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Freedb.org Ending

jamie posted about 8 years ago | from the this-too dept.

245

haroldag writes "Freedb, the free music database used by tons of CD ripping software, has been shut down due to a disagreement among its developers. One of its developers used a data dump from the original freedb.org and is providing the service at freedb2.org, though, and will be adding features and posting them at his site as they become available. Unfortunately, a database dump or source code for freedb2.org is yet nowhere to be found."

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245 comments

Nothing to see? (-1, Offtopic)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 8 years ago | (#15647711)

"Unfortunately, a database dump or source code for freedb2.org is yet nowhere to be found."
So _that_ is why I got the "Nothing to see here" message.

Re:Nothing to see? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648020)

When are people going to learn. Open source just does not work. The open source world is heavily skewed in favor of giving programmers most of the control over the software. In contrast, the commercial software world is more skewed towards the managers and owners. You can at least bribe the manager-types to get the software you need, whereas there is no reasoning with programmers' infantile temper tantrums.

Freedb sucks anyway (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647728)

Way too many dupes. I searched for "Post" and this is what I get:

1

misc/2c03fb04

Post Andra rum
2>

rock/7d0ad70b

Björk Post
3>

misc/7d0ad70b

Björk Post
4>

rock/3b04e804

Post Post
5>

rock/9c0beb0c

Bjork Post
6>

misc/800ac80b

Björk Post
7>

newage/800ad70b

Bjork Post
8>

rock/7b0a720b

Björk Post
9>

newage/7b0ad70b

Björk Post
10>

newage/7e0ad70b

Björk Post

So which one am I supposed to choose? Too many dupes. (Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 7.5). Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 8.5). Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 9.4).)

Re:Freedb sucks anyway (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647773)

So which one am I supposed to choose?

The one whose cd hash matches your cd? [insert picture of guy attempting to slit his wrist with an electric shaver, caption: "You're doing it wrong"] Each of those hashes are (supposed to be) a completely different disc, and in the case of all these different hashes, I suspect that they're from people who got a copy "ripped" from their friend, except instead of an actual copy, the guy tooks some mp3s from kazaa and burnt a cd from them. Recipient discovered that freedb didn't have an entry for this bogus disc and made one.

Personally, I've been wishing for a long time for cddb/freedb to just die already so we can re-standardize on a system that doesn't use a collision-prone hash with absolutely no way to deal with collisions (and no, marking it as a blues/ genre because some other CD was already posted in rock/ is not "dealing with it"). Maybe freedb2 can fix this.

Re:Freedb sucks anyway (2, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 8 years ago | (#15647860)

Each of those hashes are (supposed to be) a completely different disc

Not quite. Apparently the hashes are an ad-hoc mechanism created specifically for cddb, and there *are* collisions.

Good riddance (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647730)

The quality of submissions were total, utter shit. You'd be better off typing in the info yourself.

Re:Good riddance (3, Interesting)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15647737)

True, but all CD info databases have that problem, some more than others. But still, freedb was cool for when you just want to *play* a CD without ripping it. (Yep, people still do that.)

Re:Good riddance (4, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | about 8 years ago | (#15647750)

The quality of submissions were total, utter shit. You'd be better off typing in the info yourself.

Not so, well, not really. If you used it as a starting point, and checked the entries against the CD you were ripping then by and large the entries were really good. (Some freaky choices in categories sometimes)

Where there were issues, it was far easier to quickly edit one or two entries or the artist name etc. rather than type the whole thing in.

It is/was a great service.

Re:Good riddance (3, Interesting)

Loconut1389 (455297) | about 8 years ago | (#15648010)

I just wish everyone would use CD-TEXT and rid us of the necessity for cd databases. I continually wish iTunes would burn CD-TEXT as well.

Damn. (5, Interesting)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15647733)

That sucks. I hope that freedb2 will be compatable with the old freedb protocol. Pretty much every open source tagger/ripper/whatever I know of uses freedb.

Then again, maybe it's time for MusicBrainz [musicbrainz.org] to take over. :)

Re:Damn. (3, Informative)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#15647757)

Freedb is a knockoff of cddb, so I'd imagine that the grandknockoff is going to continue with the same protocol.

