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MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open content music database. Similar to the freedb project, it was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the CDDB. However, MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured "Wikipedia for music",[2] but it's not free content like Wikipedia.



MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, and the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, and the length of each track. These entries are maintained by volunteer editors who follow community written style guidelines. Recorded works can additionally store information about the release date and country, the CD disc ID, an acoustic fingerprint for each track and have an optional free-form text field or annotation attached to them. As of 29 July 2010 (2010 -07-29), MusicBrainz contained information about 560,000 artists, 830,000 releases, and 9.8 million tracks.[3]

End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to tag their digital media files, such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.


MusicBrainz initially used Relatable's patented TRM (a recursive acronym for TRM Recognizes Music) for acoustic fingerprint matching. This feature attracted a lot of users and allowed the database to grow at a fast rate. By 2005 it became obvious Relatable's fingerprinting solution didn't scale well to the millions of tracks in the database and the search for a viable replacement began.

On May 12, 2006, Robert Kaye posted an announcement on the project's official blog about a partnership between MusicBrainz and MusicIP.[4] Part of the agreement allows MusicBrainz to use MusicIP's MusicDNS service for acoustic fingerprinting (PUIDs). Since November 24, 2008 TRMs have been phased out and MusicBrainz rely solely on PUIDs. MusicBrainz uses RDF/XML for describing music metadata, which is available for automated processing via HTTP GET and POST methods according to REST architectural style for distributed hypermedia systems.

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