BRIAN is a relational database app for compiling standard discography information. It is named after Brian Rust, who perfected the chronological recording session format for print discographies. BRIAN tracks every aspect of a record date, from sidemen to songs to composers to issues. All pieces of data are instantly cross-referenced and searchable and the discographies produced are very similar in format to Rust.
Comprehensive in Scope
More ambitious than other available catalog/inventory applications that simply provide a list of issued records, BRIAN starts instead with the recording session itself and includes all session details: date, location, full personnel, master numbers, tune titles, and all catalog numbers of every issued performance. Going beyond Rust, it also includes song composers, timings, and full titles of issues. To my knowledge, there is no other database app for compiling discography publicly available. BRIAN is unique!
BRIAN could be used to produce a discography of an individual artist or a general work – it can handle anything in Rust or Raben or Ruppli (as long as someone’s willing to enter the data!). BRIAN was used to compile the discography in Capitol’s Sinatra Singles boxed set.
BRIAN has been the subject of academic papers. See more information at Noal Cohen’s Jazz History Website.
Some people have used BRIAN for cataloging their record collection. BRIAN will work nicely for this, but I have another program, Beyond Category, that may work better for cataloging purposes.
PLEASE! Feel free to email me with any questions or problems you might have. I’m very interested in getting feedback from BRIAN users. Even negative feedback is better than none at all. If there are problems, I want to fix them if I can. I am also very interested in finding out about the projects being worked on using BRIAN.
See Release Notes for change details
I’m working on a Frequently Asked Question list. Please contact me if you have a question not on the list.
Instructional videos for BRIAN
I am in the process of creating instructional videos for BRIAN. Click on the links below to view them.
For Windows, download the BrianSetup.exe installer and double-click to install all files in your system’s Program Files directory. Do not change the location of the folder contents. It is recommended that you uninstall previous versions of BRIAN before upgrading.
For the Macintosh, the download will be a mountable disk image file or .dmg file named Brian Discography Software.dmg. Double-click Brian Discography Software.dmg; a new disk drive should appear called Brian Discography Software. Drag the Brian icon into the alias of the Applications folder or directly into your Applications folder.
The Starter Database contains thousands of entries for song titles, personnel names, label names, composer names, and instrument. There is no session data or issue data except for one example session and issue of the Miles Davis Kind of Blue album. It is highly recommended that you use the Starter Database with BRIAN. The Starter Database will save you hours of time entering the basic building blocks of any discography.
The download is a file using zip compression. Download the file to your computer and simply double click the file icon to unzip (decompress) the archive. Then place the unzipped file where you like to store your documents.
This database file will work with the Macintosh or Windows version of BRIAN.
- Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11
Mac OS X
- Mac OS X 10.10.5 (OS X Yosemite) or later