After 6 years of providing a high-quality (somewhat-open) alternative to CDDB’s CD information lookup services, the future of Freedb is not looking so bright. Over the weekend, one of the main contributors to Freedb, Joerg has announced his departure from the project, over what seems to be riffs between the founder of the service and the remote development team involved with creating the next generation version of Freedb.
Directly from Joerg at Freedb:
Today, after six long years, it is time for me to say goodbye to freedb. I started off creating database archives for download and finding ftp mirrors to host it in 2000 and ended up being responsible for basically every aspect of freedb. I feel like freedb is a part of my identity and it is ripping me apart, having to leave it now.
For almost two years now Ari and I have supported a developer from Australia, who was working on the next generation of the freedb server, which would have overcome most of our current technological problems and offered text searching. This was the biggest chance for freedb in years. Unfortunately there have been rising tensions in our team about the question, how long we should support a development project, which has not yet been made open source by the developer and which is not yet running on freedb servers. Last weekend the line was crossed by the founder of freedb, who owns the domain, when he took action against that developer without talking to the rest of the team first, while we were still trying to find a solution in everyone’s interest.
With every chance gone for the developed software to become part of freedb and with the necessary basic level of trust between the owner of the domain freedb.org and me being destroyed, I see no more point in investing my spare time in this. I am not sure what me leaving will really mean for freedb, but considering my experiences from the past six years, I expect the future is not looking too bright. It is devastating for me to see that this issue could accomplish in a matter of weeks what Gracenote couldn’t do for 7 long years since freedb was started.
[Freedb shutting down]