Metadata addict seeking enabler
September 15, 2006 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Is there any kind of API for All Music Guide (if there is it seems to be undocumented), or has anyone written any kind of 3rd party scraper based API for it? Are there any alternate music data sources on the web of the same quality that do have APIs?

I love Windows Media Player's ability to grab metadata for id3 tags (such as Composer and Label) from All Music Guide. However, that's about the only thing I like about it and so I'd really like a way to keep getting that same data into my tags without it. I'd like to write a script for either Winamp or iTunes to do the same thing, but unfortunately AMG doesn't seem to have any kind of published API. Amazon's API seems like it might be able to get me at least some of that data, but since you can never have too much metadata I was wondering if there were any other options to consider. I'm looking for stuff beyond just artist/album/trackname/year though.
posted by shinji_ikari to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some people have created scrapers on Dapper, but I don't know how well they work.

Unfortunately the Dapper folks are ajaxaholics so you can't link to their search results. Go to their search page and search for
posted by revgeorge at 6:52 AM on September 15, 2006

That is AMG's business. You need to pay them a very significant subscription fee (i.e. you can't afford it) to get access to their monthly SQL dumps.

I know a few people that have written advanced scrapers. They are always fighting with AMG's sysadmins and web design people-- the auth process will change, or the layout will--- it's a net losing battle. So look into Amazon right now, or write a scraper. Be careful with the scraping, they can and will block by IP. One tip is to look at AMG 'partner sites' -- last I checked republishes AMG data and probably care far less about scraping, they'd be happy to get the traffic :)
posted by neustile at 6:53 AM on September 15, 2006

If you're wanting something to update your id3 tags. The musicbrainz project is worth a look. The fact it can work out what a track is based on how it sounds is amazing.

I don't know if it's that intensive that it will also do composer and label type of values. But I find it's a useful too to have in my arsenal :)
posted by snarkle at 7:56 AM on September 15, 2006

there's a programme called tag&rename that does what you want. it's pretty good.
posted by ascullion at 12:50 PM on September 15, 2006

This is kind of late, but the incredibly good (except for the bizarre UI) MP3 tagger The GodFather used to have an interface where if you pulled up an AMG album page in an embedded IE browser, there was a scaper included which parsed out the artist/album/track/album art/etc info for you, along with some fairly AMG-specific information such as who was playing what on various tracks, composers, and so on.

AMG apparently noticed and asked TGF's author to disable this functionality in the tagger itself, though if you download version 0.70 and apply this patch it's still usable.

I gather that the more recent solution is to run a user-provided script to grab info from AMG. If you are able to trace through Delphi code, it may be possible to figure out what TGF is looking for when it scrapes AMG's site. (At any rate, TGF doesn't currently use any sort of public API into AMG or anything, as far as I can tell.)
posted by whir at 4:00 AM on September 21, 2006

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