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Top 4 Free Music Data APIs

Pulling song lyrics. Streaming playlists. Sorting by genres. There are hundreds of ways to use music data to take your app to the next level. Even better? There are a ton of music data APIs you can access for free!  Here are some of the best music data APIs and their most common use cases:

Get Lyrics Data with the MusiXmatch API

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Time to find your signature karaoke song.  With over 14 million lyrics in 50+ different languages, MusiXmatch is the world’s largest catalog of song lyrics. Its API has the same data that powers the popular app.

The best use cases for the MusiXmatch API are…

  1. Searching tracks and getting their information:

The Track.search endpoint is super powerful. You can search track by:

  • Artist
  • Track name
  • Partial lyrics

The partial lyric search is unique to MusiXmatch.  If you only remember a few words in the song, you can use this function to track down the song and the track ID. Even if the words aren’t in order!

You can also sort results by track rating. The returned track has information like:

  • Name
  • Rating
  • Album
  • Artist
  • Cover art
  • Music genre

2. Getting track lyrics

The bread and butter of the MusiXmatch API is pulling song lyrics. After getting a track ID from the Track.search endpoint, use the Track.Lyrics endpoint to get the lyrics.

You can also use the Matcher.lyrics endpoint to get lyrics by the track name / artist’s name;  however,  it doesn’t have the advance search and full metadata of the Track.search endpoint.

Pull Powerful Metadata, Popularity Charts and Cover Art with LastFM

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LastFM has one of the largest databases of music data out there. And now, app developers can access it via the company’s powerful API. Get trending tracks and artists straight to your app by pulling top music charts.

LastFM’s API is also very good about multi-media assets. It provides images for albums, tracks and artist.

The LastFM API only requires a free API key. You can quickly generate one here.

The best use cases for the LastFM API are…

  1. Searching Music

The SearchTracks, SearchArtist and SearchAlbum endpoints provide powerful search functionalities:

  • The SearchAlbum endpoint returns the album name, artist and cover art in multiple sizes
  • The SearchArtist endpoint provides the artist’s popularity and images of the individual or band
  • The SearchTracks endpoint provides the track artist, number of listeners and associated cover art

2. Gathering Metadata

LastFM provides powerful metadata beyond the search endpoints:

  • The getAlbumInfo endpoint lists all tracks in an album
  • The getArtistInfo endpoint pulls an artist’s biography, popularity stats and similar bands

3. Viewing Top Charts

LastFM uses its vast social network to generate listening charts. These endpoints let you access a variety of chart data:

  • The getTopTracksChart endpoint gets current top tracks, along with stats like play count and unique listener count
  • The getTopArtistsChart endpoint pulls current top artists with play count and unique listeners

Go Beyond Music with the iTunes API
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We all know that iTunes has an enormous music database. But the iTunes API’s real differentiator is the storefront. The iTunes API accesses the iTune Store’s database, which lets you filter media by store country, availability and prices. While the API doesn’t have any popularity statistics, it provides pricing information from the iTunes Store.

Unlike other APIs on this list, the iTunes API doesn’t require a key. Just head to the iTunes API functions page to start testing calls!

The best use cases for the iTunes API are…

  1. Searching Broader Music Properties

Like many music data APIs, the powerful searchMusic endpoint lets you search for artists, albums, tracks. But this endpoint also lets you pull music videos and mixes. Track data will include the track price, and the price of the album containing it.
You can perform arbitrary search across all of these data types, or use the optional entity parameter to specify what data you want to get back.

2. Moving Beyond Music:

While this article focuses on music data APIs, the iTunes API lets you search across the entire iTunes store. For example, you can also call endpoints that search the following media types:

You can also call the general search endpoint to search across all media types. All media will have pricing data, as well as general metadata.

Unlock Music Metadata and Playlists with the Spotify API

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Access the database behind one of the largest music streaming apps in the world. On top of the regular artist /album /rack data search functionalities, Spotify’s API offers access to public playlists. According to a recent Wired article, Spotify’s playlists are a uniquely influential curation tool. Its Today’s Top Hits playlist has 14.4 million followers alone!

The Spotify API requires an Access Token, obtainable in their console: https://developer.spotify.com/web-api/console/get-artist/. You don’t need any scopes.

The best use cases for this API include …

  1. Searching for Music

Like the other music data APIs mentioned, Spotify has strong endpoints that allow you to search albums, artists and tracks. The returned data includes metadata and album art.

2. Searching Playlists

The searchPlaylist endpoint lets you search for playlists with different keywords. As one of the most popular music streaming platforms in the world, Spotify has the most high-quality playlists of any API we tried.

Conclusion

These are some of our favorite free music data APIs. Have you built any cool projects with these APIs? Did we miss your favorite music data API? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

7 Comments

Alex

A lot of words, not much code? Can you fix?

Lindsey

Thanks for reaching out! This was a round-up post, not a technical tutorial. You can read our tutorials here: http://blog.rapidapi.com/category/tutorial/

You can also click the link to call any of these APIs and dig straight into the code.

ekalaracha

Do any of these APIs actually allow you to stream the music itself (besides the 30 second preview from Spotify)? It seems like these are more for the information about the music than the actual music itself, unless I’m missing something.

Purvaldur

Not any of *these* api’s as far as I’m aware. I know with google play, you can stream the music but it’s unofficial, so I’m not 100% clear on the ToS. Here’s a link: https://github.com/simon-weber/gmusicapi. There’s plenty of libraries in other languages built up around it.

Lindsey

@ekalaracha This article was more focused on music data (ex. song titles, lyrics etc.) vs. actually streaming.

RapidAPI currently doesn’t support any API functionality that streams music. However, you can apply for access through the Spotify API page: https://developer.spotify.com/technologies/libspotify/

John Canelis

I built an app with the Spotify API called TrackQueen.io (https://trackqueen.io). You can play a song with Spotify and get the lyrics, music video, annotations from Genius.com, artist bio and more.

Mark Nejmeh

Hi, Mark Nejmeh here. Hope you are all well. Can you tell me where the best and largest database of older songs for download might be found?


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