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FreeDB Is Shutting Down (freedb.org)
214 points by big_chungus on Dec 28, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 88 comments

That's a real pity, but they didn't stand a chance against musicbrainz:


I ran a similar service for years (daz.com) and eventually shut it down because musicbrainz was not worth competing with though I think we did a better job of tying the links between the various bands by tracking artists from one act to another, also studio artists which made it quite nice for music discovery.

Apologies, but it feels so strange to me to see FreeDB framed as being "in competition" with anything. It was designed to do exactly one thing: continue a community-focused and technically-compatible version of CDDB after that project pulled a bait-and-switch in the late '90s by taking the data that was generously- and freely-submitted by users and then spinning themselves into the for-profit Gracenote LLC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDDB#History

I'm sorry you found it unsustainable, but from what I can find about Daz it seems to have been pretty much the same idea as Gracenote: take the data submitted by users out of their desire to share alike, lock it up, and then commercialize it by putting a bunch of semi-related functionality around it. Assuming this link is the correct Daz, anyway, it talks about mp3 downloads, used CD shopping, artist exclusives, and other things I was always very glad FreeDB didn't want to be:


"Visitors and members can search for all kinds of music related information and listen to ten thousands various samples. DAZ.com offers members a free mp3 to download every day (see homepage) and two RSS feeds: the free mp3 of the day and the updates from last 24 hours. Feel free to point your reader to this feeds.

In the near future we will add more community features, create a better user-interface and offer a second hand cd-spot. At the moment I am contacting with signed and unsigned artists to discuss ways of working together."

It's the correct link but it never did any of that beyond some trials, the free mp3 download was a promo given to us for free by bands that wanted to be highlit, I think we did three of those or so before canning it, it just didn't feel right, but some people really liked it, and it might have been a way to generate some revenue without bugging the users.

Daz was essentially a wiki which allowed people to link artists, bands and media. Unfortunately we never got to the point where we got permission to stream media, but plenty of artists thought that was what we were doing (we just did the legal maximum sample that you could distribute under fair use). I can't count the number of angry 'cease-and-desist' letters that we received, invariably followed by sheepish apologies that they never actually downloaded anything from the site. But some artists really liked it and it was quite interesting to be 'pen pals' with some of the very well known names in the industry.

The whole reason I built it because I saw the writing on the wall with Gracenote, I contributed plenty to CDDB and suddenly saw my own work be used for profit.

Maybe instead of looking at a blog have a look at the archive.org snapshots of the website over time, they give a much better picture. I also built a media player / file sharing client that used daz.com for the meta data called mxchg.com.

But music on the web is very hard to make work as a long term thing, the bills have to be paid and even if the content is user generated you still need to supervise it and ensure that people don't pull tricks to vandalize it or destroy it.

I'm very much impressed with how Musicbrainz has been able to keep it clean, free and have such stamina, that's serious dedication.

> But music on the web is very hard to make work as a long term thing, the bills have to be paid and even if the content is user generated you still need to supervise it and ensure that people don't pull tricks to vandalize it or destroy it.

Absolutely, and it's thankless work too, like how the #1 user-agent string on FreeDB's statistics page is "FreedbDemo" straight from their example code project. Moderation is more necessary now, though, with the Musicbrainz/Discogs paradigm where there's one canonical "correct" listing for every artist/album/whatever. One of my favorite parts of FreeDB/CDDB (and one of the reasons I use it to this day) is how many albums have multiple user-submitted entries that fit different tagging styles. I totally get how some people would consider that a downside, and it still doesn't preclude vandals crapflooding you with bogus garbage entries, but I don't consider a lot of the MB/Discogs tagging guidelines to be especially good. Any tag source I use—including the paid GD3—is guaranteed to need at least a little editing, and I find that FreeDB gets me closer to my ideal tagging format more often than any of the others.

That makes good sense. Tagging consistency was a nightmare to get right and even though we did an ok job at it I was never 100% satisfied. If you want I can probably still dig up our database somewhere as a mysql dump and get it over to you. There might be something useful in there.

If it's not too much trouble, yes please :)

I was toying with reading/writing my EAC database file a few months ago, and this news reinvigorated my interest in getting something nice and local running to serve all my new and (many) old clients.

Where would I send it?

my email jacques@modularcompany.com

I e-mailed you. Thanks!

