Is Musicbrainz currently in more of a "development" state, rather than "maintenance"?

Something I’ve noticed with my edits is that, although there is the capability for things like voting, and even vetoing my additions/edits, it appears that I’ve never seen anyone take advantage of these features.

Is this because unlike, for example, Wikipedia (which is mostly developed and currently more about being maintained), that Musicbrainz doesn’t have the adequate labour in order to audit every new addition?

It doesn’t bother me too much, it’s just I’m so accustomed to sites where edits are more regularly scrutinised and changed, that it surprised me how “hands off” people are regarding my edits. I’m guessing that even if I am missing or mishandling certain data, that once enough has been entered, the site will move towards “maintenance” where what has already been added can be more thoroughly scrutinised and changed.

I think I’m just not used to this level of freedom in editing databases, and I’m just voicing my discomfort. Apologies for what is likely a pointless topic, and thanks to everyone for their continued efforts cataloguing this information.


Development and voting on edits are really separate things. There are only a handful of regular developers who work on MusicBrainz features, but most of the editing and voting is done by regular users such as you and me. And most people prefer editing over voting (and so do I, voting really isn’t much fun), so there is a bit of a voting deficit.

Musicbrainz has changed over the years.
Earlier on voting on edits was mandatory to get in to the database.
This later changed to wait a week and accept it after that in addition to votes.
What we have now is most edits are accepted automatically with things that are potentially destructive requiring 7 days and votes.

Some of the people that have been here longer can fill in some more of the details.

Whether someone looks at your edits or not depends a lot on what you edit. For example, I do review edits to a ton of my subscribed artists (mostly classical), but often it’s more like I quickly look it over, if it looks ok, I do nothing, and I vote mostly if I disagree. So no votes doesn’t always mean no checking at all, it can also mean “was checked, but not in depth enough to categorically say yes”.


Subscribing and voting is generally used more to protect entities people have spent a lot of time on/ are protective of, so they can keep an eye on changes - except for a few die-hards who try keep an eye on as much as they can.

MB unfortunately doesn’t cultivate the community feel that other crowd-sourced sites go for, so I expect things to move more towards auto edits in future, and less voters rather than more.

Just for the record, this already happened in 2014.

And will keep happening based on discussion re. making it possible to eventually ‘roll back’ edits instead of voting


‘roll back’ would be great. Moreover, it would be very helpful if we could see the exact state before some edit was applied. Currently, it’s hard to tell for many details in the entries of the edit history, if they already have been there or if they were introduced only later.


I talked to the director of digital marketing at one of the major labels recently. He never heard of MusicBrainz.

I would’ve expected artists, their managers, and labels to be active on MusicBrainz - making sure that their records are complete and correct. I don’t see them. And I don’t see any effort to reach out to them.

RIA, A2IM, ASCAP, BMI, similar organizations in other countries - there are many ways to reach out to a large number of labels, artists and songwriters.

N.B. On Wikipedia I make sure that at least a page about me is accurate :slight_smile:

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I’m afraid that the major labels just don’t care about metadata. If you go to a major label’s website, you are unlikely to find any discographic information about releases older than a few months. Deutsche Grammophon/Decca is an exception, but I’m not sure whether it really counts as a major label (they are a part of UMG though).

Maybe actively reaching out to them might help, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


This is a good point - many people in the music industry don’t even know what metadata means. The reach-out should start with an explanation of why it is important to keep your data up-to-date. Something like “if you are not in MusicBrainz, you don’t exist as far as many services are concerned.”

And you are right - major labels probably wouldn’t care, but many artists and songwriters would. And that’s exactly where we need help - top 10,000 artists are well-covered in MusicBrainz, but after that a lot of data is missing.


Unless we improve a lot the interface for the casual user and we hold their hand much more, we most definitely don’t need this. Every time the BBC sends small artists to us, they get confused and frustrated and add awful data to boot.


I just happened on this thread and its interesting to me. I think the correct answer is “evolving” as all good projects should and IMHO the best “metadata system” in existence, but needs to keep evolving (which they are doing).

I have been watching MusicBrainz for over 10 years now and it was only 2 years ago that I started to actually use it, and a year ago that I got my account. I am album centrist not recording centrist and my workflow reflects this. I have gone through many disappointments in the last 15 years over the state of music metadata as I do not like to repeat work already done. Catalog programs, rippers, taggers, and other components have come and gone over the years. Much depends on what you are needs or wants are. Many people are happy to just play their music and get a title and artist displayed.

What scares me is the lose of free public access to all forms of the metadata as we witnessed with the original CDDB becoming Gracenote. As I have watched the internet and its “products” over the past 20 years its is clear the once available information has been put out of reach except for payment by unit or subscription. This is not necessarily bad as someone has to pay for the costs of providing the information, which gets us into ownership of that information which can be a sticky subject. Just remember once that information is removed from the public getting access to that information can be out of your control. I have somewhat digressed off the main subject line but thought it would be helpful to the topic.

Does MusicBrainz need to do better? Absolutely, but that is up to the community to push for, and we all need to help. How easy or how difficult it is to use the interfaces into MusicBrainz is left to the user to decide and each of us have own own strengths and weaknesses. I am dyslexic and entering data at the keyboard is a very risky thing for me so I do all my processing off line and generate lists of data to cut and past. I find Picard difficult and would rather a batching type system that did not have so many manual user checks in your way, but I have found they are truly necessity in order to keep duplication and and errors to a minimum. The information needs to be accurate.

I could say much more, but that’s for another time, time for me to turn “-v” off.