Work in progress MB User Survey

Hey everyone,

as part of a big planned UX improvement, I was volunteered to conduct a survey of MB users!
We’d like to know why and how you use MusicBrainz (and to some extend also who you are).

Unfortunately the survey isn’t quite ready yet but I’d like to get your feedback on what I’ve got so far in this Google Doc to start the survey first thing in the new year.

For completeness’ sake, there’s also a JIRA ticket for this.

I’ve explicitly decided against asking for MB user names as I feel that would de-anonymize the survey too much, but what do you think?


I would add the following specific points for 1c:

  • Manage my daily amount of edits
  • Work on reports with various open things

For 1d:
There are no Genres at MB, it’s called “Tags”.

Maybe some additional point like:

  • Would you recommend MB to your friends?
    From 10 “I do that every day” to 1 “absolutely not”.
    Optional reason for this number:____

Maybe something like:

  • What is your most missed feature/function?
  • Which source(s) do you use as alternative for MB?

It might be interesting to know what tools people are using.
You could ask who uses what to tag thair music and find out how many people use picard vs other taggers.
I would also like to know what picard plugins people use.

Stats on who uses the musicbrainz website as it is or customisze this with browser scripts.


And other file organizers, too.


There are genres in real life though - I think this is more “do you enter pop, jazz, classical, or what”


Hi Leo.
You could make names optional. I’d guess that some useful data could be gained if the analysis is done matching survey results with user data.

Is MB understood by respondents to be separate from Picard?
Or does MB cover both?

Prior IT skill level would seem a major predictor of user satisfaction, especially MB database, Picard a bit less so… And number of edits contributed. A question about prior IT skill level could confirm or discount this. And help quantify the likely benefits, if any, from a far easier UI.


You may want to wrap this up and publish the survey already, but perhaps it would also be interesting to know whether users use userscripts for MusicBrainz (and even which ones)?


Related to this, whenever a survey gives me the option “can we contact you if we have follow-up questions?”, I click “yes”.

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First of all, thank you for all your feedback and I’m sorry for responding so late.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

“Improvement ideas” should cover that.

Might be interesting to know but seeing as this survey is mostly about improving MB, I don’t think it’s really within its scope.

Same applies to recommending MB to friends, maybe a more general question like “How happy are you with MB in it’s current state?” would be better?

Added a tagger question to the survey, the plugin question would also be part of a dedicated Picard survey (@samj1912).

It would make more sense for a Picard survey to be advertised in the Picard client so I don’t think it’ll be covered here.

I think this is a pretty difficult question, one one hand we want to gather as much data as possible but on the other we want to keep our user’s privacy. I feel that with an anonymous survey users would (rightly) be more likely to share personal data like age and country.
I like @CallerNo6’s idea, if interesting people pop up and they agreed to that, we could follow stuff up further.

I feel the question asking how easy it was to get started does kind of cover this. I’m not sure if IT skill level beyond a certain point does really make that much of a difference when it comes to entering data in MB, don’t you think?

[quote=“Leo_Verto, post:9, topic:183940”]Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?[/quote]You ask “How often do you use MB?” and I suggest that you should ask more specific with something like my two additions. If you like you can also add this two points to 1d :wink:

[quote=“Leo_Verto,]“How happy are you with MB in it’s current state?” would be better?[/quote]The same as above: I suggest that you ask more specific.
“I’m happy with MB” is more vague then something like
"from 1 = absolutely disappointet to 10 = greatest thing ever, don’t change one Byte”

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Okay, I’ve started work on a Google form: MusicBrainz User Survey
Again, this is very far from final and most of it (especially the first page) still needs a lot of work.

I’ve left this question out of the survey for now until I find a good way to present it using the answering options Google forms has.

That’s exactly how I handled that question, though only with 1-5 because at least personally, I feel 1-10 is unnecessarily much.

@CatQuest suggested I allow multiple answers to the genre question so I’ve done that.

He also criticized the language selection because it misses a lot of languages. In hindsight, using the Wikipedia liste of languages by total number of speakers probably wasn’t a very good idea. Although I don’t have the data to prove it (after all that’s what this survey is for) I suspect the majority of our users live either in Europe and North America and I suspect we might not even see that many answers for some of the Asian languages I listed.

My suspicion is that the range of IT skill called for is vast. And largely invisible to those who possess the skills.
I should probably start a list collecting the IT skills required.
On another thread.

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For the Improvement Section:
Perhaps instead of the ‘dislike’ question, we should ask, What are 3 things you find most frustrating about MB?
And then ask follow up question: out of those 3 frustrating things, which one would you want changed/implemented immediately?

Last Page:
The last page, perhaps for those that want to share other thoughts, we should leave a space for people to write in those thoughts, we haven’t captured, as well as include the optional space for email contact.

Other Comments/Possible Questions:
How would you describe MB in one or more words?

What MB feature could you not live without?

Maybe some of these formats of questions would help (and perhaps with defining skill level as well)?


hi, I made a hugeass dump of suggestions in the chatlogs
(my apologies for all the crappy spelling mistakes T_T)

[quote="Quesito, post:14, topic:183940, "]
Other Comments/Possible Questions: How would you describe MB in one or more words? [/quote]

I’ve gotta point out I *​hate​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ * questions like that, lol


I like that idea but I don’t think doing it that way would be ideal for data processing, maybe asking the user to write the three things in the order of importance would work better?

Great idea, added! :smiley:

Also added.

@CatQuest Thank you for your feedback! I’m working through your suggestions right now. I figured out I could use the data validation feature to get number inputs so that solves the “How long have you been using MB” and age question in a more elegant way.

I added “Heard of but never use” as an option where applicable.

Section one is very much WIP but I like your suggestion about adding


Short update

  • @caroline-g has joined @Quesito and me as part of the survey team.
  • Some questions (especially the user language one) now allow user text input instead of using possibly ill-defined checkboxes
  • Quite a few questions have been re-worded for clarity
  • @CatQuest, @rdswift and @Sophist (and lots of others!) have provided some great feedback, thanks a lot!
  • We’re feeling the survey is coming pretty close to a point where we can release it!
  • Our plan is to launch it within this month
  • However we haven’t yet decided for how long to keep it open (I’d love to say forever but we need to start analysing the results at some point)

If you’re interested in this survey, please take a look at it before the release and see if there’s anything unclear/missing/otherwise noteworthy in it! Any feedback is really valuable and it will be hard to impossible to change questions once it’s been released out into the open.


#It’s up!

The MusicBrainz User Survey has just been released, if you haven’t already please fill it out here.

Here’s the blog post accompanying the survey:

Please leave any feedback, questions or comments you have in this thread.

And again, thanks to everyone who helped make this happen! :grinning:


Considering that this is for a planned UX experience, there are very few questions about the UI… It might be good to ask questions along the lines of “What’s are the worst aspects of the current user interface?” or “What single improvement to the UI would be most beneficial to MusicBrainz?”

Any deadline for this?