Re:Damn. (4, Informative)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 8 years ago | (#15647803)

I suspect that you are right, but I wouldn't use the word "knockoff". Freedb was more like a replacement of cddb, for when cddb was sold out from under the community that built it.

Re:Damn. (4, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | about 8 years ago | (#15647857)


Damn, I entered the code in your sig and my TV went blank.

Re:Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647906)



I wonder who bought it?


freedb2.org compatibility (5, Informative)

Horar (521864) | about 8 years ago | (#15647784)

I am the author of freedb2.org. It currently supports a subset of the old freedb protocol, enough to rip your CD's. Just point your software at http://freedb2.org/~cddb/cddb.cgi [freedb2.org] . There are also some new features which I will be documenting shortly. For some source code and a development history, please see http://asmith.id.au/freedb.html [asmith.id.au] and also http://asmith.id.au/mod_libpq.html [asmith.id.au] .

I'd just like to say, (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647834)

on behalf of all of us geeks,

Thanks!

Re:I'd just like to say, (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647951)

Am I the only person who took the effort to do a bit of investigation? For instance, freedb [freedb.org] :
For almost two years now Ari and I have supported a developer from Australia, who was working on the next generation of the freedb server, which would have overcome most of our current technological problems and offered text searching. This was the biggest chance for freedb in years. Unfortunately there have been rising tensions in our team about the question, how long we should support a development project, which has not yet been made open source by the developer and which is not yet running on freedb servers. Last weekend the line was crossed by the founder of freedb, who owns the domain, when he took action against that developer without talking to the rest of the team first, while we were still trying to find a solution in everyone's interest.

Grandparent's urls are Australian, he calls the project freedb2, and there's very little source code to be found: I'm guessing that he's this Australian.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I have the utmost respect for people who donate their free time to making software for gratis, but when that developer pledges (of sorts) to make a replacement to an OSS product, gets support from the developers of the product being replaced (was that support monetary?), and refuses to free that code, which in turn contributes to toppling another (well known and widely depended on -- yes, I know freedb still works, but still) project, I am slightly angered, to say the least.

And what stops him from now never opening that code? Replacing a FOSS product with simply a gratis product is a net loss, from where I'm standing.

Re:I'd just like to say, (5, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | about 8 years ago | (#15648012)

He is the Aussie; from one of the original developers:

"freedb2 is the development project that played a big role in the demise of freedb. That the developer is advertising it here now, apparently trying to profit from what he caused is immoral in my opinion.
Additionally, using the name freedb2.org is stealing freedb's name. Furthermore horar has not yet released source code or a database dump, so as of this moment, freedb2 is a closed source project, which violates the GPL under which the database archives are released. Even if the GPL may not be enforceable in this case, not releasing a database dump is certainly morally wrong."

Re:I'd just like to say, (1)

dubonbacon (866462) | about 8 years ago | (#15648061)

How does it violates the GPL to make another front-end for the database dump? I truely don't see the case here, please enlighten me.

Re:I'd just like to say, (2, Insightful)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15648113)

Neither do I. IANAL, but I think it's just someone trying to take a personal issue and make it a legal one.

Re:freedb2.org compatibility (4, Insightful)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15647862)

Thanks a lot for that! Also, freedb is still accepting lookup requests, at least for now. I guess things aren't that bad. It's just weird to see a project that I thought was stable end so suddenly.

Re:freedb2.org compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647965)

Well, your page says I cannot use it unless I enable javascript. Since I cannot forsee any reason that this should be necessary, I decline to do so. Moving on.

Re:freedb2.org compatibility (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | about 8 years ago | (#15647986)

So how come my client says "invalid response format" when I use freedb2.org, but still works fine with freedb.org?

Re:freedb2.org compatibility (2, Informative)

William Marcy Tweed (594556) | about 8 years ago | (#15648105)

Well, I've got the freedb from last year in MySQL format if you want it. It's available at http://www.indycomics.org/FreeDB [indycomics.org] (please be kind to my T1) Granted it is from November (20051104) from last year. I will be releasing the current update in MySQL format soon. All of the source code used to generate the MySQL version is available at the same place. Hope someone finds it useful.

