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What are Music APIs?
Some music platforms expose their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate the music services into their applications. These APIs enable you to programmatically mine, browse, and enhance the music platform’s data and accomplish various tasks, such as retrieving information about certain albums, getting playlists, or obtaining artists details.
With the extensive availability of music platforms out there, it can be difficult to keep track of the APIs you can use to extend the functionality of your applications. To make the work easier for you, we analyzed several music APIs based on the following four main criteria:
- API features: We assessed the astounding features available in each of the APIs.
- Price: We looked at the price of using the music APIs.
- Popularity: We evaluated the popularity of the music platforms.
- Ease of use: We scrutinized the ease of implementing the APIs in applications.
Ultimately, we came up with the following list of top 10 best music APIs.
Top 10 best music APIs
TL;DR: Here’s a table summarizing our key findings.
|API||Key API Features||Price||Popularity||Easy to Use|
|Last.FM API||Access playlists, albums, artists, users, events, and many more||Free||Visited by 170,000 U.S. households in 2018||Yes|
|Spotify API||Read audio features of songs and analyze their various attributes||Free||180 million users worldwide||Yes|
|iTunes API||Include search fields on your application||Free||50 million users worldwide||Yes|
|Deezer API||Access albums, playlists, radio, artists, track users, comments, search, and editorial||Free||14 million users worldwide||Yes|
|SoundCloud API||Upload and share sound to social online networks, play sounds, integrate follow and like features, and search for sounds||Free and paid plans starting from €8.25 per month||175 million users worldwide||Yes|
|Apple Music API||Access albums, playlists, artists, and playback of songs||Free||56 million users worldwide||Yes|
|Musixmatch API||Access translated lyrics, list top artists per country, list top songs per country, and search for tracks||Free and paid plans starting from $1.5 CPM||30 million users worldwide||Yes|
|Shoutcast API||Access radio stations, search stations, access what is currently playing, and sort stations||Free||50,000 radio stations worldwide||No|
|Mixcloud API||Display users info, search music collections, upload shows, and edit uploads.||Free||17 million users per month||Yes|
|Chartmetric API||Track, analyze, and measure music data of playlists and artists||Free and paid plans starting from $80 per user per month||1.3 million artists||Yes|
1. Last.fm API
Last.fm is a website that has a huge collection of music. It allows users to create their own profiles, track the music they listen to (called scrobbling) and access other exciting services such as personalized music charts, recommendations, and interaction with other music lovers.
API features: The Last.fm API enables you to access the platform’s data and create powerful applications on mobile devices, the desktop, or the web. The RESTful API has methods for exploring the full collection of the website’s music data resources—playlists, albums, artists, users, events, and many more.
Price: Last.fm provides its API to developers for free. However, users who want to access additional features, such as more statistics, historical reports, and ad-free browsing, need to go for the paid option, which is priced at $3 per month.
Popularity: Last.fm is a popular online music service. For example, in the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that about 170,000 households visited the site in 2018.
Ease of use: The Last.fm API is very easy to use. It offers comprehensive toolset to allow developers to easily integrate its services into their applications. The documentation is comprehensive and full of sample codes that will make your life easy.
2. Spotify API
Spotify is a platform for accessing millions of songs and playing them on the web, desktop, or mobile devices.
API features: The Spotify APIs and SDKs allow you to create amazing experiences for millions of music lovers around the world. With the API, you can read the audio features of songs and analyze their various attributes such as danceability and valence. You can also integrate Spotify music into your application, serve recommendations to users, and search and manage artists, albums, tracks, or playlists.
Price: Spotify provides its API to developers for free. However, users who want to access extra features, such as ad-free access and offline playing of music, need to register for the premium service, which starts from $9.99 per month.
Popularity: Spotify is a very popular digital music platform. Currently, it boasts of more than 180 million music fans in most countries around the world.
Ease of use: The Spotify API is well documented, something that enhances its ease of use. Furthermore, there is a vibrant community of Spotify developers who are willing to help each other make the most of the music service.
3. iTunes API
iTunes is an Apple, Inc.-owned media management platform that is primarily used to play and manage both audio and video music files. The software can be used on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The iTunes Store allows users to buy the content that they can play using the iTunes software.
API features: There is an iTunes Search API that enables you to include search fields on your application, where users can search for their favorite content in the iTunes Store or other Apple services. The API is offered to participants in the Apple’s Affiliate Program and allows you to place promotional content on your website, such as previews of music videos, songs, or album arts. If a user clicks on the promotional content and makes a purchase in the iTunes Store, you’ll earn a commission.
Price: The iTunes Search API is offered for free.
Popularity: iTunes is a popular service for playing movies, TV shows, and music. As of May 2018, the digital entertainment service had more than 50 million global paying subscribers.
Ease of use: Apple is known for its comprehensive documentation and supportive developer community; somethings not missing in the iTunes API.
4. Deezer API
Deezer is an online music streaming platform that has an extensive collection of different types of music. The service allows users to listen to their favorite music on multiple devices, even offline.
API features: The Deezer API enables you to access the platform’s data and escalate the functionality of your application. Some of the data you can access include albums, playlists, radio, artists, track users, comments, search, and editorial.
Price: The API is provided for free. Users can enjoy Deezer online music for free or opt for the premium services which starts from $4.99 per month.
Popularity: Deezer is a widely used across the world for listening to online music. As of November 2018, it had more than 14 million registered active users in more than 180 countries. So, you can be sure of integrating a music service that people will fall in love with.
