criteria for classification.

    I can’t help but wonder what metamodel is going to be used for MB.

  4. Genres are full of controversy and disagreement because genres are eminently subjective. As such, we’re not going to have “THE ACCEPTED GENRES” for a release, but let the users suggest appropriate genres, same as they do with other tags. Which means a genre-defining album might very well be listed with genres “rock”, “metal” and “techno” – if a majority of users think they all apply, then by definition they all apply, since that’s basically how genre works in real life 🙂

  5. Great. Welcome aboard Reosarevok! Always wanted to see Genre and Sub Genre personally, but tags are a start for sure! I already iterate over the tags looking for known genres on my imports for TheAudioDB, but anything that makes that easier and more intelligent is welcome. There was a great wikidata page somewhere with all the genres in a spider diagram from wikipedia artist pages, I found that useful in my development.

  6. So the genres are just plain tags under a different name and nothing beyond? That will be yet another infodump, I can guarantee you. If you want to make sense of data entered by users you should give them a framework and that framework must have a meta-level. Plain tags with no attributes is a recipe for disaster.

  7. Nothing beyond for now, it is “very basic” option for tagger as a “starting point”. There were few genre “frameworks” and none was convincing. That was years ago. Would be interested in any update on this front.

  8. @reosarevok Thank you for your details.
    @zag Very interesting sites, especially the first one with sound clips for every genre. This site has genres I have never heard of like “Neue Deutsche Todeskunst” or “J-Rap”

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