The Echo Nest gets ready for Boston Music Hack Day

We’ve been extremely busy this week at the Echo Nest getting ready for the Boston Music Hack Day.  Not only have we been figuring out menus, panel room assignments, and dealing with a waitlist, we’ve also been releasing a set of new API features.  Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve done:

  • get_images – a frequent request from developers – we now have an API method that will let you get images for an artist.   Note that we are releasing this method as a sneak preview for the hack day – we have images for over 60 thousand artists, but we will be aggressively adding more images  over the next few weeks (60 thousand artists is a lot of artists, but we’d like to have lots more).  We’ll also be expanding our sources of images to include many more sources. The results of the get_images are already good. 95% of the time you’ll get images. Over the next few weeks, the results will get even better.
  • get_biographies – another frequent request from developers – we now have a get_biographies API method that will return a set of artist biographies for any artist.  We currently have biographies for about a quarter million artists – and just as with get_images – we are working hard to expand the breadth and depth of this coverage.  Nevertheless, with coverage for a quarter million artists, 99.99% of the time when you ask for a biography we’ll have it.
  • get_similar – we’ve expanded the number of similar artists you can get back from get_similar from 15 to 100.  This gives you lots more info for building playlisting and music discovery apps.
  • buckets – one issue that our developers have had was that to fill out info on an artist often took a number of calls to the Echo Nest – one to get similars, one to get audio, one for video, familiarity, hotttnesss etc.  To fill out an artist page it could take half a dozen calls.  To reduce the number of calls needed to get artist information we’ve added a ‘bucket’ parameter to the search_artist, the get_similar and the get_profile calls.  The bucket parameter allows you to specify which additional artist info should be returned in the call.  You can specify ‘audio,’ ‘biographies,’ ‘blogs,’ ‘familiarity,’ ‘hotttnesss,’ ‘news,’ ‘reviews,’ ‘urls,’, ‘images’  or ‘video’ and whenever you get artist data back you’ll get the specified info included.    For example with the call:
    http://developer.echonest.com/api/get_profile
          ?api_key=EHY4JJEGIOFA1RCJP
          &id=music://id.echonest.com/~/AR/ARH6W4X1187B99274F
          &version=3
          &bucket=familiarity
          &bucket=hotttnesss
    

    will return an artist block that looks like this:

    <artist>
        <name>Radiohead</name>
        <id>music://id.echonest.com/~/AR/ARH6W4X1187B99274F</id>
        <familiarity>0.899230928024</familiarity>
        <hotttnesss>0.847409181874</hotttnesss>
    </artist>

There’s another new feature that we are starting to roll out. It’s called Echo Source – it allows the developer to get content (such as images, audio, video etc.) based upon license info.  Echo Source is a big deal and deserves a whole post – but that’s going to have to wait until after Music Hack Day. Suffice it to say that with Echo Source you’ll have a new level of control over what content the Echo Nest API returns.

We’ve updated our Java and Python libraries to support the new calls.  So grab yourself an API key and start writing some music apps.

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  1. #1 by Sten Anderson on November 19, 2009 - 12:52 pm

    Very nice. Cool to see the get_images call.

  2. #2 by Dan Kantor on November 19, 2009 - 2:21 pm

    Love it! Very excited for Boston!

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