Back in Gracenote's early days, we had one product line - the CD Database, otherwise known as CDDB. One of the things that made CDDB great was the fact that hobbyist developers did not have to pay for access to the service. It was free to use, and the ensuing developer participation was key to the success of CDDB.
Since that time, we have had one sort of open access or another for developers, but really only for our MusicID CD product line. While CD recognition is what initially defined Gracenote, we have become so much more than that since the old days. To honor the tradition that made Gracenote number one in media recognition and online entertainment services, it has long been a goal of mine to open up our many other services and products for freeware developers, experimenters and education. And now, we're finally ready to do so.
With the unveiling of our new developer program, we now make the majority of our services available to the general public for use in hackathons, classes, and even for release in freeware products, all for free. This isn't a scaled-down sandbox environment - this is the real Gracenote service, with full access to our production recognition service and its entire unabridged media database. The full monty!
We do this not only in acknowledgement of our roots, but also because we believe that allowing the developer community to access our services in full will benefit both Gracenote and the community. No other company has such a program. Today we are making available most of our music-related services such as audio file recoginition (MusicID File) and mobile music recognition (MusicID Stream). This includes not only recognition services, but access to album artwork and other content.
As time goes on, we will be rolling out access to other services as well. More to come, stay tuned!
Steve Scherf is the Co-Founder and Chief Architect of Gracenote