Welcoming GSoC 2022 students!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal to MetaBrainz for this year’s Summer of Code!

This year, we have selected seven projects. The chosen students and projects are:

Ansh Goyal – BookBrainz and CritiqueBrainz: CritiqueBrainz reviews for BookBrainz entities

Ashutosh Aswal – MusicBrainz Android App: Adding BrainzPlayer in Android App

Prathamesh Ghatole – ListenBrainz: Clean Up The Music Listening Histories Dataset

Shatabarto – ListenBrainz: Send a track to another user as a personal recommendation

Shubh – BookBrainz: Unified Creation Form

skelly37 – Picard: Make Picard work in single instance mode, then improve existing error handling and crash info.

Yuzie – ListenBrainz: Add Timezone support to ListenBrainz

Welcome aboard and congratulations!
Your contributions to MetaBrainz projects and the community are impressive and admirable. We look forward to work with you over the summer and see your work come to fruition 🙂

Communication is the key to success in a closely knit community as ours. Always feel free to reach out to your mentors and other members of the community if you face any issues (stuck in your code, health or family emergencies, etc.). We, the mentors, are here to support and help you.

For all the students that applied but did not get accepted: we appreciate your applications, and even if you did not make the cut this year, we hope that you will stick around and apply with us again next year when we know you better – and you know us better.

akshaaatt, alastair, lucifer, mayhem, monkey, outsidecontext, zas

Picard 2.8 released

The Picard team is happy to announce that the final version 2.8 of MusicBrainz Picard is now available for download. MusicBrainz Picard is the official tag editor for the MusicBrainz database and helps you get your music collection sorted and cleaned up with the latest data from MusicBrainz.

This release brings many changes, including long requested features like Windows long path support and advanced relationships for huge box sets. See below for the highlights.

Continue reading “Picard 2.8 released”

MusicBrainz schema change release, 2022-05-16 (with upgrade instructions)

We’re happy to announce the release of our May 2022 schema change today! Thanks to all who were patient during today’s downtime as we released everything to our production servers, and thanks to ikerm2003, mfmeulenbelt rinmon and salo.rock for updating the translations.

This is once again a fairly minor release as far as schema changes go, but please do report any issues that you come across, especially related to the propagation of ratings and tags.

New, user-facing changes with this release include withdrawn-only release groups showing in the official overview again (MBS-12208) and the final disappearance of Amazon cover art (MBS-12200). To this regard, the report of releases that have Amazon cover art but no Cover Art Archive front cover will stay available for editors to check their subscribed entities.

Additionally, several small changes will allow, in the next couple of releases, to store more information about genres (including URL relationships) and to recognize and special-case mood tags (MBS-12190). Another new feature that will start to be used in the API and artist credit pages is the addition of MusicBrainz IDs for artist credits, which allow referring to them with a unique and more persistent ID (MBS-11456). Finally, a few more under-the-hood only changes are made, which should ensure better performance for finding artists, events, etc. for all areas contained in a given one, and less bugs when adding and changing tags and ratings.

The area containment changes make use of a new materialized table. Like the ones we added last year, this table isn’t dumped nor replicated, since it is derived entirely from primary table data. Rather, it will be created during migration (or, in a new install, by running the admin/BuildMaterializedTables script) and triggers will be added to keep it up-to-date once it has been built. These triggers are created on replicated servers, too.

The accompanying new version of the search index rebuilder brings performance improvements for both the main server and mirrors, and simplifies maintenance. See the release notes for details.

A new release of MusicBrainz Docker is also available that matches this update of MusicBrainz Server. See the release notes for update instructions.

Now, on to the instructions.

Schema Change Upgrade Instructions

Note: Importing the latest data dump is always a valid alternative to running ./upgrade.sh on an existing database, if you’d prefer to also get new data in one go. Just follow the relevant instructions in INSTALL.md. The git tag is v-2022-05-16.1-schema-change. The rest of the instructions here assume an in-place upgrade.