Re:Damn. (3, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 8 years ago | (#15647785)

This is one of the most significant flaws of using Open Source Software: egos .

Damn is right.

Re:Damn. (2, Insightful)

fiendo (217830) | about 8 years ago | (#15647841)

How is this not also a flaw of collaborative closed source software? Are they not also susceptible to egos??


At least when egos get in the way of OSS, the community can muddle along with the source code. When the same thing happens to closed source software, what are we left with?

Re:Damn. (3, Insightful)

LinuxGeek (6139) | about 8 years ago | (#15647843)

This is one of the most significant flaws of using Open Source Software: egos .

Damn is right.


Yeah, we all know that egotism would never play a part in any closed source project or company.

Re:Damn. (2, Insightful)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | about 8 years ago | (#15647858)

It does, but then money comes along and closes the argument right there, right now.

Re:Damn. (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 8 years ago | (#15647881)

It does, but then money comes along and closes the argument right there, right now.
Not really. Countless companies have been destroyed as a consequence of the egos of the people running them, regardless of how much money they stood to gain or lose.

Re:Damn. (1)

fiendo (217830) | about 8 years ago | (#15647910)

Or not. Humans are not cash registers. There is a condition known as spite, which is ego-driven and will frequently cause people do things not economically in their interest. Look to recent U.S. elections for widespread examples.

Re:Damn. (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#15647989)

Really? So you are saying no corporation has ever lost money pursuing some product or service because the CEO was stroking his ego?

I know for a fact 75% of all decisions in the companies I worlked in were made from a position of ego. It mattered very much who came up with the idea, way more then what the idea was.

Re:Damn. (4, Insightful)

BrynM (217883) | about 8 years ago | (#15648099)

Really? So you are saying no corporation has ever lost money pursuing some product or service because the CEO was stroking his ego?
I give you a prime example to support how much an ego can change the path of a company for the worse: Darl McBride [wikipedia.org] . Turned a company that once had many products to a shitty litigation house with few [sco.com] products which have dwindling customer numbers (SCO Unix has lingered at version 7.1.4 for a couple of years now). How much empty ego do you need to say something like "And C++ programming languages, we own those, have licensed them out multiple times, obviously. We have a lot of royalties coming to us from C++." (source [wikiquote.org] )?

Re:Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648123)

"I know for a fact 75% of all decisions in the companies I worlked in were made from a position of ego."

The perfect example: corporate rebranding initiatives. The two or three times I've seen this, it just ends up being some huge confusing mess, with sales people trying to re-educate customers, internal documentation never being consistent again, loss of mindshare, everyone (thousands of people) needing new business cards and stationary, etc., all because some asshole VP thought they were clever enough to pull it off.

Free software for maintainance. (3, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | about 8 years ago | (#15647856)

At the end of proprietary software development, the project ends and the free software community has to either do without or start anew from whatever they've got (which is not the proprietary program's source code and a license to run, inspect, share, and modify at any time for any reason). At the end of a free software project, others can pick up where the former free software hackers left off and continue improving the free software. If the license for the program is a copylefted free software license, the improved software continues to be free.

Let's hope source code for freedb2.org and database dumps from freedb2.org are shared under a free software license so that if freedb2.org dies we're not left with nothing but an increasingly out-of-date freedb.org database and freedb.org software.

Thanks so much for all the work, freedb.org hackers. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Re:Damn. (1)

haroldag (962342) | about 8 years ago | (#15647792)

My understanding is that yes, the protocol will remain the same, but features will be added. Old stuff remains there, while new ones help new application developers make better/easier/faster queries.

It's a shame... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647735)

...that folks just can't seem to get along.

So.... (1)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | about 8 years ago | (#15647738)

So for programs that use Freedb, e.g. I use dBpowerAMP, does this just mean that they won't be able to grab track listings anymore?

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647751)

Well, if the database is gone...

Re:So.... (5, Informative)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15647869)

The database is still there and lookups still work. For now at least.

Aloha, FreeBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647739)

Sigh, FreeBSD, we hardly knew ye.

good database, but could have been so much more. (5, Insightful)

CaptainCheese (724779) | about 8 years ago | (#15647761)

I'm sorry the staff fell out, costing us access to a useful resource. freedb was a useful tool but it was always in need of improvement.

