MusicBrainz

Overview

MusicBrainz is a user-maintained open music community that collects, and makes available to the public, music metadata, including information about artists, release groups, releases, tracks, labels and the many relationships between them. The database also contains a full history of all the changes that the MusicBrainz community has made to the music metadata.

The music metadata available for download includes the following features:

 

Artist music metadata includes

A MusicBrainz ID (MBID)
Name
Sortname for displaying the artist name in a sorted list
Common aliases and misspellings
Type (person/group)
Begin date, a birth date or formation date, depending on type
End date, a death date or dissolution date, depending on type
Comment, a short disambiguation field that distinguishes artists with same or similar names
Annotation, a free form text field that allows editors to make notes about the artist

 

Release Group music metadata includes

A MusicBrainz ID (MBID)
Title
Artist
Type (album, single, EP, compilation, soundtrack, spokenword, interview, audiobook, live, remix, other)

 

Release music metadata includes

A MusicBrainz ID (MBID)
Title
Artist
Type (album, single, EP, compilation, soundtrack, spokenword, interview, audiobook, live, remix, other)
Status (official, promotion, bootleg, pseudo-release)
Language (see ISO 639)
Annotation, a free form text field that allows editors to make notes about the release
Disc ID (zero or more disc IDs that allow audio CD identification)
Amazon ASIN, an Amazon product code that is suitable for linking to cover art
Release events that each contain:
Release date
Release country
Label
Catalog number
Barcode (EAN/UPC)
Format (CD, cassette, vinyl, wax cylinder, etc.)

 

Track music metadata includes

A MusicBrainz ID (MBID)
Title
Artist
Duration (in milliseconds)
Annotation, a free form text field that allows editors to make notes about the track
PUID, the MusicIP acoustic fingerprint identifier for the track
ISRC

 

Label music metadata includes

A MusicBrainz ID (MBID)
Name
Sortname for displaying the label name is a sorted list
Common aliases and misspellings
Type (original production, bootleg production, reissue production, distributor, holding)
Code, the IFPI label code
Begin date (formation date)
End date (dissolution date)
Comment, a short disambiguation field that distinguishes labels with same or similar names
Annotation, a free form text field that allows editors to make notes about the label
Country (ISO 3166 Codes)
The various artists, releases, and tracks can be linked together with relationships that enrich the depth of collectible data. For example, relationships can provide information about web resources (e.g. Wikipedia pages, download locations, review pages, etc), or they can indicate instrument/vocal performances on a piece of music. These relationships allow MusicBrainz to capture most of the data contained in the liner notes of an Audio CD.

 

About

MusicBrainz was initially created by Robert Kaye in response to Gracenote taking over the free CDDB project and charging people for access to the (what up till that point had been free) data. The MusicBrainz community has grown considerably since then, and the project has expanded its scope from being a CDDB replacement to a true “Wikipedia for music”.
MusicBrainz collects a vast amount of music metadata, far more than the traditional artist/album/track model, for a complete list see the MusicBrainz Database page. All of the music metadata in MusicBrainz is contributed to, and maintained by, its users – who follow community written style guidelines when editing to help ensure a standard of quality.

 

Database

The MusicBrainz database stores all of the data of the MusicBrainz music metadata catalogue. This data includes all the data about Artists, Releases, Tracks, AdvancedRelationships between them, but also the MusicBrainz users (editors) and the changes they entered into the database (edits).

 

Format

PostgreSQL database dump (used to be RDF)

 

License

Core data available under Creative Commons Public Domain license. Datasets including details of edits and editors is available under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike license.
Link to original data on CKAN.

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