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Use an alternative CD database within iTunes Apps
If you're like me and don't like cddb, or just have a CD that is listed in freedb and not cddb, just add this line to your /etc/hosts file to use freedb with itunes (and everything else that tries to use
You'll have to edit the file as root or sudo edit it. Every application that tries to access will instead load the above IP number, which is actually
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Use an alternative CD database within iTunes | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Does this actually work?
Authored by: melquiades on Oct 28, '02 11:06:15AM

I thought that OS X only used /etc/hosts in single user mode, and one had to use Netinfo for this sort of thing.

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Easily in Jaguar, tougher in others...
Authored by: robg on Oct 28, '02 11:12:23AM
See this hint... -rob.

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it does for me in jaguar
Authored by: kap on Oct 28, '02 06:29:08PM

i've never used any version of os x besides jaguar.. if i knew /etc/hosts didn't work in prior versions, i would've mentioned something when i submitted the tip.. sorry about that :|

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Use a local mirror of the FreeDB server
Authored by: foo12 on Oct 28, '02 06:21:49PM

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does this work?
Authored by: j-beda on Oct 29, '02 01:49:18PM
When I looked into this a while back I thought that I learned that iTunes uses some sort of level two protocol that only gracenote can use, and that the freecddb did not support. Sean McBride's page gives details, but it looks like for iTunes you are out of luck. Any success you have is an illusion - you are probably still accessing the Gracenote serves via the CDDB2 protocol - which is what happened to me for a while after I tricked out my hosts files in 9 and tried to do so in X.

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OK, but why?
Authored by: dheeraj on Oct 29, '02 07:16:09PM

Not meant to flame at all, but . . . what's the point of this? The only benefit of FreeDB that I'm aware of is political -- it's 'free."

Aside from that, I've found CDDB has a lot more obscure stuff in its database (radio-only CD singles; indie-label EPs; etc.) than FreeDB, and FreeDB lets all kinds of illiterates submit track listings. Granted, I'm a little anal about how my titles appear, but I find myself having to correct spellings, capitalizations, etc. a LOT more often with FreeDB stuff than I do with CDDB. Not to mention that their uptime leaves something to be desired.

Again, not meant to flame . . . if I'm missing some major benefit that FreeDB offers, please clue me in.

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FreeDB population
Authored by: brainsik on Sep 21, '03 01:31:39PM

I have found that the FreeDB has a much higher population of non-mainstream music listings than gracenote/cddb.

The reason I found this article today is because the CD I got last night, K. K. Null & Disc (nullsonic), is in the FreeDB and not the gracenote/cddb.

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OK, but why?
Authored by: al451 on Jan 17, '04 05:57:43PM

(a) CDDB used to be a freely-available, public service that anyone could use and update. Then the service's operator stole the content and started suing people who were using it. FreeDB operates under a license that makes that impossible.

(b) When FreeDB gets an entry wrong, you can get it fixed. When CDDB gets it wrong, you can't. Enough said.

The quality of CDDB's listings for the CDs that I have is generally much, much worse than FreeDB's. Others' experience may vary.

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