Count me in too!

Just wanted to say the same. This is the last time to update all the clients relying on FreeDB to use MusicBrainz, it's about time.

Updating FreeDB clients to use Musixbrainz used to be as easy as changing the API URL, but unfortunately Musicbrainz deprecated their side of that interface a year or so ago: https://blog.metabrainz.org/2018/09/18/freedb-gateway-end-of...

We run our own FreeDB server at OneMusicAPI which we use to combine with other data.

If anyone is inconvenienced by the FreeDB shutdown and needs some short term service to get them by, while they work out what else to do, send us an email and we can see if we can open our FreeDB server.

http://www.onemusicapi.com/blog/2014/12/03/retrieving-freedb... (this talks about using our API, but we could open our FreeDB access point too).

Sorry, musicbrainz would be good if there were any good interface to enter data. A good part of my CDs is from independent Brazillian musicians. They have no data in musicbrainz and the interfaces to fill it are a pain in ...

What about the interface makes it difficult for you?

The web interface.

That's the only thing they basically have for editing. What about it specifically?

Does musicbrainz support the 'Disc ID' tags that FreeDB uses?

Also, ISTM that it should be quite feasible for musicbrainz to track artists and "acts", in a pinch by cross-referencing wikidata.org which acts as a sort of shared focus for the whole Linked-Open-Data metaverse.

MusicBrainz Picard can look up discs based on the ToC and disc ID. Other software can implement the algorithm used by MusicBrainz if they wish: https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disc_ID_Calculation

They do also store FreeDB disc IDs, for example: https://musicbrainz.org/cdtoc/lwHl8fGzJyLXQR33ug60E8jhf4k-

MusicBrainz has its own format of disc ID (checksum of an entire audio disc), plus per-track fingerprints.

Artist credits can be tracked -- there are extremely fine-grained relationship models -- but most entries don't have the associated metadata because it's a hassle to input.

Disc ID's weren't perfect, you can make a pretty easy mapping between the two if you want. But software still in maintenance really should switch to musicbrainz (and probably should have switched long ago).

For my own system I used a music fingerprint written by Giancarlo Pascutto (I hope I spelled that right, it's ages ago), which used a really nice algorithm that did not see a single collision in a very large number of tracks.

The death of yet another free, bespoke service from the halcyon days of the web.

Every time this happens I get more and more angry about the trash-heap-dumpster-fire services from exit-focused "enterpreneurs" that seek to replace them

How much could freedb have been costing MAGIX? Could they not have handed it off to someone else?

> How much could freedb have been costing MAGIX?

More than zero. MAGIX acquired freedb in 2006, so I assume this decision was an easy one for some middle manager who has been there for a couple years and has no love for some crusty Old Internet service that's beyond obsolete (aka can't figure out how to put ads on it).

I'm sure the front page will shortly feature a story on someone's new "CD-ripping as a service" startup.

Why not offer to buy it?

Because you'll never make it back. It will just be a money pit. You still need to keep it secure, host it, maintain it. And free users are much worse than paid users in terms of how entitled they feel so you can be prepared for a never ending stream of crap from people telling you how you should run it but who wouldn't pay $0.05 if the life of the site depended on it.

I certainly believe this but thread OP does not.

Because I'm not just made of money

I think it doesn't take too many more steps to answer your questions from here.

And if they were willing to sell it for a reasonable amount (three-digit sum of money), I might, but most likely they won't.

This corporate "has to be profitable" mentality needs to die. It's sad that we are in a place where even simple services require these supposedly ongoing maintenance costs, when they were originally designed as set-it-and-forget-it services

I'm not sure if I've understood your comment. Let me play devil's advocate for a while:

How can a "set-it-and-forget-it" web service exist from the service provider's POV? You always need to do small things like monitoring your servers and making sure they're all up-to-date and still working. This is ongoing maintenance cost. Additionally, you need electricity and some place to put your servers (be it virtual or physical).

Also, running something unprofitable out of your own pocket works as a hobby maybe, but not for a company at scale. You need to pay your employees. Even as a hobby it's problematic because you can only do it so many times until your regular income is exhausted.

A lot of this stuff is already open - in fact, you are allowed to run your own, local server. After shutdown, I'm pretty sure no one will stop you from hosting a free instance publicly. If in doubt, get written permission from the company, german laws apply.

