Difference between revisions of "MusicBrainz API/XML"

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lookup: /<ENTITY>/<MBID>?inc=<INC>
lookup: /<ENTITY>/<MBID>?inc=<INC>

Revision as of 13:03, 4 May 2010

XML Web Service v2

This is my proposal on how V2 of the XML_Web_Service should work. --warp.


We have six resources on our web service which represent core entities in our database:

 artist, label, recording, release, release-group, work

We also provide a web service interface for the following non-core resources:

 rating, tag, collection

On each entity resource, you can perform three different GET requests:

 lookup:   /<ENTITY>/<MBID>?inc=<INC>
 browse:   /<ENTITY>?<ENTITY>=<MBID>&limit=<LIMIT>&offset=<OFFSET>&inc=<INC>
 search:   /<ENTITY>?query=<QUERY>&limit=<LIMIT>&offset=<OFFSET>

Of these:

  • Lookups are somewhat similar to lookups on /ws/1, and are documented further below.
  • Browse requests are documented in the next chapter.
  • Searches are implemented by the search server and are not currently documented here, suffice to say that <QUERY> uses the advanced query syntax understood by lucene. This is documented for the current server at http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/Text_Search_Syntax .
  • ratings, tags and collections are not currently documented for /ws/2.


Browse requests are a direct lookup of all the entities directly linked to another entity. (with directly linked I am referring to any relationship inherent in the database, so no ARs). For example, you may want to see all releases on netlabel ubiktune:


Note that browse requests are not searches, in order to browse all the releases on the ubiktune label you will need to know the MBID of ubiktune.

Linked entities

The following list shows which linked entities you can use in a browse request:

 /ws/2/artist            recording, release, release-group, work
 /ws/2/label             release
 /ws/2/release-group     artist, release
 /ws/2/work              artist
 /ws/2/recording         artist, release
 /ws/2/release           artist, label, recording, release-group

As a special case, release also allows track_artist, which is intended to allow you to browse various artist appearances for an artist. It will return any release where the artist appears in the artist_credit for a track, but NOT in the artist_credit for the entire release (as those would already have been returned in a request with artist=<MBID>).

〜 I think track_artist as described above is important, otherwise you will get client software requesting all recordings for an artist, followed by release requests for each of the recordings found earlier. --warp.

Furthermore, release-groups can be filtered on type, and releases can be filtered on status. For example, if you only want Official and Promotional releases by Akira Kiteshi:


Or all albums and EPs by Autechre:

〜 we could make these mandatory, so that clients don't request all linked releases or release-groups out of laziness. --warp.
〜 we may want to support type on releases too. --warp.


Browse requests are the only requests which support paging, any browse request supports an 'offset=' argument to get more results.

〜 should we allow 'limit=' within a certain range? what about some kind of 'order-by='? --warp


Just like with normal lookup requests, the server can be instructed to include more data about the entity using an 'inc=' argument. Supported values for inc= are:

 /ws/2/artist            aliases
 /ws/2/label             aliases
 /ws/2/release-group     artist
 /ws/2/work              artist
 /ws/2/recording         artist
 /ws/2/release           artist, label

In addition to the inc= values listed above, all entities (except release) support:

 tags, ratings, user-tags, user-ratings
〜 we probably want to allow a few more inc= arguments here, though we can always add more later. --warp.


You can perform a lookup of an entity when you have the MBID for that entity:

 lookup:   /<ENTITY>/<MBID>?inc=<INC>


The inc= is parameter allows you to request more information to be included about the entity. Any of the entities directly linked to the entity can be included.

 /ws/2/artist            recordings, releases, release-groups, works
 /ws/2/label             releases
 /ws/2/release-group     artist, releases
 /ws/2/work              artist
 /ws/2/recording         artist, releases
 /ws/2/release           artist, label, recordings, release-groups

All lookups which include releases allow a seperate status= argument to further narrow down the type of releases you are looking for. All lookups which include release-groups allow a type= argument to narrow down the release-groups.

Note that the number of linked entities returned is always limited to X, if you need the remaining results, you will have to perform a browse request.

〜 How large should X be? can it be the same for all resources or should it be tweaked based on either of the two entity types involved? --warp.

inc= arguments which affect subqueries

Some additional inc= parameters are supported to specify how much of the data about the linked entities should be included:

 - discids           include discids for all media in the releases
 - media             include media for all releases, this includes the # of tracks on each medium.
 - puids             include puids for all recordings
 - isrcs             include isrcs for all recordings
 - iswcs             include iswcs for all works
 - various-artists   include only those releases on which the artist appears on one of the tracks, 
                     but not in the artist credit for the release itself (this is only valid on a
                     /ws/2/artist?inc=releases request).

As a special case, artists will be included for recordings on a /ws/2/release?inc=artist+recordings lookup.

To get all ISWCs for ABBA for example, you could do:


(Just using 'inc=iswcs' would not return any iswcs, you need to include works to use 'iswcs').

Misc inc= arguments

 - aliases           include artist or label aliases


inc= arguments to include relationships work exactly like they do in /ws/1:

 - artist-rels
 - label-rels
 - recording-rels
 - release-rels
 - release-group-rels
 - url-rels
 - work-rels