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 use 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. Some 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 downloaded or play your songs using a MusicBrainz aware music player or media center such as Kodi or foobar2000. 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) and Queen Mary University of London (England, UK) and possibly other institutions.
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.
How do I get my data into MusicBrainz?
You can add it yourself! However, a lot of artists, artist managers, labels, etc. do not have the time or inclination to learn all the intricacies of editing MusicBrainz, so they hire other people to add their data on their behalf. It is not uncommon to have rates up to 15€/hour, and a release added with all relationships (like Chocolate Factory listed above) is at least a couple of hours worth of work.
If I have contacted you, it is because I'm offering to add your data only in exchange for a copy of your music. For CDs I would need a copy of the CD, or for digital media the files in .wav or .flac format (or otherwise best quality file format). I may have already given you my postal address, but if not, feel free to ask me for it at email@example.com.
I have more questions!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer you. :)