XBMC relies on many 3rd party sites like www.thetvdb.com and www.fanart.tv to provide metadata transparently into your living rooms. The vast majority of these sites are run by fans of home theatre software who simply wanted a better resource for their metadata.
A while ago Last.fm made a change to their API which cut off full music artist biographies from being scraped properly by XBMC. We had a discussion with them and it was clear we were causing their API a massive load. Luckily a new site www.theaudiodb.com stepped up as a free to use, open music metadata source. The site has been running for over a year now and has had over 100,000 edits from 600+ active members. Currently the API has an average of 1.5 million API hits from 9,000 unique users each night. On Sundays the load can reach nearly 2 million requests in a 24hr period. That’s some pretty big numbers for a hobby site.
If you would like to help out theaudiodb, you can contribute to the site in 2 ways:
The first is to sign up and enter data or upload images. Each time someone contributes in this way, the information is instantly available to millions of users all over the world. You can see some stats on this page or add new artists to the growing database as soon as you sign up. If you speak another language it would be great to get some more translations complete for common artists and albums.
The other way to support this site (as well as others that XBMC relies on) is to make a small donation to cover their costs. The site has a target of 500 pounds in order to cover the bandwidth of scraping for the year. You can donate by clicking the paypal link on the front page.
As always we encourage users to contribute to any of the 3rd party sites XBMC relies on for metadata. Keeping these sites healthy, up-to-date and funded will improve XBMC in the future for all. Future developments could include scraped music banners, artist logos, concert listings or music recommendations based on your listening habits.