Download: http://www.freedb.org/en/download__server_software.4.html

Disclaimer: I know nothing about what led to this situation

Found it a bit sad to see this notice followed by a recent news headline saying the project was guaranteed to continue:

  Continuation of the free database guaranteed

  With the acquisition of the www.freedb.org domain
  MAGIX also takes on all duties regarding the 
  worldwide freedb community

That acquisition was the reason why I made a fork of the freedb database, I'm actually pretty happy with how long they held out.

I would encourage everybody to download the software:


And the db:


It would be good to have multiple copies floating around.

I made a torrent:

This includes all the files from your mirror except for the older database backups and the "latest" directory (which is just the extracted version of cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz).

Thank you for making this, I will seed the torrent for a couple of weeks or until it looks like nobody is downloading it anymore.

4gb for the whole database (compressed).

It seems like so little for artists/tracknames of every piece of music ever published (to CD), because it would take 0.1% of my disk space, while knowing it's so much data.

It's less than 1GB; the four large archives you see that are each nine-hundred-and-change megs are dated snapshots. Just pull the latest from here (current as of 12/03/2019): http://ftp.freedb.org/pub/freedb/freedb-complete-20191203.ta...

Thanks! It's 948Mb.

Some more details about the files for future reference. (Sizes listed below are measured in bytes.)


freedb-complete-20191203.tar.bz2: bzip2 compressed data

    curl -I http://ftp.freedb.org/pub/freedb/freedb-complete-20191203.tar.bz2

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 02:42:04 GMT
    Server: Apache/2.0.54 (Debian GNU/Linux)
    Last-Modified: Tue, 03 Dec 2019 19:14:50 GMT
    ETag: "542dff-3b460112-8295de80"
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    Content-Length: 994443538
    Content-Type: application/x-tar
SIZE (freedb-complete-20191203.tar.bz2) = 994443538

SHA256 (freedb-complete-20191203.tar.bz2) = e005ec2ee3f3dabf2f5c45b49273358fcb796aae946cdfeeb31cd2e555b86978

MD5 (freedb-complete-20191203.tar.bz2) = 6f8be385155242e11bae5d5acb557b5d


cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz: gzip compressed data, was "cddbd-1.5.2.tar", last modified: Sat Jul 1 17:47:47 2006, max compression, from Unix, original size 675840

    curl -I http://ftp.freedb.org/pub/freedb/cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 02:45:17 GMT
    Server: Apache/2.0.54 (Debian GNU/Linux)
    Last-Modified: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 10:06:55 GMT
    ETag: "20bb2f-2bef1-a6738dc0"
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    Content-Length: 179953
    Content-Type: application/x-tar
    Content-Encoding: x-gzip
SIZE (cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz) = 179953

SHA256 (cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz) = bec016250b06fa7aed368ca163489b72cebc93c1ae804e5f342cea3c64f5e4e4

MD5 (cddbd-1.5.2.tar.gz) = 2f0e6a0ec6a4157a5c3874fca10b33ce


freedb-proto5-update: Perl script text executable

    curl -I http://ftp.freedb.org/pub/freedb/freedb-proto5-update

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 02:47:34 GMT
    Server: Apache/2.0.54 (Debian GNU/Linux)
    Last-Modified: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 15:05:29 GMT
    ETag: "20bbac-1480-f00ce040"
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    Content-Length: 5248
    Content-Type: text/plain
SIZE (freedb-proto5-update) = 5248

SHA256 (freedb-proto5-update) = 4cc1f7b7909c845c55fe1e8ea4b4844e45d2645d7ddec74300517378c2558081

MD5 (freedb-proto5-update) = 0ec2fb029e9aeae76ddf25daea8ddd59

Would it be too much trouble to ask to put these in the Internet Archive as items while you’re at it?

Good idea. I haven't uploaded to IA before, but it looks like I was able to do it. I put the software metadata attribute on the files, but other than that I wasn't sure of what other metadata to add if any.

The files that were mentioned above should now be available at https://archive.org/details/freedb

After uploading the files I noticed that there were some results on IA already for FreeDB, and one of the results is even a user named freedb which I guess might be an official account of the FreeDB people.

That headline is on web.archive.org as far back as 2014 (I didn't check earlier), so 'recent' may be a bit of a misnomer here.

