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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

New MusicBrainz Server release, time to update

Twice a year on a set date MusicBrainz do a server release that includes changes to their schema database. Changes to the database can be disruptive for MusicBrainz customers who keep their own copy of the database whicc is why these changes are limited to two releases a year.

MusicBrainz did such a release on October 14th, the major change is that the concept of places have been added so that venues and recording studios can be added to the database. For example once the data is added you could see what albums have recorded at a particular studio. Maybe some of this information will be used by taggers at some point, but until a music player exists that can use this information I don't see much point.

If you are using the MusicBrainz VM with Jaikoz or SongKong I would advise a little patience, within the week there should be a new VM updated to the latest database and search, this is easier than trying to update the server yourself.

The new MusicBrainz server temporarily broke tagging with SongKong and Jaikoz, it exposed a bug in both applications and I quickly released new versions of SongKong (1.11.0) and Jaikoz (5.7.0) to resolve this issue. The change has temporarily been reverted to allow the earlier versions of SongKong and Jaikoz to function but will be added back in 1 months time so please get on and update your versions to the latest version.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

New Song Changes Report in Songkong 1.9

With SongKong 1.9 we completely overhauled the song changes report, here is an example of such a report Song Changes Report

The main aims were to increase its responsiveness for big reports, and avoiding information overload by breaking down the information into smaller segments. To achieve this pages are split down into smaller parts and Javascript is liberally sprinkled over.

But the report is still quite complex so this post we explain the different sections in a bit more detail.



This summarizes how many songs have been loaded and checked, how long it took and how many and what percentage have been matched to MusicBrainz, Discogs and if we could find artwork for them.

One thing to consider when matching is whether to rematch songs that have already been matched or whether to ignore songs that are already matched. By default SongKong rematches all your songs but if you disable Basic:Match all songs, even if already matched then all songs that already have a Musicbrainz Id are ignored and not considered in the following sections.

MusicBrainz Summary


MusicBrainz is the primary data source used by SongKong.

This section shows what MusicBrainz releases your songs have been matched to. In the left handside we group the matches by the first letter of the album artist, if the first letter is not a letter they are put into the * grouping. Expanding on one of the letter groupings, lists the artists starting with that letter in alphabetical order. Selecting an artist from the list shows how your songs have been matched to their releases on the right hand side of the report.

By default only details of the first matching releases are shown, you can open close details by clicking on the small arrow in the release header information. The header tells you the name of the release together with its MusicBrainz Id, Record Label and Catalog No if known. It all shows you how many of the total songs on the release have found corresponding matches in your collection.

The details provide a hyperlink to open the MusicBrainz page for the release. Below this we list all the songs that were matched together with the song artist, Disc No and Track No.

If you have multiple copies of a song then the same release may be listed more than once, we always match the most complete match first.

Note this section looks at the details of your songs and their mapping to MusicBrainz, if the were already matched to MusicBrainz but not matched during this run of Fix Songs they will still show in this section.

Discogs Summary

This works in the same way as MusicBrainz. Songs can be matched to Discogs either by a direct search to Discogs or by a relationship existing from a MusicBrainz Release to a Discogs release. But Discogs is a secondary data source and Discogs matching and searching can be disabled, if both options are disabled in the Match tab then this section will not be shown.

Song Changes


This section shows what changes have been made to your files and is a listed as a file hierarchy. Each leaf folder can be selected and then the changes for each file in the folder are shown on the right handside of the report.

It is important to realize there is not a tight correspondence between songs matched in MusicBrainz/Discogs and Song Changes for the following reasons.
  1. If the song was already matched to MusicBrainz and then rematched again to the same release they may not be any change required because the song already contains the fields matched.
  2. Most songs can have Acoustids created, these are stored in the files. So even if no match was made to MusicBrainz or Discogs the song may still require saving
  3. If the fiename mask has changed then the file will probably need to be renamed even if no metadata added to the files themselves.
  4. If Fix Songs is canceled before its has completed songs may have been matched to MusicBrainz but interrupted before the changes could actually be written to file.
The list of changes made to a file is split into
  1. Fields Added
  2. Fields Modified
  3. Fields Deleted

Songs Not Matched

Selecting this list all the songs that are not matched to either MusicBrainz or Discogs in the right hand side using a file hierarchy view.

Songs Not Matched to MuscBrainz

Selecting this list all the songs that are not matched to MusicBrainz in the right hand side using a file hierarchy view.

Songs Not Matched to Discogs

Selecting this list all the songs that are not matched to Discogs in the right hand side using a file hierarchy view.

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