It really should have had facilities for submitting an md5 hash of the CD so end-users could avoid collisions, perhaps an easy way to edit or rate database entries, so that submissions where the track titles were wrong could be corrected by the community, etc...

Hopefully whatever replaces it will be better and more robust..

Get what you paid for? (4, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#15647826)

On one hand, I guess I can't criticize them too harshly, because it's not as though many of us (myself included) who are using the service were paying the developers any for their time, on the other hand, it seems a little unfortunate that the one developer decided to just abruptly pull the plug on the service when it was in use by so many people, without trying to see if there were others in the community of users willing to take over the project, if he no longer wanted to manage it.

It seems like there were three people on the project, and two of them wanted to take it non-free, one didn't; although I'm glad the remaining developer didn't go along with the other guys if they really wanted to make it non-free, I can't really understand why he would choose to just kill it outright rather than find people who were willing to maintain it, if nothing else.

I'm not sure whether this shows a shortcoming of the collaborative development model or not. It seems like it might be -- although I suppose projects managed by a "benevolent dictator" are also prone to shutting down if the person moves on / dies / whatever; however it seems like the a not insignificant number of projects that are run by teams without a clear leader close due to 'personality conflicts' over time.

On the other hand -- what is it with CD meta-databases and going non-free? Is it just that they seem like tempting revenue sources or what?

Re:Get what you paid for? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 8 years ago | (#15648108)

On the other hand -- what is it with CD meta-databases and going non-free? Is it just that they seem like tempting revenue sources or what?

They are sort of a achilles heel of the CD ripping process. If there's no database on the 'net to pull down the titles for ripped CDs, it makes it less attractive to check CDs out of the library to rip.

I can think of a number of deep-pocket interests that wouldn't mind forcing us all to type in titles manually. Anything that makes it more of a hassle is going to encourage people to go out and buy the 'whole package' with all those liner notes and filler content.

So what does this mean right now? (0, Redundant)

spoco2 (322835) | about 8 years ago | (#15647763)

I have no CDs on hand here at work to see what happens when I try a db lookup, but does it mean that there is no info anymore on freedb on the lookup? Or is it just that any new entries have no-where to go?

What about the mirrors?

Re:So what does this mean right now? (2, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | about 8 years ago | (#15648002)

I'm getting CDDB info from freedb.freedb.org right now. They're CDs in my
"to rip" pile, so I shouldn't have that part of the DB stored locally yet.

Hulag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647767)

alag alaagagagaga

lag alglagl alglaglag lalglagagl
aglagla jsglalg jalgjalgl agalglalglag
a
ga
g
agalgl aglagl aglalgalg laglaglalgagl

That is all.

"/." Schizm. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647771)

""Freedb, the free music database used by tons of CD ripping software, has been shut down due to a disagreement among its developers."

And in other news. Slashdot has been shut down due to a disagreement between Taco and CowboyNeal. The former likes the new layout, while the latter hates it. Apparently one of the readers has mirrored a copy of the "/. database to slashdot2, which will be undergoing a year long "burning server" effect.

OT: Re:"/." Schizm. (2, Funny)

SaDan (81097) | about 8 years ago | (#15647866)

Damn... burningserver.com is taken! That'd be a pretty sweet domain name...

no honor amongst theives (-1, Offtopic)

Sonicboom (141577) | about 8 years ago | (#15647778)

Oh well - I'm probably going to get flamed for this....

but there's no honor among theives.

Just stop being a bunch of cheap a-holes and BUY music that you like.

Re:no honor amongst theives (2, Informative)

rehabdoll (221029) | about 8 years ago | (#15647787)

Obviously you have no idea what freedb does nor it's purpose.
Without the CD, the service is/was completely useless.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647870)

Without the CD, the service is/was completely useless.

WTF? I guess you don't use foobar2000, and you ain't none too smart either else you could have figured it out yourself...

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

rehabdoll (221029) | about 8 years ago | (#15647988)

I dont use Windows.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648035)

what, foobar2000 can magically recreate the cd key from a handful of truncated mp3s you downloaded off of kazaa? I know foobar2000 is good, but not that good.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647790)

I already did. This is about tagging the CDs that I already own.

