Music tech hackers just got another resource to play with: Gracenote is opening up its 130 million-song database as part of its developer program.

gracenote connect-the-dots

Gracenote officially unveiled its developer program at Music Hack Day San Francisco, giving developers access to a number of APIs and SDKs as well as its mobile client to jump-start the development of new music apps.

Developers can make use of these resources to identify music through audio fingerprinting, access additional metadata about music and even retrieve the cover art for CDs. Gracenote’s music database contains information about a total of 130 million songs, which are classified by more than 2,000 musical genres.

“The company has a history of supporting innovation,” Gracenote President Stephen White said during a phone interview Thursday. Gracenote’s original CD database used to offer developers free access for non-commercial applications, but White said that Gracenote moved away from some of these principles when the company got acquired by Sony. Now Gracenote wants to reclaim its place in the music tech developer ecosystem.

Gracenote’s developer program soft launched at the Stockholm Music Hack Day last month, and 300 developers have already signed up to make use of the company’s resources. One of them is an iOS app called Stream That Song that uses Gracenote’s music recognition to identify a song that’s playing in the background (think Shazam) and then adds it to a user’s Spotify or Deezer library.

Resources of the program are limited to non-commercial app development. White argued that this gives developers a chance to start working on their app and apply for a commercial license once it’s proven to be successful. “There’s no need to strike licenses before you start working,” he said.

  1. Sounds pretty cool and I can think of a couple of uses with our current products, but I’m not sure I’d want to spend much time developing something only to have them try to take me through the ringer later when I apply for a commercial license.

  2. Ben Wilmington Friday, February 15, 2013

    Thanks for the 411 Janko! I do have one important question:

    Do I HAVE to think Shazam, or can I think SoundHound?


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