February 2024 was the 30th anniversary of CDDB

… in February 1994, the remarkable journey of CDDB began.

I know many of you remember submitting CDs to CDDB, back when MusicBrainz was still years away. Artist, track name, album name, year, genre. Two CDs could have the same hash (which led to some occasional surprises). You probably used EAC after it came out a few years later.

CDDB didn’t just predate MusicBrainz, but Windows 95, Red Hat Linux, Mac OS 8, and Quake. Napster was still five years away. CD-ROM drives (and CD-Rs) were expensive, and they transferred 150 KB/s. Many of them used caddies like this. Some marketers tried to get people to buy a caddy for every disc they owned. I don’t know if CDDB was ahead of its time, but it came out just in time. When the masses got CD-ROM drives, it was ready to receive.


CDDB becames Gracenote… and that’s the start of MusicBrainz history.


Well, we’re all grateful for that, I’m sure! I read MusicBrainz’s History page for the first time just now. I had completely forgotten about the existence of CD index files.