FreeDB

From Academic Kids

de:freedbfreedb is a database of compact disc track listings where all the content is under the GNU General Public License. It was originally based on the, now commercial, CDDB (compact disc database). As of May 2005 the database holds over 1,715,130 CDs. To look up CD information over the Internet a client calculates a nearly unique disc ID and then queries the database. As a result, the client displays the artist, CD-title, tracklist and some additional info.

Motivation

The initial CDDB license was the GNU General Public License, and many people submitted CD information without charging anything, thinking the service would remain free. The license was later changed however, and some programmers complained that the new licence included certain terms that threatened them in a way they couldn't accept: If you want to access CDDB, you are not allowed to access any other CDDB-like database (such as FreeDB), and any programs using a CDDB lookup had to display a CDDB logo while performing the lookup.

In March 2001, CDDB, now owned by Gracenote, banned all unlicensed applications from accessing their database. New licenses for CDDB1 (the original version of CDDB) were not available anymore, as they wanted to force programmers to switch to CDDB2 (a new version incompatible with CDDB1 and hence with freedb).

The licence change motivated a new project, freedb, which is intended to remain free.

An alternative project that aims to enhance CDDB or freedb beyond a mere database of CDs is called MusicBrainz. A commercial alternative is All Media Guide's LASSO service which is linked to the All Music Guide database.

freedb is used primarily by media player, cataloguer and CD ripper software.

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