77C08F7C-9DAB-43F5-B72A-CFA31C6155DA.jpgYes.com is an aggregator of information about terrestrial radio. They track the song playing activity of many thousands of radio stations. Now they are making all of this wonderful data available via a web API.

You can do all sorts of things with the API - you can search for stations (by call letter, by location, by style of music etc.), find out what a particular station is playing, find out which artists or tracks are popular etc.

For instance, to find the stations near me I can just search using my zipcode:


This yields a bunch of json (JavaScript Object Notation) that describes the local radio stations.

The API lets you get all sorts of interesting data, including:

  • The log of all songs played on any station in the last week
  • The top songs on any station (based on plays or user voting)
  • Overall popularity of a song or artist
  • Related songs (based upon playlist co-occurrence)

Some more examples:

This is a gold mine of data about popular music. Folks interested in automatic generation of playlists can mine song sequences from professionally curated playlists. Music marketeers can learn what music is popular in various geographic locations. Music recommenders can mine data about what songs are being played together on the radio stations. Given that terrestrial radio is still the way that most people discover new music, this data is very useful in helping us understand what people are listening to.

The API is full featured, is very fast and seems quite solid. My biggest gripe is that it serves up JSON and not XML (which is what just about every other music api serves), so it means incorporating another parser in my code. The folks at YES are thinking about making an XML version, so even this gripe may be short-lived.

The API terms of use are quite reasonable - if you use their data on a web site, you must link back to YES.com. Commercial use is "available and often immediately granted by just ensuring proper linking."

This API has lots of data that hasn't been easily available before - data that can be used to enable music discovery, playlist generation, trend spotting. Well done to the Yes.com developers for providing such a clean and easy to use API - and well done to the Yes.com business folk who realize the value in making this data available. (And, by the way, the Yes.com site itself is pretty cool).


IMO, XML is extremely ill-suited for web APIs. JSON is amazing for Javascript implementation, and SOAP is better for just about everything else.

Posted by dt on November 24, 2008 at 09:41 AM EST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.

This blog copyright 2010 by plamere