Check out this massive music database

Discogs cross-references information on 3.8 million releases, 2.8 million artists

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Image credit: Flickr/HALSEIKE


It's not hard to find music or information about musicians online. YouTube alone is a veritable Internet living history of music. Then there's Wikipedia and all kinds of blogs and websites just a Google search away, along with services such as Pandora.

But some do it better than others, and one such site is Discogs, which bills itself as the "largest database of music information."

And it may well be. The Portland, Oregon-based company has a user-built database of music that is stunning in its depth. According to Discogs, "More than 140,000 people have contributed some piece of knowledge" to the site.

It all adds up to data on 3.8 million releases, 2.8 million artists and 450,000 labels (and counting) -- all cross-referenced -- as well as videos, reviews, a discussion forum and lists compiled by contributors.

There's also a marketplace where people can buy and sell music and music-related merchandise. If you're looking for a rare record on vinyl, Discogs might be the place to find it. (Music also is sold in CD, MP3 and WAV formats.)

Just to give you an idea of how large the Discogs database is, it includes 780 pages of bands that begin with the letter "B," with about 220 bands on each page. That's more than 171,000 bands under "B" alone!

Were it not for Discogs, I never would have been aware of all the bands that use (or used) the word "Beat" as the first part of their names. Here's but a small sample:

Beat Assassins
Beat Box Creating Euphoria
Beat Forensics
Beat Gees (see what they did there?)
Beat Mistress
Beat Nymphoz
Beat Noir (see what they did there?)
Beat Sugar Featuring Lisa Barr
Beat Stroganov (see parentheses above)
Beat Ventriloquists

Check out the site (which began in 2000 as a hobby for founder Kevin Lewandowski). It's a great way to unwind from work on a Friday afternoon, or any other afternoon, for that matter.

BTW, Discogs is looking for a MySQL database administrator to be based in its Portland office "sandwiched between a brewpub and a local/organic grocery." You can apply on the site.

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