  1. Make sure DB_SCHEMA_SEQUENCE is set to 26 in lib/DBDefs.pm.
  2. If you’re using the live data feed (your REPLICATION_TYPE is set to RT_SLAVE), ensure you’ve replicated up to the most recent replication packet available with the old schema. If you’re not sure, run ./admin/replication/LoadReplicationChanges and see what it tells you; if you’re ready to upgrade, it should say “This replication packet matches schema sequence #27, but the database is currently at #26.”
  3. Take down the web server running MusicBrainz, if you’re running a web server.
  4. Turn off cron jobs if you’re automatically updating the database via cron jobs.
  5. If you’re using the live search indexing, stop it and, assuming sir is under the same directory as musicbrainz-server, run cd ../sir && python2.7 -m sir triggers && cd - && ./admin/psql < ../sir/sql/DropTriggers.sql && ./admin/psql < ../sir/sql/DropFunctions.sql
  6. Switch to the new code with git fetch origin followed by git checkout v-2022-05-16.1-schema-change.
  7. Run cpanm --installdeps --notest . (note the dot at the end) to ensure your perl-based dependencies are up to date.
  8. Run ./upgrade.sh (it may take a while to vacuum at the end).
  9. Set DB_SCHEMA_SEQUENCE to 27 in lib/DBDefs.pm as instructed by the output of ./upgrade.sh.
  10. If your REPLICATION_TYPE is set to RT_SLAVE, change it to RT_MIRROR. (The previous terminology will work for the time being, but is now deprecated.)
  11. If you’re using the live search indexing, assuming again that sir is under the same directory as musicbrainz-server, run cd ../sir && git fetch origin && git checkout v3.0.1 && python2.7 -m sir triggers && cd - && ./admin/psql < ../sir/sql/CreateFunctions.sql && ./admin/psql < ../sir/sql/CreateTriggers.sql and rebuild indexes which takes hours (by running cd ../sir && python2.7 -m sir reindex && cd -) then start it in watch mode (with cd ../sir && git fetch origin && git checkout v3.0.1 && python2.7 -m sir amqp_watch)
  12. Turn cron jobs back on, if applicable.
  13. Restart the MusicBrainz web server, if applicable. It’s also recommended you restart Redis. If you’re accessing your MusicBrainz server in a web browser, run ./script/compile_resources.sh.

Here’s the list of resolved tickets:

Fixed Bug

  • [MBS-5359] – *_tag tables are corrupt and need to be regenerated
  • [MBS-11760] – Removing the last use of a tag does not always remove the tag
  • [MBS-12369] – Standalone databases may be missing foreign keys for the documentation schema

New Feature

  • [MBS-12190] – Add Mood support in the database

Improvement

  • [MBS-11456] – Add MBIDs to artist credits in the database with merge
  • [MBS-12141] – Block tag names that are empty or have uncontrolled whitespace with database constraints
  • [MBS-12224] – Keep tags’ ref_count and aggregate vote counts updated with triggers
  • [MBS-12249] – Add a materialized area_containment table kept up-to-date with triggers
  • [MBS-12256] – Keep rating and rating_count column on *_meta tables up-to-date with triggers
  • [MBS-12313] – Clarify item naming in the Search drop down menu

Database Schema Change Task

  • [MBS-11457] – Drop the series ordering_attribute column
  • [MBS-11755] – Remove unused tags
  • [MBS-12157] – Remove support for Amazon cover art
  • [MBS-12200] – Drop schema objects related to Amazon cover art support
  • [MBS-12225] – Rename “slave” to “mirror” (inclusive language update)
  • [MBS-12250] – Create dbmirror2 schema on production and mirror servers
  • [MBS-12252] – Add edit_genre table
  • [MBS-12253] – Add relationship tables for genres
  • [MBS-12254] – Add genre_annotation table
  • [MBS-12255] – Add genre_alias_type table and make genre_alias consistent

Picard 2.8 Release Candidate 2

We have decided to put out another release candidate Picard 2.8.0rc2 for the upcoming Picard 2.8. We got some valuable feedback and fixed some new bugs as well as some older ones that just got detected while testing the first release candidate. Thanks a lot to everyone who reported those issues.

This is a pre-release we put out for wider testing and to gather feedback on the changes before the final 2.8 release. Please report any issue through our bug tracker and give us feedback on this beta release on the Community Forums.

Continue reading “Picard 2.8 Release Candidate 2”

Picard 2.8 Release Candidate

The Picard team is happy to announce the availability of the first release candidate for the upcoming Picard 2.8. This is a pre-release we put out for wider testing and to gather feedback on the changes before the final 2.8 release.

Please report any issue through our bug tracker and give us feedback on this beta release on the Community Forums.

Thanks a lot to everybody who contributed to this release with code, translations, bug reports and general feedback. This release contains code contributions by Philipp Wolfer, Bob Swift, Laurent Monin, jesus2099, Adam James, cybersphinx and Aerozol.

Continue reading “Picard 2.8 Release Candidate”

MusicBrainz Server update, 2022-04-18

We’re back with another smallish release, mostly fixing minor bugs. This is our last release before the schema change on May 16; we are taking a one release break to have more time to concentrate on that. Of course you should still let us know if you find we have introduced any new bugs (er… totally intentional easter eggs that is!), but unless they are very serious, we will probably only fix them during the second half of May.

A new release of MusicBrainz Docker is also available that matches this update of MusicBrainz Server. See the release notes for update instructions.