Ease of use: Deezer has an easy to follow documentation for its plugins, API, and SDKs. This way, integrating the API into your website is easy.
SoundCloud is a digital music streaming service that allows users to listen to a wide collection of songs on the web and mobile devices. Users can utilize the platform to upload, share, and promote their music items from around the world.
API features: The SoundCloud API allows you to create powerful applications that can escalate sound on the web to higher heights. The API provides several endpoints for completing various tasks, including uploading and sharing sound to social online networks, playing sounds, integrating comments, integrating follow and like features, and searching for sounds.
Price: You’ll need to sign up for a SoundCloud account before accessing the API. The SoundCloud Basic account is provided for free. However, to access better features such as unlimited upload time and full statistics, you’ll need the SoundCloud Pro account, which starts from €8.25 per month.
Popularity: SoundCloud is popular across the world. It has more than 175 million registered users. Therefore, you can use its popularity to enhance the versatility of your application.
Ease of use: SoundCloud has detailed documentation that is full of code samples for several common integration use cases. The samples are in the most popular programming languages, which you can easily follow along and take advantage of SoundCloud’s offerings.
Apple Music is another Apple, Inc.-owned music service that allows users to stream videos and music online and offline. The service works flawlessly with the iTunes library, letting users enjoy a personalized music collection.
API features: The Apple Music API enables developers to integrate streaming music into their applications and websites. It’s an iOS-only and web-only service that allows you to retrieve information about Apple Music media. You can get details about albums, playlists, artists, and songs. The API also supports playback of Apple Music. Furthermore, if a user grants you the access rights, you can retrieve and amend data related to that user.
Price: The API is offered free to participants in the Apple’s Affiliate Program, which allows them to earn commissions on any qualifying sales.
Popularity: Apple Music is a popular service around the world, especially for iOS users. As of December 2018, the platform had 56 million subscribers.
Ease of use: Apple Music has exhaustive documentation about how to start using its API. Besides, there is a vibrant community of Apple developers who are always ready to assist each other make the most of Apple products.
Musixmatch is a music service that allows users to search and share their favorite lyrics and translations in more than 50 unique languages.
API features: The Musixmatch API allows you to integrate lyrics into your application. The API has methods for accomplishing various tasks, including getting a list of the top artists per country, getting a list of the top songs per country, searching for tracks, getting information about tracks, and getting translated lyrics for any language. Musixmatch also supports other popular music streaming services like Spotify and iTunes.
Price: You can test the API for free, but you’ll be limited to 2,000 calls per day. To access better features such as 50,000 calls per day and full lyrics, you’ll need to go for any of the paid plans, which starts from $1.5 CPM (Cost Per Impression) per month.
Popularity: Musixmatch has a large collection of more than 14 million lyrics from around the world. With an audience of more than 30 million fans, the platform is popular around the world.
Ease of use: To assist developers in getting started, Musixmatch offers an easy to follow API documentation and SDKs for iOS and Android devices. There is also an API playground you can use to test the functionality of the API endpoints.
Although Shoutcast is not primarily a music service, it provides an online platform for broadcasters to stream their radio content to any device, globally.
API features: The Shoutcast API allows you to access its directory of radio stations and integrate them into your applications, websites, mobile platforms, and other devices. With the API, you can search for your favorite station, access what is currently playing, sort the stations according to their popularity, and complete several other tasks.
Price: The API is provided free of charge to Shoutcast partners.
Popularity: More than 50,000 radio stations around the world are utilizing Shoutcast to broadcast their content. Therefore, you cannot fail to find a popular radio station and enable your users to listen to music.
Ease of use: Shoutcast provides a simple developer wiki for implementing the API. The documentation provides bare minimum methods and may be difficult to understand, especially for novice developers.
9. Mixcloud API
Mixcloud is an online-based service that lets registered users to browse and stream music available on the platform. Users are allowed to upload various types of content, including podcasts, DJ mixes, and radio shows. Additionally, users can use the platform’s own social networking widget to distribute their content across the Internet.
Price: The API is provided for free.
Popularity: Mixcloud is massively used by music lovers. The platform records more than 17 million active users per month.
Ease of use: The API has been designed to focus on simplicity and ease of use. Mixcloud provides resourceful documentation with everything you need to start implementing the API on your applications.
10. Chartmetric API
Chartmetric is an online tool that provides music and artists analytics data collected from a wide range of external sources.
API features: The Chartmetric API allows you to track, analyze, and measure music data of playlists and artists. This way, you’ll stay informed and make productive decisions. With the API, you can get extensive music analytics data, including an album’s statistics, an artist’s fan metrics, a playlist curator chart, a playlist’s chart, and a playlist’s metadata.
Price: The API is provided for free. However, to access advanced features, you’ll need to register for any of its paid plans, which starts from $80 per user per month.
Popularity: Chartmetric is rising in popularity fast. Currently, it has more than 1.3 million artists, 1 million playlists, and 300,000 curators distributed across various popular online streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer.
Ease of use: Chartmetric offers elaborate documentation to enable developers to implement the API quickly into their specific use cases. The documentation has sample codes to assist you to start using the API without any difficulties.
That’s Rakuten RapidAPI’s list of top 10 best music APIs. You may also want to check out our curated list of best search APIs. We hope you’ll find an API that you can integrate into your application and keep your visitors entertained!
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