MusicBrainz in a Nutshell
What is MusicBrainz?
MusicBrainz is a user curated database with information about music. It doesn't actually have the music, only information about music. R. Kelly's Chocolate Factory is a good example of the kind of information it (can) store.
Who uses MusicBrainz?
- Your digital music service - Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon, 7digital, MusixMatch, 8Tracks, and more use MusicBrainz data to improve their own internal algorithms.
- Your radio station - BBC uses MusicBrainz extensively for anything related to music. Other radio stations also use MusicBrainz data either to improve their internal database or to simply replace it.
- Your fans - may be using a MusicBrainz powered tagger such as Picard or beets to tag music of yours they have bought with additional metadata or play your music using a MusicBrainz aware music player (e.g., foobar2000 or VLC) or media center (e.g., Kodi). A non-exhaustive list of applications that utilise MusicBrainz data to some degree can be seen at MusicBrainz Enabled Applications.
- Your search engine - Google is using MusicBrainz for its "OneBox" when you search for musical artists and WolframAlpha is using MusicBrainz to answer music related questions.
- researchers and scientists - MusicBrainz data is being used for research by students and scientists at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), Queen Mary University of London (England, UK), and other institutions around the world.
A comprehensive list of the bigger actors using MusicBrainz data can be found at https://metabrainz.org/supporters but there are also a lot of other smaller web sites and other services in the wild that use the data but which MusicBrainz do not necessarily know about.