New MetaBrainz site, new look and Live Data Feed access tokens

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll be aware that we’ve been working on a complete overhaul of our branding and the look and feel of our web sites. While we still have a few minor adjustments to make here and there, we are happy to present you with our newly re-designed MetaBrainz Foundation web site.

MetaBrainz

New features of this site include our new site design, new logos, showcasing our projects and our customers, and HTTPS support. But the most important feature of this new site include online sign-up for commercial use of our data and access token generation for our Live Data Feed.

Two months ago we announced that as of today our Live Data Feed would require an access token in order to download the replication packets. These access tokens are available for free for private use and available on a sliding support scale for commercial use. Starting right now, you may go to the new Sign Up page and associate a new MetaBrainz account with your existing (or new) MusicBrainz account. Once you complete the sign-up process, you will be able to generate an access token to use with our Live Data Feed. We will post details on what to do with this access token after the schema change release takes place later today.

We’ve needed this new site for years and years, but have always been too busy focusing on our flagship project MusicBrainz. But, with help from Roman Tsukanov (aka Gentlecat) and MonkeyDo, we have finally released a web site that both brings us into modern times and streamlines the process for commercial users to start using our data.

If you are curious about what logos we chose for our other projects, see the animation on the MetaBrainz home page. Soon we will roll out the new site design onto CritiqueBrainz, BookBrainz, Cover Art Archive and our Picard site. However, since MusicBrainz is not built on the Bootstrap toolkit it will take us a while to roll the design out onto that site.

Thank you to Gentlecat, Nicolas at MonkeyDo, and everyone who gave feedback on the many logo and site designs that have been floated here for the past few weeks.

Moving more quickly now, here is yet another round of logos!

Based on the last round of feedback, here is another round:

MusicBrainz_logos_13-05-15

If something isn’t being shown, you can assume that it isn’t really up for discussion anymore. (Except perhaps for color schemes, which this round may change.)

As usual, hit us with your comments, but do it soon as we’re iterating faster now.

Thanks!

Nearly final round of logos!

Most of the logo decisions have been made and we’re ironing out the last details of font placement. Open questions are:

  1. What text placement do we like?
  2. Which of the new AcousticBrainz logos we we like?
  3. For the large MusicBrainz logo, do we want to have the drop shadows?

MusicBrainz_logos_12-05-15_v2

As usual, let us know your thoughts on our blog!

(P.S. Some of the logos have some minor artifacts on them — we’re aware of them and we’ll fix those in the final logos)

One more round of logos

Thank you for your feedback from the last round of logos! The most important messages that we received from the last round were:

  • The colors were too saturated
  • There logos contained too much detail and when made smaller, would not look good

Nico, our designer from Monkey.Do, has taken this to heart and come up with the next round of logos. In this iteration, he is demonstrating progressive details with a logo: At the lowest level of detail the brain is just the split hexagon as suggested by Aerozol, and as the logo gets larger, more detail appears in the logo.

Have a look:

MusicBrainz_logos_30-04-15

As usual, we’d love your feedback!

Branding brief

My friend Niclas Ljungberg overheard me complain about how discombobulated and disconnected the MetaBrainz branding currently is. There is some cohesion between MusicBrainz and MetaBrainz, but almost none to the newer projects like CritiqueBrainz and AcousticBrainz. And very few people are fond of the current logos (plus, they haven’t aged very well). When Niclas heard this, he said: “I can help you!”.

Getting help in the area of marketing and business is rare, so I jumped at the chance. Niclas and I sat down where Niclas interviewed me about how all the pieces currently fit together and how I  think they should fit together. The deliverable from this conversation is a “Branding brief” (PDF). It talks about the current state of things, the goals and then gives context and some suggestions that a graphic designer can use to start designing cohesive logos and cohesive site designs that we can use for our sites. It does not propose any concrete actions — please keep that in mind when you read the brief.

The next step is to work with a designer to turn Niclas’ branding brief into some logo concepts that meet the outlined goals. At this point, we’re not exactly ready to take any concrete feedback from the community — I’m mostly sharing this to show that I’ve started a process to fix our current branding situation.

I’m very happy with how far things have come in this process and I wanted to give a heartfelt thanks to Nicals for donating his time to help us improve our overall presence on the net.

Thank you Niclas!