ActiveMusicbrainz - How to use the Musicbrainz database from Ruby

If you need to use Ruby to access the Musicbrainz database you can use ActiveMusicbrainz. ActiveMusicbrainz is a library based on ActiveRecord that automatically creates one model for each Musicbrainz table and defines the main associations between them.

If you want to use it in a rails application, add the gem dependency to the Gemfile:

gem 'active_musicbrainz'

You need to initialize the library after connecting to the database. In rails you can add the following line inside a file in your initializers folder:


The line above will initialize all the models, one for each table, even if they are not defined in the library.

Now you can start playing with the musicbrainz database. You can use the by_gid method on all the Models that have a gid column, which defines the MBID of that resource:

artist = ActiveMusicbrainz::Model::Artist.by_gid '9a709693-b4f8-4da9-8cc1-038c911a61be'
=> #<ActiveMusicbrainz::Model::Artist id: 24146, gid: "9a709693-b4f8-4da9-8cc1-038c911a61be", name: "Bonobo", sort_name: "Bonobo", begin_date_year: 1976, begin_date_month: 3, begin_date_day: 30, end_date_year: nil, end_date_month: nil, end_date_day: nil, type: 1, area: 221, gender: 1, comment: "UK electro artist Simon Green", edits_pending: 0, last_updated: "2013-05-13 11:00:09", ended: false, begin_area: nil, end_area: nil>
=> "Bonobo"

=> #<ActiveMusicbrainz::Model::ReleaseGroupPrimaryType id: 1, name: "Album">

artist.release_groups.each{|r| puts }
Black Sands
Dial 'M' for Monkey
Scuba EP
Pick Up

=> [#<ActiveMusicbrainz::Model::Medium id: 654199, release: 654199, position: 1, format: 1, name: nil, edits_pending: 0, last_updated: "2012-01-15 13:46:18", track_count: 12>]

artist.release_groups.first.releases.first.mediums.first.tracks.each{|t| puts}

=> #<ActiveMusicbrainz::Model::MediumFormat id: 1, name: "CD", parent: nil, child_order: 0, year: 1982, has_discids: true>

Check out the project on Github for more info.