MusicBrainz entity URL changes - Likely or Not?

Hi

How likely will it be that a MusicBrainz URL for an entity ever changes ?

Lets say: https://musicbrainz.org/event/6d51a5ad-ec86-4bbb-8a66-d6a7eac55bfb

I know that the MB ID will be unique … so I’m worried about the parts:

I’m asking because I think about referencing about 3000 MusicBrainz Bruce Springsteen event pages (which I already added to MB) to a Springsteen related Wiki (BruceBase) and the maintainer is worried about changes in the underlying URL.

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The URL is not supposed to change. Furthermore even if for some reason unknown yet let’s say the protocol will change (let’s assume https no longer exists and the world uses something else) the URL is still a valid identifier (a URI) and you can easily extract the identifying part from it. Basically what the MB URIs represent as an identifier is the provider of the IDs (MusicBrainz, identified by https://musicbrainz.org), the entity type (e.g. event) and the UUID of this entity (e.g. 6d51a5ad-ec86-4bbb-8a66-d6a7eac55bfb). So even if technical details of the URL changes it could still be rewritten.

If the maintainer of this site is too concerned about it they could also choose to save the short form of {type}:{mbid}, e.g. event:6d51a5ad-ec86-4bbb-8a66-d6a7eac55bfb.

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You can also leave out https: protocol from your links: //musicbrainz.org/event/6d51a5ad-ec86-4bbb-8a66-d6a7eac55bfb will link to same protocol as your site (http:), which is then redirected to https by MB.

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In 2006 (possibly even earlier), the URLs looked like http://www.musicbrainz.org/artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa.html which was then changed to have the .html removed in 2012, to http://musicbrainz.org/artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa which was then changed to allow for HTTPS in 2012 and changed to HTTPS-only in 2017 so the canonical URLs are now https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa (not sure at what point “www.” was dropped (or even if it was ever there, or if that is just an artefact of the Wayback Machine)).

So in 14 years (possibly more), the format has changed from http://www.musicbrainz.org/artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa.html to https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa – but if you click the first URL, you still end up at the latter one… and the key component (“artist/0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa”) didn’t change at all. So yeah, I’d say the URLs are fairly stable, but something like what @outsidecontext suggests of using some kind of custom identifier such as artist:0743b15a-3c32-48c8-ad58-cb325350befa could also work.

4 Likes