Should anyone want to parse the dataset as it is today and do something with it, I recently wrote some Go to that end:


Ohhhh, back in the late 90s, I saw my friend hand-tagging his ripped CDs.

He seemed annoyed when I showed him how CDDB/FreeDB worked.

I digitized a good chunk of the Dutch broadcast archive using a custom built cluster of PCs and a tower of CD readers. We must have processed many thousands of CDs and entered all the meta data and submitted it to CDDB before the Gracenote acquisition. It was pretty interesting to see a whole delivery van full of CD arrive and to see them go away again a week or two later + a crate of harddrives.

The second version of the cluster looked like this:


The first (of which I have no pictures) was just 10 whitebox PCs.

How is MusicBrainz doing? The blog has recent updates, that's a good sign. https://musicbrainz.org/

Pretty good I might say looking at all the comments here. The rare album I download is rarely on Musicbrainz though, while Discogs[0] always had it.

I'm sure it has something to do with the music genre these albums fall in (hardstyle), but as I said Discogs did have them all and I've heard the same from people with different tastes in music.

So I like to use TagScanner[1] to tag my albums. It searches both MusicBrainz and Discogs and apparently others as well.

P.S. I checked a single artist to see if Musicbrainz has caught up with Discogs yet a few months ago and the only things listed were a 5 year old album and some singles I believe. I just checked again and in the last 3 months some users added everything else.[2]

[0]: https://discogs.com [1]: https://xdlab.ru/en [2]: https://musicbrainz.org/artist/5347c7dc-a8bd-4a05-8ae1-a17fb...

They're doing great. Quite a lot of edits flowing in, dataset growing and being fixed. It's a great volunteer effort. Could always use more developers and editors though.

Ug, I'm late to this discussion, but I can't find anything in the Musicbrainz.org documentation that provides the same access / results as FreeDB.

In other words, from a "discid" (in Musicbrainz format or FreeDB format or otherwise), I want artist, album, and track titles, and optimally cover artwork.

Does anyone know how to get that, in JSON or XML format, from Musicbrainz?

Okay, to answer my own question:


will give you a list of "releases" for that discid. Use the release ID in this endpoint, with the included parameters:


and you'll get the track data. Not quite sure how to get the album art yet, but should follow.

Cover art, when available, is via the Cover Art Archive API: https://coverartarchive.org/api

(The Release lookup has a `cover-art-archive` JSON object which contains information about what can be fetched from CAA.)

As a slightly unrelated note, how do these sort of databases actually get bootstrapped?

I imagine as you get up and running, you'd end up with industry contacts, access to industry data sources and so on but I'd be interested to know how these sorts of things get started?

Ummm... no industry contacts. It’s just a bunch of people who are anal about music.

It has always been like that in the Web 1.0 days: just a bunch of people being anal about something.

And it worked beautifully.

Web 1.0: People anal about something and come together to make it better

Web 2.0: People anal about their egos and snipe and attack each other until everyone is the same level of sad and lonely.

When I was a developer on MusicBrainz (2010-2013) we didn't have access to any industry data sources. Some of our customers did though, and wanted to feed that back into the MusicBrainz database. When we took a look at that data, it turned out that it was pretty messy, and couldn't be used directly. We discussed storing that data separately, and building a tool so users could easily import from it -- so it could be verified and cleaned up by a human before becoming part of the database. I don't remember if that ever got built.

Seeing FreeDB reminds me of Audiograbber.

Man, that's a blast from the past. Audiograbber was one of the first pieces of software I ever spent my own money on. I can also remember buying Kali (which let you play IPX LAN games over the TCP/IP internet), ACDSee, and something called I think ZipMagic(?) that made Windows treat zip files as directories.

Ah, memories.

Good old times, indeed. The Kali website seems even literally to be stuck in the past (http://kali.net/).


For a second there I thought it was FreeBSD.

I first read it as freeBSD!!

Could you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News? You've done it quite a bit and we're trying for more substance here.

Could you please not have a double standard and flag gamesbrainiac comment too?

I'm not strongly against flagging my comment, it's effectively void of substance (zero meaning). But if you flag zero meaning comments, you should even more flag negative meaning comments. By that I mean flagging most of logical fallacies, bullshits, cargo cults, echo chambers, and therefore half of comments on A(G)I topics.

