#8 Add support for the MusicBrainz CD database

fre:ac 1.2 beta 1
post v1.0 (1)

MusicBrainz is a CD database similar to the freedb

It would be a nice to have feature, but there has not
been enough time to implement it, yet.


  • Stephen Judge

    Stephen Judge - 2013-10-12

    I also tried using the FreeDB Gateway provided by MusicBrainz as a way to use MusicBrainz in fre:ac but I just got an error saying fre:ac had a problem communicating with the freedb server. The details of the FreeDB Gateway are here http://musicbrainz.org/doc/FreeDB_Gateway . It is supposed to be as simple as just changing the CDDB server address. Maybe there is something set internally in fre:ac that locks it to the default FreeDB server that needs to be changed to make this work.

    When I am ripping with fre:ac I always go and re-tag all my songs with MusicBraiz Picard because the tags from MusicBrainz are more accurate and feature rich than from FreeDB, plus it supports AcousticID and album art. So I would really like to get MusicBrainz working in fre:ac somehow.

  • Robert Kausch

    Robert Kausch - 2013-10-12

    Hi Stephen,

    I did some investigation and found that the MusicBrainz gateway does not work, because it does no longer support the HTTP POST method to retrieve CDDB entries.

    However, fre:ac always uses HTTP POST for CDDB access as the freedb howto indirectly recommends this method stating:

    The "POST" method may provide the ability to issue longer commands, though,
    depending on the architecture of the system on which the server resides.

    I also found a post on MusicBrainz' forums where a user complains about them disabling HTTP POST for the gateway: http://forums.musicbrainz.org/viewtopic.php?id=3248

    I fixed this on fre:ac's side by adding support for HTTP GET queries, but it really is a MusicBrainz issue as they do not provide full compatibility to the freedb specs. The fix is in CVS and will be included in the next snapshot.

    Looking further into it, I found some other issues with the freedb gateway that make it less fun to use. The biggest one being that MusicBrainz does not seem to have entries for all pressings of a CD in their CDDB export. Because of that, it found only inexact matches for most of the CDs I tested with - even if an exact match was present in the MusicBrainz database. While the data will still be correct, you will have to confirm the match manually for most discs.

    I still plan to add native MusicBrainz support to fre:ac in a future release. Once that is available, all these issues will of course be gone.


  • Stephen Judge

    Stephen Judge - 2013-10-14

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for looking into that for me and doing a good job at figuring out the usability of the MusicBrainz FreeDB server. I have to admit a lot of you explanation went over my head, but I get the gist of what you are saying. I would imagine the the FreeDB gateway would not give a very comparable experience to the pure MusicBraiz system, but it seems as you suggest that it is not functioning well at a basic level. That is a real shame, maybe you could inform the developers there in the issues tracker of your experience of trying to use it http://tickets.musicbrainz.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa . I sadly would not be technically knowledgeable enough to pass on your experience.

    In the long term it would be great to have MusicBrainz support in fre:ac as it really has surposed quality and features of the older CDDB systems.

    I'd also really love to see fre:ac available on Linux systems as I have not found an encoder/ripper there I am happy with and I link fre:ac but I spend most of my time on Linux. But that's a request for another ticket I think

    I would like to inform that upon my request fre:ac has been added to the Allmyapps Windows Software Repository. The Allmyapps is the closest you can get to an apt-get or app store experience on Windows. They have added fre:ac but they have noted that cannot detect and update fre:ac via Allmyapps because fre:ac doesn't write any values to the registry. I noticed it doesn't even place an uninstaller in the Windows Control Panell, Unistall software menu. The Allmyapps fre:ac add request and report is here http://community.allmyapps.com/responses/add-freac-desktop-application and the repository entry is here http://allmyapps.com/apps/freac

  • Glenn Burkhardt

    Glenn Burkhardt - 2015-08-23

    Adding support for Musicbrainz would be nice, including adding the ability to pull album art from their database.

  • Robert Kausch

    Robert Kausch - 2015-11-20
    • Group: fre:ac 1.1 beta 1 --> fre:ac 1.2 beta 1
  • Christoph

    Christoph - 2016-07-21

    unfortunately changing the freedb server to freedb.musicbrainz.org still does not work.
    Of course a full Musicbrainz integration would be really awesome!



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