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General configuration tips:

If you manage to tweak a specific program to use freedb (not using method 4 from the Access section, as this will always work), please let us know by sending an email to , so we can add it as a specific configuration to our list.

This article will try to explain how to configure CDDB1-aware programs to use freedb if you don't have a description for the program.

If you manage to tweak a program so that it uses freedb (not using method 4 from the Access section as this always works), please let us know by sending an email to . We will then add your configuration to our list.

We have separated this article into two sections: Accessing and Submission. Each section describes several different possibilities how to configure applications to use freedb. The difficulty or risk of unwanted side effects increases in line with the number.  Thus 1 indicates the easiest method which is the best one to try first.



  1. You should first look at the configuration dialog of the program (if available). It might contain a CDDB section. If so, see if you can specify a server yourself. Then simply change the server URL to freedb.freedb.org or any one of our mirrors.
  2. If you can't change the custom settings but can select a server from a list which can be updated from the CDDB server, the application will have to store this updated info somewhere. Get the updated info from the CDDB server and try to look in the configuration files (e.g. files with .ini extension in the program or in the Windows directory) or the Windows registry and see if you can find the location where it is stored. Once found it should be easy to change the server names to those of freedb.
  3. Try to open the program file(s) in a hex editor and look for the string cddb.cddb.com. Change it to one of the short freedb server names (i.e. any name except freedb.freedb.org) which coincidentally have exactly the same number of characters as cddb.cddb.com. Don't forget to create a backup before changing any files as the file may no longer work after modification.
  4. If none of the tips above work and you're running Windows, you can simply edit your hosts file to redirect all requests to the CDDB servers to freedb.
    Simply add a file named "hosts" to the Windows directory (for Win9x) or to the /WINNT/system32/drivers/etc directory (for Win2000), or simply edit it if it already exists.

Add the following settings: cddb.cddb.com cddb.cddb.org cddb.cddb.net us.cddb.com sc.ca.us.cddb.com sc2.ca.us.cddb.com sj.ca.us.cddb.com sj2.ca.us.cddb.com

You can also download an appropriate hosts file and put it in your Windows-directory, if you don't want to add the entries by hand. You can test if this works by directing your browser e.g. to cddb.cddb.com. You should see the freedb-website instead. Instead of using as IP-address (which is the address of us.freedb.org), you can of course use the IP-address of any of our mirrors.

The same thing can be done for Mac-applications. For a detailed description see Sean McBride's site.



  1. If available, you should first look at the configuration dialogue of the program. If there is a CDDB section, look for the "Submission" settings (some programs using "http submit" might let you specify a specific server) and enter any of the freedb servers, e.g. freedb.freedb.org. If you can enter a submit email address to which submit emails should be sent, enter .
  2. Try to find out if the program uses http or email for submitting (a personal firewall might help find this out). If it uses "http submit" it will probably work if you enter a freedb server for access as most programs will use that server for submitting, too. To be absolutely sure that you are submitting to freedb instead of CDDB, you might want to use the method 4) as described above in the Access section.
  3. If the program uses the email submit method and has a hard coded submit address, try to open it in a hex editor (after making a backup) and find the hard coded submit address which will probably be xmcd-cddb@amb.org or cddb-submit@submit.cddb.com.
    Once found and if it is xmcd-cddb@amb.org replace it with . Now make a submission and see if you receive an answer from the freedb server telling you that the test-submission was accepted. If so, replace the  address with  which is for real submission.
  4. If it is cddb-submit@submit.cddb.com, replace it with (you will have to add a few whitespaces at the end which will hopefully not cause any harm as the freedb address is shorter than the CDDB one). Now make a submission and see if you receive an answer from the freedb server telling you that the test-submission was accepted. If so, replace the  address with for real submission.