By that I mean flagging most of logical fallacies I'm currently working on a tool to automate this.

I understand the desire for consistency, but moderation can't be consistent because we don't see everything that gets posted here. Also, the comment you mention didn't exist when I replied to you.

Make sense, what do you think about negative meaning comments ?

I'd have to see specific examples to say anything meaningful.

What's A(G)I?

Artificial general intelligence, the graal of computer science.

It seems like this is some archaic service that provides song titles and album artist information for some physical DRM-free uncompressed audio format from years gone.

This seems needlessly hostile for something that affects you so little if you don't have a use for it. I have a huge digital (in the FLAC/MP3 sense) music library ripped almost exclusively from my own physical CD collection, and FreeDB has been an absolutely enormous boon to me over the years. CDs may be "ancient" technology these days, but they sound better than Spotify/YouTube/Apple, have effectively zero* DRM, can be resold, and I will continue buying them as long as I'm able. This is a sad day :(

[*] Assuming they care about putting the "CDDA" logo on their product, but luckily those non-standard outliers—Sony rootkit included—mostly came and went with the the 2000s.

I think you missed the dry humour in the comment. “Physical DRM-free uncompressed audio” is a barb at the post-CD generation of industry-mandated contraptions, which lowered sound quality and convenience, and the “obsolete” quip is a parody of sneering contemporary tech-types.

Don’t worry, I’m not _that_ sarcasm-blind. Doesn’t change the feeling that it’s overly hostile to say the same dismissive industry contrapoint but hidden behind “haha it’s funny because I’m saying the opposite of what I actually believe”.

Yeah HN takes itself way too seriously.

Yes it is, and it works brilliantly for that use case. I like to rip my own CDs so that I know the source of my music and can control the quality. I use Exact Audio Copy which has an automatic download from freedb.org. I have no idea what I'm going to do once it shuts down.

The DB and server software are available; I use it for the same case and am putting up my own instance. EAC allows adding a custom freedb server, as I recall.

I'm tempted to do the same, but as someone who is buying _new_ music on CD this doesn't particularly help.

It seems CTDB provides access to MusicBrainz, so that might be my alternative.


I typically buy music that isn't in any DB anyway, so I enter it on vgmdb then use vgmdb's cddb endpoint. Maybe one of the competing services will work for you for commercial music?

The software and the database can be downloaded. There's already a few links here to do just that.

I'm sure a few clone sites will pop up and you could always run a local copy yourself.

If Exact Audio Copy doesn't allow you to set the API to connect to, you could always use some proxy software (I use Charles) to forward freedb links to your chosen replacement.

EAC is still around? Is it still being updated?

Yep! It's been "stable" (>= 1.0) since 2015, has seen a handful of releases since, and will surely see more when the time comes: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=EAC_release_histo...

I guess "archaic" is how we call actual useful online services these day. Websites and services that just work, without harassing the user, and do what they do well. If this is archaic, gosh, may we have more of these archaic things.

"Archaic" because FreeDB has been obsolete for ... 10 years or so? Quite a long time at any rate. MusicBrainz and Discogs are the contemporary equivalents, with MB having (in my opinion) higher quality data, and Discogs having better coverage of obscure Western releases.

Data is never obsolete when it comes to archival, unless you’re a consumer who doesn’t read books or care about the past.

MusicBrainz and Discogs are wonderful resources, but I consider them complementary to FreeDB more than equivalent. They are based around the concept of a single canonical "correct" entry for everything, and their tag formatting guidelines are fundamentally at odds with many of my personal tagging preferences.

I do love the formatting and structure of MB's Style Guidelines page, but it goes somewhere I dislike from the very first Principles page: https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Principle/Error_correction...

"Artists sometimes choose to present names and titles in ways that deliberately contradict the rules of the language they're in (e.g. unorthodox spellings) and/or the MusicBrainz Style Guidelines. To describe the way we handle such choices, we use the term 'artist intent.' The general idea is that if an artist intended something to be written in a special way, then MusicBrainz should follow that intent. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find out what an artist intended. If you want to claim that some deviation from the Style Guidelines should be considered artist intent, the burden of proof lies on you. A seeming error may be considered evidence of artist intent if it is consistently found on all of an artist's official releases. The best evidence would be a statement of intent by the artist (e.g. edit 6892422: https://musicbrainz.org/edit/6892422)."

