AllMusic (previously known as All Music Guide or AMG) is an online
music guide. The largest music database on the web, it catalogs more
than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks. It was launched in
1991, predating the World Wide Web.
2 The All Music Guide series
4 See also
6 External links
AllMusic was launched as All Music Guide by Michael Erlewine, a
"compulsive archivist, noted astrologer, Buddhist scholar and
musician." He became interested in using computers for his
astrological work in the mid-'70s, and founded a software company,
Matrix, in 1977. In the early '90s, as CDs replaced vinyl as the
prevalent format for recorded music, Erlewine purchased what he
thought was a CD of early recordings by Little Richard. After buying
it, he discovered it was a "flaccid latter-day rehash." Frustrated
with the labeling, he researched using meta data to create a music
guide. In 1990, in Big Rapids, Michigan, he founded All Music Guide
with a goal to create an open access database that included every
Enrico Caruso gave the industry its first big
The first All Music Guide was a 1,200-page reference book, packaged
with a CD-ROM, titled All Music Guide: The Best CDs, Albums &
Tapes: The Expert's Guide to the Best Releases from Thousands of
Artists in All Types of Music. Its first digital iteration, in
1991, was a text-based Gopher site. It moved to the World Wide Web
as web browsers became more user-friendly.
Erlewine hired a database engineer, Vladimir Bogdanov, to design the
All Music Guide framework, and recruited his nephew, writer Stephen
Thomas Erlewine, to develop editorial content. In 1993, Chris Woodstra
joined the staff as an engineer. A "record geek" who had written for
alternative weeklies and fanzines, his main qualification was an
"encyclopedic knowledge of music". 1400 subgenres of music were
created, a feature which became central to the site's utility. In a
2016 article in Tedium, Ernie Smith wrote: "
AllMusic may have been one
of most ambitious sites of the early-internet era—and it’s one
that is fundamental to our understanding of pop culture. Because, the
thing is, it doesn’t just track reviews or albums. It tracks styles,
genres, and subgenres, along with the tone of the music and the
platforms on which the music is sold. It then connects that data
together, in a way that can intelligently tell you about an entire
type of music, whether a massive genre like classical, or a tiny one
In 1996, seeking to further develop its web-based businesses, Alliance
Entertainment Corp. bought All Music from Erlewine for a reported $3.5
million. He left the company after its sale. Alliance filed for
bankruptcy in 1999, and its assets were acquired by Ron Burkle's
Yucaipa Equity Fund.
In 1999, All Music relocated from Big Rapids to Ann Arbor, where the
staff expanded from 12 to 100 people. By February of that year,
350,000 albums and 2 million tracks had been cataloged. All Music had
published biographies of 30,000 artists, 120,000 record reviews and
300 essays written by "a hybrid of historians, critics and passionate
In late 2007,
AllMusic was purchased for $72 million by TiVo
Corporation (known as Macrovision at the time of the sale, and as Rovi
from 2009 until 2016).
AllMusic was purchased by BlinkX (later known as
AllMusic database is powered by a combination of
The All Music Guide series
All Media Network
All Media Network also produced the
AllMusic guide series, which
AllMusic Guide to Rock, the All Music Guide to Jazz
and the All Music Guide to the Blues. Vladimir Bogdanov is the
president of the series.
In August 2007,
PC Magazine included
AllMusic in its "Top 100 Classic
All Media Network
All Music Guide to the Blues
All Music Guide to Jazz
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
^ "Allmusic.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved March 24,
^ a b c Wolf, Gary (February 1994). "All Music". Wired. Retrieved
February 27, 2014.
^ a b Smith, Ernie (September 16, 2016). "The Story of AllMusic, the
Internet's Largest, Most Influential Music Database". Retrieved 20
^ a b c d e f Bowe, Brian J. (January 24, 2007). "Make it or Break
it". Metro Times. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
^ a b Herbert, Daniel (January 24, 2014). Videoland: Movie Culture at
the American Video Store. Los Angeles, CA: University of California
Press. p. 209. ISBN 0520279638. Retrieved 20 July
^ "Formats and Editions of All Music Gude". worldcat.org. World Cat.
Retrieved 26 July 2017.
^ Nosowitz, Dan (January 30, 2015). "The Story of AllMusic, Which
Predates the World Wide Web". Vice. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
^ Smith, Ernie (September 20, 2016). "The Big Data Jukebox".
tedium.com. Tedium. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
^ Weisbard, Eric (February 23, 1999). "Conjunction Junction". Village
Voice. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
^ Powers, Ann (June 3, 2015). "Digital Underground Who Will Make Sure
The Internet's Vast Musical Archive Doesn't Disappear?". NPR.
Retrieved 20 July 2017.
^ "Focus Article: Rovi Corporation". insidearbitrage.com. Inside
Arbitrage. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
^ "Blinkx Acquires Website Owner
All Media Network
All Media Network For Undisclosed
Amount". London South East. April 16, 2015.
^ Toon, Jason (July 21, 1999). "Rock Stock: A book report on the best
tomes to consult before buying tunes". Riverfront Times. Retrieved
March 8, 2015.
^ Bruno, Anthony (February 28, 2011). "AllMusic.com Folding Into
AllRovi.com for One-Stop Entertainment Shop". Billboard. Retrieved
June 15, 2013.
^ Heater, Brian (August 13, 2007). "Top 100 Classic Websites –
AllMusic – Slideshow from pcmag.com". PCmag.com. Retrieved September