Posts Tagged api

The Echo Nest Song API

This weekend at the Amsterdam Music Hack day we are releasing lots of new stuff. First of all, we opening up beta access to the next version of our APIs.  This version is an all new architecture – that I’m rather excited about. Some new features:
  • Performance – api method calls run faster – on average API methods are running 3X faster than the older version.
  • JSON Output – all of our methods now support JSON output in addition to XML.  This greatly simplifies writing client libraries for the Echo Nest
  • Nimble coding – with the new architecture it will be much easier for us to roll out new features – so expect to see new features added to the Echo Nest platform every month
  • No cruft – we are revisiting our APIs to try to eliminate inconsistencies, redundancies and unnecessary features to make them as clean as we can.

The beta version of our next generation APIs are here:

The first significant new API we are adding is the Song API – this gives you all sorts of ways to search for and retrieve song level data.  With the song API you can do the following:

  • search for songs via  artist name, song title, and description. You can affect the results with constraints and sorts:
    • constrain the results by a number of factors including musical attributes like tempo, loudness, time signature and key, artist hotttnesss, location
    • sort – the results by any of the attributes
  • Find similar songs – find similar songs to  a seed song
  • Find profile – get all sorts of info about a song including audio, audio summary info, track data for different catalogs, song hottttnesss, artist_hotttnesss, artist_location, and detailed track analysis
  • Identify songs – works in conjunction with the ENMFP

There are lots of things you can do with this API. Here’s just a quick sample of the types of queries you can make:

Find the loudest thrash songs


Find indie songs for jogging


Fetch the tempo of Hey Jude


Fetch the track audio and analysis of Bad Romance


Find songs similar to Bad Romance


We have two clients that support the new beta version of the API:
  • jen-api – a java client
  • beta_pyechonest – a new branch of the venerable pyechonest library. Grab it from SVN with
svn checkout beta-pyechonest-read-only

I’ll be writing more about all of the new APIs real soon.   Access the beta Echo Nest APIs here:

, , ,


Flash API for the Echo Nest

It’s a busy week for client APIs at the Echo Nest.   Developer  Ryan Berdeen has released a Flash API for the Echo Nest.   Ryan’s API supports the track methods of the Echo Nest API,  giving the flash programmer the ability to analyze a track and get detailed info about the track including track metadata, loudness,  mode and key along with detailed information relating to the tracks rhythmic, timbrel, and harmonic content.

One of the sticky bits in using the Echo Nest from Flash has been the track uploader.  People have had a hard time getting it to work – and since we don’t do very much Flash programming here at the nest it never made it to the top of the list of things to look into.  However, Ryan dug in an wrote a MultipartFormDataEncoder that works with the track upload API method – solving the problem not just for him, but for everyone.

Ryan’s timing for this release is most excellent. This release comes just in time for Music Hackday – where hundreds of developers (presumably including a number of flash programmers) will be hacking away at the various music APIs including the Echo Nest.  Special thanks goes to Ryan for developing this API and making it available to the world

, , ,

Leave a comment

(== (+ “Clojure” “Echo Nest”) “woah!”)

Here’s the first Echo Nest application (as far as I know) that is written in ClojureAnother reason I like Clojure

, , ,

Leave a comment

New Echo Nest Java client released

We’ve just released version 1.1 of the Echo Nest Java Client.  The Java Client makes it easy to access the Echo Nest APIs from a Java program.  This release fixes some bugs and improves caching support.   Here’s a snippet of Java code that shows how you can use the API to find similar artists for the band ‘Weezer’:

 ArtistAPI artistAPI = new ArtistAPI(MY_ECHO_NEST_API_KEY);
 List<Artist> artists = artistAPI.searchArtist("Weezer, false);
 if (artists.size() > 0) {
     for (Artist artist : artists) {
          List<Scored<Artist>> similars =
                artistAPI.getSimilarArtists(artist, 0, 10);
          for (Scored<Artist> simArtist : similars) {
               System.out.println("   " + simArtist.getItem());

Also included in the release is a command line shell that lets you interact with the Echo Nest API.   You can start it up from the command line like so:

    java  -DDECHO_NEST_API_KEY=YOUR_API_KEY -jar EchoNestAPI.jar

Here’s an example session:

Welcome to The Echo Nest API Shell
 type 'help'
nest% help
0) alias - adds a pseudonym or shorthand term for a command
1) chain - execute multiple commands on a single line
2) delay - pauses for a given number of seconds
3) echo - display a line of text
4) enid - gets the ENID for an arist
5) gc - performs garbage collection
6) getMaxCacheTime - gets the cache time
7) get_audio - gets audio for an artist
8) get_blogs - gets blogs for an artist
9) get_fam - gets familiarity for an artist
10) get_hot - gets hotttnesss for an artist
11) get_news - gets news for an artist
12) get_reviews - gets Reviews for an artist
13) get_similar - finds similar artists
14) get_similars - finds similar artists to a set of artists
15) get_urls - gets Reviews for an artist
16) get_video - gets video for an artist

( .. commands omitted  ..)