Re:no honor amongst theives (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 8 years ago | (#15647794)

Just stop being a bunch of cheap a-holes and BUY music that you like.

I rip my own CDs. Mostly because I like the convenience of listening to them on my laptop. Even here in Australia that is now legal, though it has always been tolerated.

Freedb just gives me track, artist and album names.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

Peyna (14792) | about 8 years ago | (#15647795)

RTFASummary even?

FreeDB provides CDDB info. In other words, a media player or cd ripper can contact the website with a hash of information specific to that CD or song and then return the name, artist, etc.

What does that have to do with being a cheap a-hole?

Re:no honor amongst theives (0, Redundant)

f0dder (570496) | about 8 years ago | (#15647796)

You're gonna get flamed cuz you're a farking tard.
It's a CDDB system for looking up metadata on
commercial audio CD it has little to do w/piracy?

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647801)

i dont think you know what youre talking about.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647806)

You should maybe have an idea of what the website actually did before spouting off some nonsense about stolen music.

fuckwit.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647807)

Obviously you didn't FTFM, or you're just a dumbass but to use freedb you have to have a physical CD, and chances are that was bought.

Re:no honor amongst theives (4, Informative)

swimin (828756) | about 8 years ago | (#15647808)

freedb had absolutly nothing to do with filesharing. If you had a cd, and wanted to rip it to mp3, ogg, flac, etc, you would want that file to be properly tagged. Everyone wants information like title, artist, name of album, order of songs on album, and year released, in every song they have stored digitally. Freedb only stored this information, to be used as you were ripping the cd, to automaticlly fill in all applicable information.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | about 8 years ago | (#15647809)

By what weird kind of logic does ripping a CD I own to my computer so that I can put the songs in a playlist, for example, have to do with "theft?" I have bought the music, and freedb was very convenient for me.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 8 years ago | (#15648127)

I use it to rip CDs from the library. I'm sure a bunch of other people do, too.

Re:no honor amongst theives (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 years ago | (#15647816)

Just stop being a bunch of cheap a-holes and BUY music that you like.

Umm if I was downloading MP3s from P2P networks, why would I need a freedb tagger? Find a source with EAC verified, high bitrate, properly tagged music and forget using this, chances are if it doesn't got the tags it'll suck anyway. CDDB, FreeDB and the like are fixes for an outdated format (CD Audio) from a time when noone needed those tags. Unless you think all the people ripping their own CDs to their iPod / PCs / HTPCs / media centers are thieves. This is too braindead to even be good flamebait.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 years ago | (#15647948)

I thought the CD-Audio standard (redbook) included the ability to add meta-information alongside the tracks, including lyrics.

Just no one uses it commercially.

Re:no honor amongst theives (1)

0racle (667029) | about 8 years ago | (#15648004)

Do you mean CD Text? [wikipedia.org]

Re:no honor amongst theives (2, Informative)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about 8 years ago | (#15647819)

Yes, you are going to get flamed for this, because it's an idiotic and irrelevant statement.

Freedb.org was invaluable to me when I was ripping the 700-odd CDs THAT I OWN.

Muppet. Accurate track listing database != music piracy. Get over it.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647828)

The only pirate here is the butt-smuggling parent poster with zero understanding of technology.

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647896)

It's cute when grrrls get it soooo wrong. You don't know what a cddb is, do you?

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647913)

Yeah, if you had bought the CD it would come with metadata, so that when you ripped it it would be labeled correctly. Wait...

Re:no honor amongst theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647987)

Are you some RIAA member who thinks we should rebuy all of our music from iTunes or something like that?

Re:no honor amongst theives (2, Informative)

Temsi (452609) | about 8 years ago | (#15648117)

Oh well - I'm probably going to get flamed for this....

but there's no honor among theives.

Just stop being a bunch of cheap a-holes and BUY music that you like.

Wow...
It's posts like these that make me wish Slashdot had a moderation option for "-1, Stupid".

Freedb, like its proprietary and commercial counterpart, cddb, is a perfectly valid and legal service which recognizes the CD in your drive and downloads information about the artist, the album, the songs, cover art and sometimes even lyrics for display within your CD player software.

