Development / Summer of Code / 2017 / MusicBrainz

This page has not been reviewed by our documentation team (more info).

Don't let the idea of writing Perl discourage you from checking out some of these projects! The MusicBrainz Server is written in readable, well-structured Perl. If you're comfortable in e.g. Python or Ruby web frameworks, then you'll probably be able to jump in and understand this codebase with only a little extra effort.


Add social features to MusicBrainz

Proposed mentor: ruaok
Languages/skills: Perl and/or Python, Postgres
Forum for discussion

We recently added event (read: concerts) support to MusicBrainz. Our main motivation was to add this feature for historical concerts, but it can also be used for future concerts. In the past the crowd-sourced concerts on were the best place to find concerts, but in the past few years has begun to fade from people's awareness. There is a possibility that MusicBrainz can take the former place of and become the best crowd source concert information site on the net. In order for this to happen, we would need to add a few more features to MusicBrainz:

  • Social notifications: MB users should be able to post to Facebook/Twitter when they do plan to attend a concert.
  • Other features: What features should we add to build a community around concert information curation?

These social features are important for building a community of users around concerts. The goal is to engage users to enter information about concerts and venues and then talk about upcoming concerts. The more people use MusicBrainz to talk about concerts publicly, more people will get drawn in to improve the concert listings in MusicBrainz.

Implement genres based on tags in MusicBrainz

Proposed mentor: bitmap
Languages/skills: Perl, JavaScript (React), Postgres
Forum for discussion

Storing genre info in MusicBrainz has been discussed for years. Currently, we support arbitrary Folksonomy Tagging that users can apply to entities, and people have used that to store genres. But there's no way to tell if a tag is a genre or something else (like "seen live"). So, we've decided that the best way to support genres is to start with a hardcoded list of tags that we consider to be genres. This is documented at MBS-8600, and part of the project will be combining the sources there to come up with an appropriate list.

On top of that, we'd obviously like a way to present these tags as genres in the UI and web service. You should design and implement a UI for selecting genres for entities (with autocomplete), distinct from the normal tag list. You'd be using React for the editing interface. You also need to figure out how to modify our web service (Development/XML Web Service/Version 2) to indicate which tags are genres. (The web service is written in Perl.)

Additionally, come up with a way to manage our list of genres, possibly with support for aliasing them (e.g., if someone tags something as "aussie hip hop", it should be replaced by "australian hip hop"). This is where some familiarity with Postgres (coming up with a schema) will come in handy.

Redesign the artist overview pages on MusicBrainz

Proposed mentor: bitmap
Languages/skills: Perl, JavaScript (React)
Forum for discussion

Our artist pages are very boring and inaccessible right now. Example:

We should be displaying release group cover art from the Cover Art Archive where possible (as an option, since people might prefer the current fast/compact view) and provide a better interface for filtering things, sort of like Discogs does in their left sidebar: Especially nice would be a way to show aggregate credits and filter release groups based on them (e.g. release groups where the artist has a vocal credit on any linked release or recording).

You should propose a new design including the features mentioned above and/or some of your own ideas. The musicbrainz-server codebase is written in Perl, and the current artist pages use Template Toolkit. You can use React to code the new templates, and use JavaScript to make the page "dynamic," but there should be fallbacks in place if JavaScript is disabled.

Replace [multiple] language with proper multiple languages

Proposed mentor: Bitmap
Languages/skills: Perl, SQL, PostgreSQL, Python
Forum for discussion

A variety of entities (at least Works and Releases) currently support linking it to a specific language, but a lot of entities are really composed of multiple different languages. This is currently "solved" by using '[Multiple languages]', but this leaves a lot of information left out: you can't tell exactly which languages are involved programmatically.

Changing this would require a lot of changes however, not only for the database schema, but also in the web service, our tagger Picard, and other things using the web service (programming libraries etc.). Not all of this needs necessarily be included in the GSoC project, but the impact of the project should be considered.

Integrate more *Brainz in more *Brainz

Languages/skills: Perl and/or Python and/or Node.js, probably SQL/PostgreSQL
Forum for discussion

We have a bunch of different projects under the MetaBrainz umbrella by now, but they do not necessarily utilise each other to their fullest extent. MusicBrainz in particular is lacking utilisation of features/data from e.g., AcousticBrainz and ListenBrainz.

I don't have any specific things to do or not do with this, but a prospective student thinking about this should definitely approach us on IRC and talk with us about what they have in mind and if there's anything the community can think of.