Find The Words With ChartLyrics Lyric API

Adam DuVander
Jan. 04 2010, 04:53AM EST

The site claims a "huge collection of hit lyrics." Your next music application can tap into the database with the new ChartLyrics Lyric API. You can use it to search in several ways and, more importantly, obtain the text that makes up the words to popular songs.

Though the documentation seems to push a SOAP API, an easier to use REST-based interface is also available for every operation. That means you can test out the API in your browser to see if it will work for you.

The service has three functions:

  • SearchLyric - returns songs by artist, song title, or both.
  • SearchLyricText - returns songs with lyrics that match the search term
  • GetLyric - returns the actual lyrics to the song -- called after one of the other functions

Since the lyrics are shared by individual users, ChartLyrics also provides a link to provide corrections. As per the community-based nature of the site, it requests developers encourage their users to report problems with lyrics to improve the database.

Music APIs remain popular. About five percent of all mashups are tagged music. We also list 66 music APIs, including two ChartLyrics competitors: Lyricsfly and LyricWiki. 2009 saw several Music Hack Day events where developers got together to discuss and improve platforms, as well as create applications (we covered the London Music Hack Day and the Boston Music Hack Day) .

As with many music-related applications, copyright issues are a major consideration. Hit songwriters are well-compensated and, as such, well-defended. Just a few months ago, LyricWiki stopped sharing lyrics via its API because of licensing issues.

Still, the lyrics APIs remain popular with developers. We list 43 lyrics mashups, almost double the number at the beginning of 2009.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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