It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with theft or being cheap.

have you got ... (3, Funny)

ElephanTS (624421) | about 8 years ago | (#15647782)

"Another One Bites The Dust" ?

Sad (1)

theaddkid.com (983011) | about 8 years ago | (#15647810)

I hate to see things like this its sad when projects fail just because people can't seem to work together.

dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647814)

"Freedb, the free music database used by tons of CD ripping software, has been shut down due to a disagreement among its developers." ...What a db.

Ahhh, those were the times (4, Interesting)

m94mni (541438) | about 8 years ago | (#15647823)

I just now remembered what I did once, quite a while ago:

I recorded some of my (difficult-to-find) LPs to .wav, burned them to CD using gcdmaster, and ripped them to OGG, only to find that the ripping program actually guessed *correctly* the album and the titles of all the included songs.

Note that even though I marked the beginning and end of each song manually, it still found the right titles. freedb really rocks!

Re:Ahhh, those were the times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647985)

I did this once too with an LP. My guess is that the number of tracks on the album and either the total time or times of the induvidual tracks are used to find the info for the album.

A quick fix (4, Informative)

houghi (78078) | about 8 years ago | (#15647847)

Not sure if the following will work, but if the directory structure is the same and you only need to change the URL, you could just edit your hosts file (or do it on router level or where ever). A lot easier then to update all the different programs for the different users:
Add to your hostfile:
203.58.241.10 freedb.org
Ugly, but it might work.

Reasons for corporate setups (3, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | about 8 years ago | (#15647859)

While I believe that free, open source software is very good and should be used more widely, this is an example of where corporate solutions can prevail.

I've used FreeDB for a while now with the CD ripping program I use (Goldwave, highly recommended), and it had its pros and cons.

On the plus side, I could find listings for more foreign/anime CDs than I could using CDDB (a corporate company, used by the likes of WinAmp and WMP, I believe).

On the minus side, there were a few moderately popular to very popular CDs that had no listing. Also, more than a few CDs (including the foreign CDs mentioned) had more than one listing, each with small differences (some with large differences, such as translated song titles, or even just misspelled words), so you had to go through each one to find one that suited you. (One might argue that the choice was good, but in this case it was just annoying.)

The reason that FreeDB stopped is because those in the lead couldn't come to a decision. This would almost never happen in a corporate environment. Any dispute would go up the chain until it hit the CEO or board of directors, where a firm decision one way or another would be made. In the mean time, the product would merely remain unchanged (unless company policy specifies otherwise), so there would be no interruption in service.

Had FreeDB used a similar hierarchy (which they may have had, but it just fell apart), this might have been avoided. The programmers/engineers would dispute something, and the project lead/lead engineer would hear both sides and say "This is this, and that's that."

Certainly, this will be an inconvenience to those who use programs that use FreeDB, but have no idea that the program does.

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647905)

There are two sides to a dispute like this.

In a corporate environment one side would have been overruled and subsequently ignored.

In a F/OSS environment this means a project split. Both sides of the dispute are free to pursue the direction they find best.

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647919)

But the downside to splitting is the splitting of resources. Each splinter group is intitally less capable than the whole.

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648007)

In the short term splitting of resources is bad. But in the long run both splinter groups get the resources they deserve according to the economic allocation mechanisms for F/OSS projects.

If conflicting ideas are powerful enough to split an F/OSS projects one of two things usually happen:

Either one side is given almost all support from the community (ie. the users and not just the people active in the project). In this case there is no resource split. Some people having ideas conflicting with the vast majority may leave the project. The disturbance in the community caused by the split often activates project users to help the project.

Or both sides have a significant following. In this case both the conflicting ideas deserve to prove their viability.

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (4, Insightful)

NereusRen (811533) | about 8 years ago | (#15647945)

The reason that FreeDB stopped is because those in the lead couldn't come to a decision. This would almost never happen in a corporate environment. Any dispute would go up the chain until it hit the CEO or board of directors, where a firm decision one way or another would be made.

