Allmusic (previously All Music Guide or AMG, stylized as allmusic) is a service of music guide, owned by All Media Guide. Allmusic was founded in 1991 by popular-culture archivist Michael Erlewine as a guide for consumers. Its first reference book was published the following year. AMG on the Internet predates the World Wide Web and was first available as a Gopher site.
Allmusic content is created by professional data entry staff, editors, and writers. The network of writers includes over 900 music critics who review albums and songs and write artist biographies.
Reviewers include Michael Sutton, Jason Ankeny, Roxanne Blanford, Marisa Brown, John Bush, Al Campbell, Eugene Chadbourne, Matt Collar, Ken Dryden, Bruce Eder, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Katherine Fulton, Jo-Anne Greene, David Jeffries, Thom Jurek, Andy Kellman, the late Cub Koda, Andrew Leahey, Steve Leggett, Jason Lymangrover, Scott McClintock, Greg McIntosh, Opal Louis Nations, Heather Phares, Greg Prato, Ned Raggett, Margaret Reges, Eduardo Rivadavia, John Phillip Roberts, William Ruhlmann, Tim Sendra, Rob Theakston, Richie Unterberger, Sean Westergaard, Joe Viglione, Don Kline and Scott Yanow.
Allmusic's database, which is licensed and used in point-of-sale systems by some music retailers, includes:
Allmusic also claims to have the largest digital archive of music, including about six million digital songs, as well as the largest cover art library, with more than half a million cover image scans.
The website allmusic.com is a sample of what is available in the database. The site was launched in 1995 as an online demonstration for potential database licensees of the breadth of content included in the database.
The Allmusic database is also used by several generations of Windows Media Player and Musicmatch Jukebox to identify and organize music collections. Windows Media Player 11 and the integrated MTV Urge music store have expanded the use of Allmusic data to include related artists, biographies, reviews, playlists and other data.
Allmusic is also used to provide catalog data, artist biographies, album reviews, related artist information, playlists and other information in the iTunes Music Store, Zune Marketplace, Zune player, eMusic, AOL, Yahoo!, Amazon.com and other music stores. Allmusic is also at the heart of the Naim Extended Music database used by the Naim HDX hard disk player.
The web version of AMG has much more information on most forms of popular music than the 1,176 pages of the 1992 book edited by Michael Erlewine and Scott Bultman (All Music Guide: the best CDs, albums & tapes, published by Miller Freeman Inc., San Francisco), but it is missing much of the information on classical music that appeared in the book. One could look up a composer in the book and identify specific recordings recommended by AMG reviewers, but the website only provides a list of recordings.