25 Music APIs

Kevin Farnham, February 21st, 2008

[Editor's note: Today's post comes from Kevin Farnham, who we are very happy to have joining us as a regular contributor here at ProgrammableWeb.]

Last.fmWhether you’re a performer or a listener who enjoys discovering great new music, there are many music APIs available to help you accomplish your objectives. Last.fm is among the most popular music destinations on the Web. Its API provides you with data about Last.fm members, artists, albums, tracks, and more. More than 36 Last.fm Mashups are available, and the list keeps growing. With the recent addition of the handy LyricsFly API and its database of lyrics for 314,000 songs, there are now 25 music APIs in the ProgrammableWeb directory (as well as 135 music-related mashups).

But Last.fm is just one example. There are APIs that help you discover music you may like, APIs that provide detailed metadata about music, and APIs that let you store and manage your music online. Other APIs provide online radio and music subscription services. There are APIs for customizing music players, finding live music, and even for selling your own music. So many that ProgrammableWeb has just added a place to track them: the Music API and Mashup Dashboard.

Managing Your Music

Managing your music collection no longer means maintaining an orderly stack of CDs. Today we enjoy music from so many different locations and on so many different kinds of devices, that it can be easy to forget where it all is. In addition, music is available everywhere, but how can you find music that you will like?

These are the types of problems that developers are trying to solve with music APIs. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available and what problem the APIs address.

Music Discovery

How do you find new music that you’re likely to enjoy? And once you find it, how do you bring it into your music collection and manage it such that you’ll be able to find it later on? We’ve already talked about Last.fm. But a lot of other good solutions are also available.

OpenStrandsLike Last.fm, the OpenStrands API takes a Web 2.0 approach to music discovery: the API provides programmable access to the MyStrands.com community’s recommendation, tagging and playlist services. Other music search tools include the Digital Podcast API, which lets you search for music using keywords, the SeeqPod API, where you enter the name of a song you like, and API returns a list of recommended songs, and the Yahoo Audio Search API, which enables structured and unstructured queries for finding audio files and correlated music data.

The MusicDNS API deserves special mention: it will automatically compare your music with all the music in its database using algorithms, then identify artists whose work is similar to your own.

About the Music (Music Metadata)

Freedb / cddbOnce you’ve found music you like listening to, you may want to find out more information, about the songs, the artists… Several APIs provide information about music — that is, metadata. Freedb / CDDB provides information about music CDs: artist, CD-title, track list, and other information. The interesting thing is that a track for which you’d like to find information can be on a CD in your computer’s CD-drive, or on many different Freedb-compliant devices.

The MusicBrainz API, Tunelog API, and Discogs API all take a Web 2.0 approach, providing access to a large database of music metadata that is maintained by or based on the collective actions of the MusicBrainz, Tunelog, and Discogs communities.

Media Management and Online Broadcasting

Faces.comSeveral APIs are help you manage your music. The Faces.com API and Ipernity API let you share music, pictures, and video with your friends and other members of the site.

Sharing your media is not all that different from broadcasting it, today. But some sites prefer the term broadcasting, implying more professional content. The Orb API allows you to broadcast your music, videos, photos, and more. Meanwhile, the RadioTime API enables you to find and enjoy over 60,000 online radio stations around the globe.

The Rhapsody API and subscription music service lets you programmatically manage your Rhapsody playlists, search for music, and access your Rhapsody RSS feeds.

Music Players

There’s music, then there’s how you listen to it. The Yahoo Music Engine API, the Winamp API, and the MP3Tunes API each offer the ability customizable their respective music players via code.

Music Events

Freedb / cddbAfter listening to some tunes by a new artist, you may want to see them perform in person. The Eventful API, JamBase API, and Gruvr API all let you search for concert information and other events. Eventful goes a step further by letting you “demand” an appearance by a performer in your area. Gruvr’s API lets you integrate live music maps and concert schedules into your own site.

APIs For Performers

MusicDNSIf you’re a performer, then you’re sure to be interested in the above APIs. You’ll want to have your music available wherever listeners are searching for new music. You want to submit your songs to MusicDNS.org so that people who like your kind of music will be more likely to discover your own music. You’ll certainly want to publicize your performance calendar using the APIs for Eventful, JamBase, and Gruvr. And when it comes to selling your recordings, investigate the SNOCAP API, which will help you set up your own music store.

Music Mashups

MusicPortlMusic APIs make a wide variety of music mashups possible. One of the earlier and more popular music mashups in our listings is MusicPortl, which collates information about a specific artist from across the entire web, creating a page that includes biographical information, photos, album releases, videos, blogs, and more. MusicPortl applies seven different APIs to provide all this information: Amazon eCommerce API, Flickr API, Last.fm API, MusicBrainz API, Ontok API, Technorati API, and the YouTube API.

Many music-related mashups aggregate artist data from around the Web into a unified search interface. One of which is FoxyTunes, which was acquired by Yahoo! earlier this month and you can see our listing with APIs used here.