Did you even read the postings by any of the involved parties? Nothing would have been different in a "corporate" environment. What basically happened is a CEO-equivalent (someone who had control over the physical assets) DID make a firm decision. Then two people quit because they disagreed with the decision. It turned out these two people were the keys to the continued operation and development of the organization, so it closed down after they left. What exactly about this situation couldn't have happened in a corporation? The real heart of the problem was that the organization was so small that certain individuals were irreplacable, so maybe you were just confusing "corporation" with "large operation."

Hierarchy does not prevent disagreement. If a disagreement is small enough that nobody is willing to quit over it, then hierarchy can make a decision that would otherwise bog them down in debate and waste time... but this was obviously not such a case.

Unlike you, I won't claim to know the reasons why this happened, since I don't have all the details. I will only lament the death of an extremely useful project, and thank everyone involved for all the time, work and money they put into it. We can only hope a similar (and similarly free and open) project can rise to take its place.

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (1)

Ruie (30480) | about 8 years ago | (#15648022)

While I believe that free, open source software is very good and should be used more widely, this is an example of where corporate solutions can prevail.

Bonkers

Had FreeDB used a similar hierarchy (which they may have had, but it just fell apart), this might have been avoided. The programmers/engineers would dispute something, and the project lead/lead engineer would hear both sides and say "This is this, and that's that."

And what happens, when they still disagree ? Bad enough that they want to quit ? If these people are essential to the company, it will fold *and* lock up the data.

Now, if you suggested a distributed way of maintaining the database (so a few people would not have to bear all the pressure), that would be useful and insightful.

Choice = annoyance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648047)

Also, more than a few CDs (including the foreign CDs mentioned) had more than one listing, each with small differences (some with large differences, such as translated song titles, or even just misspelled words), so you had to go through each one to find one that suited you.(One might argue that the choice was good, but in this case it was just annoying.)

Is offering a choice of original and translated titles more or less annoying than if they had standardised on the language you like less? Do multiple language and subtitle tracks on DVDs annoy you too?

Re:Reasons for corporate setups (4, Insightful)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about 8 years ago | (#15648081)

While I believe that free, open source software is very good and should be used more widely, this is an example of where corporate solutions can prevail.

Good idea, I'll jump on my brand new Amiga and dial up Genie and Compuserve, download and buy a couple of those cool sidescrollers people call abandonware (ha!) and kill a few hours. When I'm done I think I'll upgrade my Windows 95 box with the latest patches after I buy the commercial version of Trumpet Winsock. When I'm done, I'll rip some CDs with the software that came with my CD ROM drive, and I'm sure there will be some online commercial CD database that has all the indie artists I like to listen to!

The reason that FreeDB stopped is because those in the lead couldn't come to a decision. This would almost never happen in a corporate environment. Any dispute would go up the chain until it hit the CEO or board of directors, where a firm decision one way or another would be made. In the mean time, the product would merely remain unchanged (unless company policy specifies otherwise), so there would be no interruption in service.

Half the time the firm corporate decision is to completely end a project and either auction all the IP off to some lawyer-filled clearinghouse or just let it rot until the backups are no good anymore. Corporations can die just as easily as open source projects too, but unfortunately their corpses aren't easily reanimated like the open projects.

Too much testosterone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647863)

It gets in the way of good ideas.

Time to replicate the database! (5, Informative)

hernick (63550) | about 8 years ago | (#15647891)

By the Power of BitTorrent, the freedb.org database is made available to all.

Today, you can get the .torrent file on http://tracker.freedb.org/ [freedb.org] - but if it ever becomes unavailable there, you can use a DHT-aware Bittorrent client such as Azureus and get it by using this info hash: 21AF020252FD2E556B683CEB123689733E0BC063

I, for one, have allocated a total of 16mbps of bandwith on four hosts to help seed this database. I'm seeing a total swarm performance of around 25mbps, so this should be a fast download for anybody who wants it.

Go ahead: feel the Power of BitTorrent and share this free database!

Share, my friends, share!

Re:Time to replicate the database! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647917)

You dork.

WAH! (-1, Flamebait)

crhylove (205956) | about 8 years ago | (#15647897)

What?!? How could this happen? GAY! VERY, VERY GAY!

