On the future of CritiqueBrainz

Hi everyone,

You may have noticed that there hasn’t been much development activity on CritiqueBrainz lately. Unfortunately, the focus of the MetaBrainz team has been on other projects recently, and for a few years now we haven’t had a developer who has been working on CritiqueBrainz. In addition, we see that there hasn’t been much activity on CritiqueBrainz recently. We’re unsure if this is a chicken and egg situation and that we need to invest into it to get people to use it, or if CritiqueBrainz simply doesn’t fit into the mould of MetaBrainz projects as well as we hoped it would.

Even a small project like CritiqueBrainz requires a significant amount of development effort, inculding applying security updates in software that we use, fixing small bugs that appear, and moderating reviews that are added.

Therefore, we’re asking the community to see if there is anyone who would like to help us with the general maintenance and upkeep of CritiqueBrainz.

Call for volunteer community manager
We’ve had a number of great ideas about ways to increase the number of reviews in CritiqueBrainz. Would you like to help to encourage people to write reviews? This could include things like posting on the forums, organising weeks/months of reviews around a particular theme, or promoting CritiqueBrainz in other community forums.

Call for volunteer moderators
We need volunteers to verify bad reviews that have been reported by members of the community. At the moment this task doesn’t require a lot of work, we get reports very infrequently.

Call for volunteer developers
Are you a developer who would like to work on CritiqueBrainz? We’re interested in finding a developer who knows Flask, postgresql and React to work on bug fixes and new features. We’re happy to support new volunteers on development tasks and helping get you up to speed with the project

Call for compelling features
If you have good reasons why you think that CritiqueBrainz is useful, we’d like to know it. If there is a particular reason why you currently don’t like using CritiqueBrainz, let us know. It’s possible that a small amount of development work could incentivise more people to contribute to the site. We have previously discussed some ideas for improving CritiqueBrainz, but as mentioned before, we haven’t had much developer time available to make these changes.

What happens if we don’t find anyone?
Unfortunately, if we don’t find anyone to help with the ongoing maintenance of CritiqueBrainz, we may have to shut it down temporarily, or disable new reviews until we have the resources to put towards the project.


Kia ora,

I have some time available for community manager and/or moderator duties :slight_smile:

I am not a big user of CritiqueBrainz (not a big review writer), but still interested.


I could help as moderator too, if it consists of removing spams, for instance.
But removing bad reviews should be defined. My own reviews suck, for instance. :wink:
I have very little time to do anything else.

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Oh BTW @alastairp, now I remember what makes me stop using CritiqueBrainz a few hours after each time I start browsing it.

I just want to read reviews from MB people I know and there is still no way to do it. :woman_facepalming:

A big hindrance to me.


Hi everyone,
Thanks to all who have answered here, and written to us privately. It’s great to see that there’s still a lot of interest in CritiqueBrainz.
We’ve seen that since I made this post, there have been a number of new reviews written. We also found a bug that prevented reviews from being shown on Release Group pages on musicbrainz.org, which has been fixed. If you write a review on CritiqueBrainz, it will show up on MusicBrainz too. We have some more features waiting in the wings related to this.

I’ve just made a new release on critiquebrainz.org. This contains over a year’s worth of contributions, including a huge number of bug fixes and small improvements. We also added some new features:

Thank you to all contributors on this release, including @spellew, @iliekcomputers, @ferbncode, @code-master5, and a special thanks to @amCap1712 for picking up a huge number of tickets in the last month and pushing for the release.

Last weekend during the virtual metabrainz summit, CritiqueBrainz came up a lot in ideas for new features and directions for the MetaBrainz projects. We have some ideas still in the planning stage, but we hope to share these soon.

If you find any bugs, or have any ideas for new features please let us know here.