Thanks to arcresu, chaban and Cyberskull, for having reported bugs and suggested improvements. Thanks to mfmeulenbelt and salo.rock for updating the translations. And thanks to all others who tested the beta version!

The git tag is v-2022-04-18.

Continue reading “MusicBrainz Server update, 2022-04-18”

Get ready for MetaBrainz NFTs!

As you all know, making our projects better every time takes a ton of work. For years, we’ve done an amazing job of combining individual users’ donations and commercial data users’ financial support to be a sustainable non-profit which finishes almost every year in the black (see our financial reports), which is quite the achievement when even tons of commercially successful companies lose money every year and only survive through new investment. That said, IT is a very competitive field and we can’t pay the most competitive wages, since we’re still a relatively small non-profit. That means we keep losing some of our talented engineers to large companies who can afford to treat them a lot better. After years of this, we’ve decided we need to find additional sources of income.

During the last couple years we’ve been following with growing interest the talk about Web3 and specifically Music3, and how it has become a great way of giving users something they really want and enjoy while raising significant amounts of money in the process. As such, we’ve taken a historical decision: We’re going to sell NFTs of MusicBrainz artist pages! (and book people, don’t worry; if the reception is as positive as we expect, we will expand this to BookBrainz author pages to help finance and accelerate the development of BookBrainz).

If you purchase an NFT of a MusicBrainz artist page, you’ll not only get the NFT itself, but you will get credited on the artist page so that everyone knows that you supported us by purchasing the NFT (and, of course, so that they know who to contact if they want to make you an offer to buy it for themselves). We will track any resales and update the displayed name accordingly.

A full commitment's what I'm thinking of

We can already announce the system we’re planning to use for determining the starting sale price for the NFTs: we will base it on the ListenBrainz count of listens for that specific artist (see the stats for the top artists). For example, given that Radiohead have (as of now) around 840,000 listens, while Def Leppard have around 84,000, we would set the starting price for the Radiohead NFT around 10 times higher than the Def Leppard one. Of course, that’s just the starting price, and resale prices will likely depend also on the specific buyer’s music tastes! We are still working on deciding what the cost-per-listen will be, but expect a new post with more details about pricing soon. You’ll notice this also means that the more usage ListenBrainz gets, the higher the prices; this is intentional, and we expect that this system where the income grows as ListenBrainz does too will help us scale the development as needed.

How will you be able to purchase our NFTs? We weren’t really satisfied with any of the available options, and we want to be in control of the whole process, so we’ve teamed with a group of blockchain experts to build our own blockchain, which we’re naming Ricast. We are aware of the large environmental impact of the most common proof-of-work blockchains, so since we’re an environmentally conscious organization who was never gonna run around and desertify the planet, the Ricast blockchain will operate on a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which has significantly lower environmental issues. Our PoS NFTs will allow you to support MetaBrainz without feeling bad about it! We will give more details about the Ricast blockchain in a further, more technical post, so for the geekier of you, stay tuned! Together with the Ricast blockchain, we will also be launching its accompanying coin, the rollcoin.

We’re hoping this is a huge success, because it would really help us hire more full time developers to give our users all the new features they’ve asked for for years (and some we know they’re aching for, but have been too shy to say it). We’ve known each other for so long, and we really want to take this relationship to a new level. Trust us, and we’re never gonna let you down!

As a final teaser, here’s the icon for our new coin, the rollcoin:

Inside we both know what's been going on

We understand some of you might be skeptical about this whole idea, whether for technical or ethical reasons. Our founder Robert Kaye goes deeper into our reasons for doing this and why we think it’s the right decision for us at this moment in this video. If you’ve watched it and your doubts are still not assuaged, feel free to start a discussion in the comments below! Don’t worry, we would never tell a lie nor hurt you.

MusicBrainz Server update, 2022-03-28

This release makes a bunch of small changes, mostly to URLs. One change that might be particularly worth noting: while earlier the series creation form defaulted to “Release group series” as type, now there’s no default and the user needs to actively pick the kind of series they want. We expect this to help with a relatively common issue where editors would try to add a new series for releases and accidentally create a release group series, leading to confusion about why they couldn’t add their release to it.

A new release of MusicBrainz Docker is also available that matches this update of MusicBrainz Server. See the release notes for update instructions.

Thanks to CatQuest, chaban, Cyberskull, jesus2099, mfmeulenbelt and mr_maxis for having reported bugs and suggested improvements. Thanks to mfmeulenbelt and salo.rock for updating the translations. And thanks to all others who tested the beta version!

The git tag is v-2022-03-28.

Continue reading “MusicBrainz Server update, 2022-03-28”