Gullible? (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 years ago | (#15647908)

Joerg on freedb:
For almost two years now Ari and I have supported a developer from Australia, who was working on the next generation of the freedb server, which would have overcome most of our current technological problems and offered text searching. This was the biggest chance for freedb in years. Unfortunately there have been rising tensions in our team about the question, how long we should support a development project, which has not yet been made open source by the developer and which is not yet running on freedb servers. Last weekend the line was crossed by the founder of freedb, who owns the domain, when he took action against that developer without talking to the rest of the team first, while we were still trying to find a solution in everyone's interest.

Well, if I'm reading between the lines correctly:
1) Ari and Joerg support some australian guy developing the "next-gen" freedb for two years
2) Australian guy doesn't want to release it as open/free for freedb (or all three?)
3) Ari and Joerg have either been suckers or part of an attempt at pulling another Gracenote
4) Kaiser won't play ball, it's freedb or no db at all. He finally tires and goes to the source.
5) The play is called, Ari and Joerg leave because the gig is up.

To put it this way, I would not be surprised to see another CD database show up soon, lead by an australian and maybe with a few more anonymous employees. Either that, or they're been really gullible. Never ever trust someone who says they'll open source it "soon". If that is their true intention, they would have no problem being open about it all the way. The only reason not to is when you're pulling a bait-n-switch like here. It seems clear to me that they expected it to be open source ("not yet open source", Joerg), it wasn't ("did not seem to be kept free", Kaiser) and that tore them apart.

Re:Gullible? (5, Informative)

Horar (521864) | about 8 years ago | (#15648025)

I am both "the Australian guy" and the author and host of http://freedb2.org./ [freedb2.org.] I sincerely hope that in future you will spend a bit more time joining the dots before jumping to such sensational conclusions.

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy http://freedb2.org/ [freedb2.org] and browse as much of the source code as I have had time to document and post on http://asmith.id.au/freedb.html [asmith.id.au] and http://asmith.id.au/mod_libpq.html [asmith.id.au]

Re:Gullible? (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 years ago | (#15648137)

I sincerely hope that in future you will spend a bit more time joining the dots before jumping to such sensational conclusions.

Hell no. This is slashdot, I never let the facts, logic or reason get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. Also I clicked one page past what's linking in TFA, that's practicly research! Slashdot - Fox News for nerds (with a different political slant, too!). I do know how to make serious research and sometimes I do, but mostly it's just much more fun to see what will get modded up...

WTH (-1, Flamebait)

ThoreauHD (213527) | about 8 years ago | (#15647920)

You jackasses are the core of all music database systems. Just because you don't like each others hair, doesn't mean you put that before the project. Grow up you adolescents.

Maybe move it to Wikipedia (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 8 years ago | (#15647926)

Wikipedia is busily replicating GraceNote and IMDB, by hand, and not too well. They're using a wiki to do the job of a database. Some music types from Wikipedia should take this database and the data in Wikipedia and make something useful out of it.

Personally, I think that Wikipedia needs something like "Wikipedia Music and Movies", to which all content associated with music, movies, TV, and the people involved in the industry would be moved. More structured than Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Music and Movies would have standard database formats and slots for music and movies, indexed so that you could see all movies by some director or all songs by some musician. Wikipedia can't do that, but IMDB can.

Then Wikipedia needs "Wikipedia Atlas", a map-based system, for all those "State Route 93" entries. Wikipedia isn't spatial, and space is what keeps everything from being in the same place. An atlas system would be able to handle an endless number of "my favorite restaurant" articles. Wikipedia Travel already has something like this.

With that out of the way, Wikipedia would become more like an encyclopedia. Right now, it's drowning under the incoming cruft.

Free DB2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647933)

IBM's gonna be pissed.

That is all.

Time for a new business (sic) model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647976)



Time for a new business (sic) model. If you want to survive, eat (or die). If you want to be eaten, open source ! Viva la revolution !

froSt pist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15647992)

This so reminds me of the Censorware project. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15648036)

That's the one which was destroyed by Michael Sims and his rampant, uncontrollable ego. You remember Michael? He used to be an 'Editor' here at Slashdot for a while. Before they finally figured out what a tossbag he was and fired him...although they should never have hired him in the first place, and probably did more damage to Slashdot by doing so than anything else.
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