53) trackTatums - gets the tatums of a track
54) trackTempo - gets the overall Tempo of a track
55) trackTimeSignature - gets the overall time signature of a track
56) trackUpload - uploads a track
57) trackUploadDir - uploads a directory of tracks
58) trackWait - waits for an analysis to be complete
59) version - displays version information

nest% get_similar weezer
Similarity for Weezer
 1.00 The Smashing Pumpkins
 0.50 Ozma
 0.33 Fountains of Wayne
 0.25 Jimmy Eat World
 0.20 Veruca Salt
 0.17 The Breeders
 0.14 Nerf Herder
 0.13 The Flaming Lips
 0.11 Death Cab for Cutie
 0.10 Rivers Cuomo
 0.09 The Rentals
 0.08 Size 14
 0.08 Nada Surf
 0.07 Third Eye Blind
 0.07 Chopper One

nest% get_fam Decemberists
Familiarity for The Decemberists 0.8834854
nest% trackUpload  "09 When I'm Sixty-Four.MP3"
ID: baad7cab21b853ea5ead4db0a12b1df8
nest% trackDuration
Duration: 157.96104
nest% trackTempo
140.571 (0.717)

If you are interested in playing around with the Echo Nest API but don’t want to code up your own application, typing in webservice URLs by hand gets pretty old, pretty quickly. The Echo Nest shell gives you a simpler way to try things out.

, , ,

1 Comment

New Java Client for the Echo Nest API

Today we are releasing a Java client library for the Echo Nest developer API.   This  library gives the Java programmer  full access to the Echo Nest developer API. The API includes artist-level methods such as getting artist news, reviews, blogs, audio, video, links,  familiarity, hotttnesss, similar artists, and so on.  The API also includes access to the renown track analysis API that will allow you to get a detailed musical analysis of any music track. This analysis includes loudness, mode, key, tempo, time signature, detailed beat structure, harmonic content, and timbre information for a track.

To use the API you need to get an Echo Nest developer key (it’s free) from   Here are some code samples:

// a quick and dirty audio search engine
   ArtistAPI artistAPI = new ArtistAPI(MY_ECHO_NEST_API_KEY);

   List<Artist> artists = artistAPI.searchArtist("The Decemberists", false);
   for (Artist artist : artists) {
       DocumentList<Audio> audioList = artistAPI.getAudio(artist, 0, 15);
       for (Audio audio : audioList.getDocuments()) {
// find similar artists for weezer
   ArtistAPI artistAPI = new ArtistAPI(MY_ECHO_NEST_API_KEY);
   List<Artist> artists = artistAPI.searchArtist("weezer", false);
    for (Artist artist : artists) {
          List<Scored<Artist>> similars = artistAPI.getSimilarArtists(artist, 0, 10);
          for (Scored<Artist> simArtist : similars) {
              System.out.println("   " + simArtist.getItem().getName());

// Find the tempo of a track
    TrackAPI trackAPI = new TrackAPI(MY_ECHO_NEST_API_KEY);
    String id = trackAPI.uploadTrack(new File("/path/to/music/track.mp3"), false);
    AnalysisStatus status = trackAPI.waitForAnalysis(id, 60000);
    if (status == AnalysisStatus.COMPLETE) {
       System.out.println("Tempo in BPM: " + trackAPI.getTempo(id));

There are some nifty bits in the API.  The API will cache data for you so frequently requested data (everyone wants the latest news about Cher) will be served up very quickly. The cache can be persisted, and the shelf-life for data in the cache can be set programmatically (the default age is one week).  The API will (optionally) schedule requests to ensure that you don’t exceed your call limit.   For those that like to look under the hood, you can turn on tracing to see what the method URL calls look like and see what the returned XML looks like.

If you are interested in kicking the tires of the Echo Nest API and you are a Java or Processing programmer, give the API a try.

