Ironically, right around the time I mention CDex is being updated, the main CD metadata service I use with it, freedb, is going away. freedb became popular after CDDB went commercial and required applications to display a visual indication when they used the Gracenote service. The guys behind freedb engineered a parallel service using the legacy CDDB data and protocol (both of which were open) and have done a great job. (More on Wikipedia.) Options for me going forward are probably going to be limited to what’s supported in either CDex or Foobar2000, which looks like foosic and/or MusicBrainz. We’ll see.

If you’re reading this, you might already know the usefulness of services like freedb, but for those that don’t: when you put an audio CD into your computer and interact with it in a way that automatically shows artist/title/track information, you’re very likely using some sort of CD metadata service that has used certain aspects of the disc data (mainly the table of contents) to guess the correct info. freedb was among the most used, with a huge catalog of data. It may take other similar open services a little time to catch up. I think if more publishers used CD-Text, the need for net-based services would be a lot less.