MusicBrainz Identifier

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MusicBrainz IDs

MusicBrainz aims to be a comprehensive music database that will allow people and computers to have meaningful conversations about music. In order to facilitate these meaningful conversations, Music­Brainz needs to identify each Artist, Album, and Track with a unique identifier.

Furthermore, Music­Brainz works with the Relatable TRM technology, which generates an acoustic fingerprint for a digital music file. This acoustic fingerprint is called the TRM ID. A user can run an MP3 (or other digital audio file) through a TRM ID generator like the MB Tagger, and then request the artist, album, and track information from MusicBrainz. With this retrieved information you can then rename the file and write clean ID3 tags.

All IDs in Music­Brainz look like standard unique identifiers. For example:

  • Artist IDs:
  • are unique IDs used to identify an artist.
  • Album IDs:
  • are unique IDs used to identify a collection of tracks in a sequence on a single medium.
  • Track IDs:
  • are arbitrary IDs that are assigned by the MusicBrainz server when it accepts a track into the database. This ID is unique and will not change over time, so that people can use this identifier to refer to this track and only this track.
  • are assigned by the Relatable TRM signature generator, and look exactly like other ids in Music­Brainz. However, TRM ids are not guaranteed to be unique -- due to the quality of an encoding or the quality of a decoder, tracks that sound the same to a human may yield different TRM ids.

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