If you have any questions / comments or problems abut the API  post to the Echo Nest Forums.

, ,

1 Comment

The API is often described as a twitter for music. Blip users post ‘blips’ to tracks – and as with Twitter, others can follow your Blips and listen to what  you’ve posted.   It’s micro-music-blogging.   Now that Twitter has become so popular, there is a whole micro-economy built around Twitter – with multiple companies providing every different style of twitter client that you could possibly want, for just about any platform.  Twitter has enabled this economy by providing a rich set of web services around their system that any client can tap into.  Blip is hoping to do the same thing. They are providing a rich set of web services around their core that allows any third party to interact with the Blip service.

The current Blip web services are in private beta – and are likely to be extended and modified as the service matures.  To use the web services you need to get an API key from (via email).  Despite the private beta nature of the API – there’s already quite a bit a functionality in the API.  Here’s  a quick rundown of what you can already do with the API:

  • Post a blip
  • Delete a blip
  • Get a blip by ID
  • Get all public blips that occurred over a range of time
  • Search for by song or artist name
  • User Related Blips
    • Get blips for a user ordered by recency
    • Get blips for users that a user is following
    • Get a user’s playlist blips
    • Get blips that have replies
    • Get a user by name
    • Get a user’s listeners
    • Get a user’s preferences
    • Get a user’s stats
    • Give a user ‘props’
    • Save a user’s preferences
    • Sign up a new user
  • Favorites
    • Add a user as a ‘favorite’ dj
    • add a blip to a user’s playlist
    • remove a user as a a ‘favorite’ dj
    • remove a blip from a user’s playlist
    • Get a user’s favorite DJs

These services seem to be pretty all inclusive, covering every thing that any 3rd party client would  want to do with the blip service.

The Blip services provide output in XML, JSON or serialized PHP.  There’s a sample return for a getUserProfile request that returns my most recent blips at the end of this post.

Authentication –  In general, any of the Blip web services that are related to a specific user require the call to be authenticated.  Creating an authenticated call involves taking a hash of   your blip secret key along with a few other fields (such as the timestamp) to create a signature that is appended to the request. (Does anyone else have problems trying to manage these secret keys in an open source project?, they really belong with the code, but if you check them into your open source code repository, they are not secret anymore!).

Terms-of-service – As far as I can tell, the Blip folks haven’t published a terms-of-service for the API.  Not surprising since the API is still in private beta.  Still,  I like to know the rules of the road before I invest too much in an API.  In particular, I’d like to know whether or not commercial use of the API is allowed.    Blip does have rate limits – no more than one call every 30 seconds per API key for authenticated calls (there are some calls that are excluded from this rate limit).

Documentation – the documentation for the blip service is quite good for a private beta.  I especially like the API Tool that lets you play with the API in the browser.  They could improve the documentation a bit around what happens with failures – all they say for right now is Error message on failure – which is really not that helpful.   In particular, it would be nice if they published a set of status codes that one could expect on error – so I can programmatically tell the difference between an authentication error (a user gave me the wrong password) and a rate limit exceeded error.

Summary – For a private beta, I’m quite impressed at how full featured the API  is.  They have a wide range of web services already built around their core system.  They have figured out a good way to authenticate calls that manipulate user data.  The documentation combined with the nifty API tool lets you easily explore the nooks and crannies of the API.  They have API client libraries for PHP, Actionscript and Javascript (no Java or Python, sniff!).  There’s lots of good stuff here.

Sample Blip return XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <artist>Vampire Weekend</artist>
        <title>Oxford Comma</title>
        <insTime>2008-06-17 12:12:38</insTime>
        <toId />
        <reblipId />
        <thumbplayLink />
        <via />
        <viaUrl />
          <name />
          <website />
          <lastBlipTime>0000-00-00 00:00:00</lastBlipTime>
          <insTime>2008-06-17 09:18:28</insTime>
          <updateTime>2009-02-05 12:40:39</updateTime>
        <title>My Name Is Jonas</title>
        <insTime>2008-06-17 09:19:26</insTime>
        <message>weezer in the morning</message>
        <toId />
        <reblipId />
        <thumbplayLink />
        <via />
        <viaUrl />
          <name />
          <website />
          <lastBlipTime>0000-00-00 00:00:00</lastBlipTime>
          <insTime>2008-06-17 09:18:28</insTime>
          <updateTime>2009-02-05 12:40:39</updateTime>

, , , ,