Arguing with other music nerds on the Internet about which one of us has the Factually Correct Tags is not my idea of fun, and FreeDB avoids this problem by supporting multiple entries for any given disc. I totally understand how some people would consider that a burden, but I smile any time I get to choose from a few entries on FreeDB because one of them will always be substantially closer to my ideal. For me this usually manifests in ways such as (but not limited to):

- Genre tags. According to Discogs half my CDs belong in a single bucked labeled "Folk, World, & Country" https://www.discogs.com/genre/folk%2C+world%2C+%26+country

- Use of Artist vs AlbumArtist

- "Featured artists" in the title tag vs in the Artist tag (vs not listed at all?)

- "Year" tags when an album's slightly-staggered multi-region release overlaps a year boundary, or when a different label has re-released a bit-identical disc with packaging labeled a different year. I have that problem with a lot of my CDs from Sire or Tommy Boy Records where the post-1985 pressings are distributed under Reprise with a new date: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reprise_Records#Revival_and_Re...

- Title capitalization, my most frequent hassle. I have many CDs with track or artist names in ALL CAPS ENGLISH SHOUTING style. Super super common on Japanese releases, and both MB and Discogs used to have rules specifically banning anything except Camel Cased English Literary Title style.

I say "used to" because they have both gotten better on that issue, but a good percentage of the older data was entered under the old Title Case Only guidelines and remains that way. For an example, compare the same album described on Musicbrainz https://musicbrainz.org/release/041f87d6-6583-42cd-8cf3-5f4a... versus on a fandom wiki https://remywiki.com/Beatmania_HIROSHI_WATANABE_beat_indicat...

This is the relevant Musicbrainz guideline that didn't used to exist: https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Language/Japanese

"Although the Japanese script has no capitalization, it is very common for Japanese titles to contain words in other scripts. Japanese artists have a tendency to choose capitalization and punctuation for aesthetic reasons; and to be very consistent regarding case over all releases. For this reason, words in the Latin script on a Japanese release should be in the same case as on the album art if other available sources, such as official discography or record label pages, are consistent; not normalized according to English or other capitalization standards."

But then _that_ guideline rubs me the wrong way, implying "capitalization and punctuation for aesthetic reasons" is exclusive to one culture, and letting record labels and marketing materials override the artistic work itself. Here's an example from Scotland: bis' 2007 CD+DVD greatest hits release.

- Title Cased on Musicbrainz: https://musicbrainz.org/release/45a14f8d-687d-4309-aa83-1004...

- Title Cased on Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/Bis-We-Are-Bis-From-Glasgow-Scotland...

- obviously aesthetically lower-cased on the actual album I'm holding in real life: https://i.imgur.com/hlaIRHj.jpg

The FreeDB system we're losing allows me to share my tags alongside the Title Cased version, so everyone can be happy: https://i.imgur.com/xrFj66A.png

Obviously any metadata service at all is perfectly fine for the 99% of people who just want some idea of what song they're listening to, and I realize I'm making my life way more difficult than it needs to be by caring about this to the extent I do, but music is too important and personal of a thing for me to settle for 99%. In a world of otherwise constant chaos my music library is my one zen garden. The single thing I curate to something asymptotically approaching my concept of perfection. A more accurate log of my own feelings and experiences than any words. Replicating the FreeDB data on my local network wont be hard, and that database will undoubtedly serve me well for years as I discover different things new to me despite their chronological age, but we're losing something way more special here than just the data and a crusty old Perl CGI script.

> FreeDB avoids this problem by supporting multiple entries for any given disc.

FWIW, something somewhat similar to this will Soon™ be part of MusicBrainz too: https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/MBS-4501 – you might want to read through there and maybe even put your own thoughts about what it can be used for in a comment on that ticket.

> MB […] used to have rules specifically banning anything except Camel Cased English Literary Title style

Just out of curiosity: When was this? I’ve been involved with MusicBrainz since summer of 2006 (ie., for over 10 years) and this hasn’t been the case for as long as I’ve been around.

I'm currently looking at becoming caretaker for a large number of people's music collections soon. I hear what you're saying about music being too important to settle for 99%. Hopefully I'll get things right enough.

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