More information on the "Score" attribute in the search of musicbrainz


I don’t know if this is the right place to ask this… but ill take a chance.

I would like to know more about how the Scoring system works in the musicbrainz search system.
I would need that in order to be able to organize my own searches using the database queries directly.
After setting up the database and the server, when I am querying the DB for an artist, for example “Michael Jackson”, I get 4 results, but no specific order. I would like the most “popular” to be presented first, or at least that I would know which one is the one I am searching for.
After looking up in the database Schema, all I could find that can be relevant to popularity was the rating and the number of ratings. But still this turns out not to be so useful, since the max number of ratings was around 60 (not so special).

I was just wondering if there was any data that I am missing or something that could help me figure out whos the most popular when I get more than 1 result. I also thought about using the total number of songs those artist had and sort them accordingly, that could be good, but I still think there must be better and more specific.

Concerning the Scoring system, when I search for “Michael Jackson” in the web search, the actual most popular one gets a score of 100, whereas the others get 97 and 95 etc… (lower), that would be enough for me. So is there any specification on how this score can be calculated?

Hope you guys can help me!
Thanks in advance.


The scoring system comes straight from Lucene pretty much, and it doesn’t look at popularity in any way. In fact, MusicBrainz currently has no concept of popularity at all. I’m not sure if how scoring works (and which custom changes our setup has) is documented anywhere, but in general I think it’s more useful to take it as a general idea of how well the names match than depending on it too much.

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Thanks for the quick answer! Ill have a look on “Lucene” to see if that can help me in any way!

Also keep in mind that the web service search and the website search use different defaults, so you’ll get different “scores” depending on which one you try. Website search uses “indexed search” by default while I believe the web service search uses “index search with advanced query syntax”. Just something to keep in mind if you try and poke around more. :slight_smile: