How to Contribute
Contribute to MusicBrainz
Status: This page is part of RestructuringTheDocumentation. It is a wikified version of this static page. The content of this page needs to be split into pages like HowToEditTheData, HowToVote, etc --DonRedman
There are a number of ways that you can contribute to the MusicBrainz project. You may contribute money, data, moderation effort, source code, documentation or testing effort:
If you feel that MusicBrainz is a worthwhile effort, please consider contributing some money. The money is used for hardware and hosting services, and most importantly, to form a non-profit tax-exempt corporation so that future contributions will be tax-deductible.
O'Reilly and Associates started it off with a $500 contribution to MusicBrainz. (In return RobertKaye had to shave the P2P logo into his hair for the fall P2P conference). Since then, hundreds of donors have given anything from 50 cents to over $2000.
To send money, please head to over to PayPal and send money to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use one of the convenient buttons on the original version of this page.
- How will we use your money? See our non-profit white paper.
- Where has it gone? See our transparent finances.
- Who else is contributing? See our sponsors.
- Update: MusicBrainz is now a TaxExempt Organization. See this blog entry for details.
Contribute via Affero
MusicBrainz has signed up with Affero and is now one of Affero's causes. The idea behind Affero is that as netizens help each other (e.g. installing Linux, answering a moderation question), people can make donations to worthy causes on behalf of the person who helped them. Any MusicBrainz supporter can now join affero and add a link to their mail signature or an Affero button to their home page where netizens can give feedback and donate money on behalf of the MusicBrainz supporter. The MusicBrainz supporter gets to choose to which cause they would like to donate. If you like Affero's model and want to help MusicBrainz, go join Affero and create a beneficiary profile that includes MusicBrainz (hopefully 100% of your donations will go to MusicBrainz). Then, follow their instructions for adding a tagline to your mail signature so that your presence on the net can be beneficial to worthy causes like MusicBrainz.
There are several ways that you can contribute data to MusicBrainz:
- Download the MusicBrainzTagger and use it to identify and clean up your MP3, WAV and Ogg Vorbis collection. The Tagger will attempt to automatically identify your files and walk you through the process of matching up the unidentified files. Please note that the tagger can also submit audio CD metadata, just like the CDLookup tool mentioned below.
- Download the CDLookup tool for Windows. Pop an Audio CD into your CD-ROM drive, click the lookup button and the program will open the mini-browser to the MusicBrainz CD Lookup/Submission pages. Just follow the instructions from there.
- Use the web interface to add artists, albums and tracks. Start here to add a new artist, or use the search page to go to an artist page. From the artist page you can click on the Add Album or Add Track links to start contributing.
Maintain the Existing Data
To maintain the existing data, use the search page to log in as a moderator and view the metadata collection. If you spot mistakes, missing data, or too much data in the database, then please use the Edit, Delete and Merge links on the artist/album pages.
Each change that you make to the database gets entered into the MusicBrainz moderation system. The other MusicBrainz users will then have the opportunity to vote on your changes to make sure that they are correct and they meet our StyleGuidelines. Check out ModerationPhilosophy and ModerationGuide for more information on the moderation system, or go straight to the moderation pages.
Contribute Source Code / Testing / Documentation
Last, but certainly not least, you may also contribute your software engineering efforts in order to advance the MusicBrainzDevelopment. MusicBrainz is dedicated to the Open Source software development model, and thus the server and client library are available under the GPL and LGPL, respectively.
If you're a programmer, please help out and write some code. Even if you are not a programmer you can help to advance MusicBrainz -- we will always need people to help test new features and write documentation for the things we've already created. To jump in, join the MusicBrainz MailingList.