Posts Tagged apis

Fresh Faces on Spotify

My weekend programming project this week was to explore a new feature of the Spotify Web API that allows you to find albums that have been released in the last two weeks. The result is a web app called Fresh Faces.  This app goes through all of the recent releases and finds those that are the very first release for the artist. If you are looking for new music, there’s no fresher place to start than this app – it finds the newest music by the freshest artists – artists that are barely two weeks into their recording career.

2015-04-26 at 11.40 AM Fresh Faces lets you sort the results based on artist popularity, album popularity, artist followers or release date. You can click on an album to hear a sample, find more info about the album or open it on Spotify.

How many new releases are there?

I was curious about how many releases there are in a two week period, and when releases tend to happen, so I added a chart at the bottom of the Fresh Faces app that shows the distribution of fresh and recurring releases and the dates when releases happen.  You can see that the shift of releasing music from Tuesday to Friday is ongoing.

2015-04-26 at 11.45 AM

In the past two weeks about 32,000 albums have been released – about 5,200 of these are the first release for the artist. That’s a whole lot of fresh music.

Give Fresh Faces a try and let me know what you think.

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The Ultimate List of Music APIs

I’ve started to build the ultimate list of music APIs. My goal for the list is for it to be a one-stop spot to find the best music apis. Currently 65 APIs are listed across 10 categories. Check out the list here: Music APIs

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The Billboard API

220px-billboard_logosvg1Billboard, the venerable maintainer of the Billboard Hot 100 and a bevy of other music charts, is now making this data available via an API.  The API “puts the entire rich history of the Billboard charts at your fingertips to sample and mix into your web pages and applications.”.  The API is in public beta –  but already it is supplying some really good information.

The first service that they’ve rolled out is the ‘Chart’ service, which lets you search and retrieve Billboard chart information.

For example, to find all appearances of The Beatles  on any of the Billboard charts during the first week of June in 1964, you could make the call:

http://api.billboard.com/apisvc/chart/v1/list?artist=The+Beatles&sdate=1964-06-01&edate=1964-06-08&api_key=your_key

With results:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<searchResults firstPosition='1' totalReturned='6' totalRecords='6'>
    <chartItem id='8807769' rank='2' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3070264'>
            <name>The Billboard Hot 100</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>379</specId>
            <specType>Singles</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>Love Me Do</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>9008</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Tollie</distribution>
        <peak>1</peak>
        <weeksOn>14</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
    <chartItem id='8715479' rank='4' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3068613'>
            <name>The Billboard 200</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>305</specId>
            <specType>Albums</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>The Beatles' Second Album</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>2080</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Capitol</distribution>
        <peak>1</peak>
        <weeksOn>55</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
    <chartItem id='8715481' rank='6' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3068613'>
            <name>The Billboard 200</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>305</specId>
            <specType>Albums</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>Meet The Beatles!</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>2047</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Capitol</distribution>
        <peak>1</peak>
        <weeksOn>71</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
    <chartItem id='8807803' rank='36' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3070264'>
            <name>The Billboard Hot 100</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>379</specId>
            <specType>Singles</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>Do You Want To Know A Secret</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>587</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Vee-Jay</distribution>
        <peak>2</peak>
        <weeksOn>11</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
    <chartItem id='8715486' rank='11' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3068613'>
            <name>The Billboard 200</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>305</specId>
            <specType>Albums</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>Introducing...The Beatles</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>1062</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Vee-Jay</distribution>
        <peak>2</peak>
        <weeksOn>49</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
    <chartItem id='8807777' rank='10' exrank='0'>
        <chart id='3070264'>
            <name>The Billboard Hot 100</name>
            <issueDate>1964-06-06</issueDate>
            <specId>379</specId>
            <specType>Singles</specType>
        </chart>
        <artist>The Beatles</artist>
        <writer />
        <song>P.S. I Love You</song>
        <producer />
        <catalogNo>9008</catalogNo>
        <promotion />
        <distribution>Tollie</distribution>
        <peak>10</peak>
        <weeksOn>8</weeksOn>
    </chartItem>
</searchResults>

You can restrict searches to various charts (Hot Country, Pop 100, Top Latin, etc.) , and you can search  by artist and/or song name over a range of dates.  (Unfortunately, but not too surprisingly, the data for the current month is not available in the searches).

The terms-of-service seem pretty reasonable- you are allowed to make 1,500 API calls per day at up to 2 queries per second.  Commercial use seems to be allowed (But I’m not a lawyer, so you should check for yourself).  However, according to the terms, you are not allowed to store any of the Billboard data. The services are well documented, support JSON as well as XML output and query times are fast.

I can think of all sorts of uses for this data  – to help create playlists for the 25 year high school reunion, tracking artist popularity over time, answering bar room music questions like “What was the highest charting instrumental-only single?” or “Did Ringo ever have a hit?”.  It is perfect data for the Music Alchemists that are trying to build  an automatic hit predictor.

The Billboard chart API is an excellent addition to the world of music web services.   It goes straight into my Top Ten Music APIs chart – with a bullet.

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