Google's Open Source Programs Office has been supporting the MetaBrainz Foundation for the last three years and has just let us know that they'll be continuing their support in 2009. The MetaBrainz Foundation operates the MusicBrainz project, which can be likened to Wikipedia for music. MusicBrainz knows which artists have released which CDs as well as where and when they were released. MusicBrainz also knows all of the tracks as well as who performed which instrument or vocals on a given track. This and many other data pieces are made available to the public and form the underpinnings of services such as audio CD identification and digital music collection cleanup tools.
Last year, Google's generous donation paid for a much needed server and it allowed us to hire our Google Summer of Code™ student (Oliver Charles) part time after the program wrapped up. The donation also helped pay for mundane things like keeping the lights on, backup disks and paying for insurance. But the most fun part that we spent money on last year was our phenomenal MusicBrainz Summit in London. Our summit allowed the community to come together and to bond face to face at the Last.fm offices. MusicBrainz paid for its Summer of Code students to come to London from Sweden, Germany and Lancaster. MusicBrainz arranged for the summit space, subsidized accommodations and provided food. But, most important was our gathering at a pub near the last.fm offices — we had fun and bonded for many hours that evening.
Holding yearly summits has been a long tradition for MusicBrainz. We're planning on having another one this year and this year's donation will certainly help make this one memorable as well!
Thanks for your continued support Google!