CDDB Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

CDDB, short for Compact Disc Database, is a database for software applications to look up audio CD (compact disc) information over the Internet. This is performed by a client which calculates a (nearly) unique disc ID and then queries the database. As a result, the client is able to display the artist name, CD title, track list and some additional information. CDDB is a licensed trademark of Gracenote.

Music information company Gracenote changed its database terms to closed-source in 2001. This caused some controversy because Gracenote's ancestor, CDDB, had previously said its database was released under the GPL. In 1998, CDDB was purchased by Escient, a consumer electronics manufacturer, and operated as a business unit within the Indiana-based company. CDDB was then spun off of Escient and in July 2000 was renamed Gracenote. In 1999, freedb, an open source clone of the Gracenote CDDB service, was created by former CDDB users as a non-commercial alternative. The track listing database freedb used to seed its new service was based on the data released for public use by CDDB. The CDDB database license was later changed to include new terms. For instance, any programs using a CDDB lookup had to display a CDDB logo while performing the lookup. In March 2001, only licensed applications were provided access to the Gracenote database. New licenses for CDDB1 (the original version of CDDB) were no longer available, so programmers using Gracenote services were required to switch to CDDB2 (a new version incompatible with CDDB1). To some, the decision was controversial because the CDDB database was started with the voluntary submission of CD track data by thousands of individual users. Initially, most of these were users of the xmcd CD player program. The xmcd program itself was an open-source, GPL project. Many listing contributors believed that the database was open-source as well, because in 1997, cddb.com's download and support pages had said it was released under the GPL. CDDB claims that license grant was an error.

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