Of the 135 music-related mashups listed, some of the more popular include: TuneGlue, ZonTube, KEXPlorer.com, MusicTonic, One Hit Wonders Map, JukeboxTube, Indie Tube, NPR Station Map and Mashup Camp winners PodBop and the Hype Machine.

We’ll cover more of these in an upcoming post.

Summary

The variety of music-related APIs is enormous, and the number of music APIs keeps growing. Click here for an updated list of currently available music APIs.

Kevin Farnham runs Lyra Technical Systems, a small software consulting and publishing company where he often works with O’Reilly Media, currently as Community Manager for the Threading Building Blocks open source project and was previously the Managing Editor for the AOL Developer Community. On the software engineering side Kevin specializes in mathematical modeling, simulation, and scientific data analysis.

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21 Responses to “25 Music APIs”

February 21st, 2008
at 6:18 am
Comment by: Adam Boulton

This post is awesome, we are in the process of making a music mashup and the resources mentioned above are priceless. Thank you so much!

February 21st, 2008
at 9:15 am
Comment by: local LIVE music

Super post, thanks!

PS here are a few more things to look at:

skreemr.com – MP3 search that incorporates other services via APIs to produce its results

MapDango.com – mashup that puts weather, gruvr concert data, flickr photos, and a few other things on a nice map

February 21st, 2008
at 12:19 pm
Comment by: Sean

Don’t forget LyricWiki’s API. It has over half a million songs, discographies, etc. and can do some fuzzy-matching to catch close results and mispellings.

http://lyricwiki.org/LyricWiki:SOAP

February 21st, 2008
at 1:01 pm
Comment by: neunetz.com » Echte last.fm-Charts

[...] 25 Music APIs auf Programmable Web, nicht nur [...]

March 18th, 2008
at 1:19 pm
Comment by: Frederic

Please check out http://www.musana.com as well.

March 20th, 2008
at 9:49 pm
Comment by: how to download free mp3 music

[...] KevinFarnham wrote an interesting post today on 25 Music APIsHere’s a quick excerptOther APIs provide online radio and music subscription services. There are APIs for customizing music players, finding live music, and even for selling your own music. So many that ProgrammableWeb has just added a place to track them: … [...]

March 25th, 2008
at 2:21 am
Comment by: Imeem Opens Music-centric Social API

[...] we’ve seen with 142 web music mashups and 25+ music APIs, there’s no shortage of developer interest in music applications, and combining this will [...]

April 11th, 2008
at 2:00 am
Comment by: 25 Music APIs — Biography. writers and their biography

[...] access to a large database of music metadata that is maintained by or based o… source: 25 Music APIs, [...]

May 16th, 2008
at 5:35 pm
Comment by: Keeping Track of Live Music In Your City | MakeUseOf.com

[...] is making it easier for developers to create custom applications. Programmable Web’s article, 25 Music APIs, is a great place to start for those of you thinking about tackling your own project or wanting [...]

May 17th, 2008
at 8:31 pm
Comment by: Rafal

Actually, lyricsfly now has just under 600k titles

July 15th, 2008
at 12:26 am
Comment by: Last.fm Shifts Its Music API into Overdrive

[...] API is one of the most popular of all music APIs, with over 60 mashups having already been developed using the original API. The methods in the [...]

February 11th, 2009
at 1:53 am
Comment by: dde

I’ve been using http://www.maestro.fm to learn about all artists. They have lyrics, pictures, bios and tons of music and playlists

May 27th, 2009
at 6:33 pm
Comment by: Dan

We now have an events API as well:

http://ticketstumbler.com/api/docs/

March 22nd, 2010
at 8:14 am
Comment by: Tony Saveski » MusicBrainz (Part 1) – What is it?

[...] their 25 Music APIs article, they mention FreeDB/CDDB. Excellent! Something I’ve seen used before in some music [...]

April 27th, 2010
at 6:59 am
Comment by: Oliver

We have just launched our public API after extensive beta testing with some major websites. Check it out!

http://api.gigjunkie.net

Look forward to hearing how you get on. We give you the option of simple yet powerful queries, including geo, genre and hotness.

September 1st, 2010
at 4:49 am
Comment by: sophia

That is great. It is really a helpful information. Keep up the good work…

music

September 5th, 2011
at 7:08 pm
Comment by: Stefan Fiedor

Very interesting. thank you for sharing! You see, I’m currently working on my blog on similar subject to “25 Music APIs” and I might quote this post in it. I hope you don’t mind

September 25th, 2011
at 4:57 am
Comment by: Robert

The new OMP3.ORG API should be included. It is a legal music website API selling legal downloads and music streaming.

September 25th, 2011
at 5:47 am
Comment by: goseethem

Nice list, very helpful thank you.

November 29th, 2011
at 4:02 am
Comment by: 25 Music APIs | Exploration Music

[...] 25 Music APIs. [...]

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at 7:24 pm
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