The Universe Is Programmable. We Need an API for Everything — [ My Thoughts ]

My thoughts on an article by Keith Axline and some ideas for API’s in my own project.

I enjoyed reading this article as it shows a clear understanding of the power people have when they work together (or ‘the wisdom of crowds’) from both a general and coding aspect.

I agree with Axline that we need an API for everything, as it would create a vast global network of information on any topic imaginable, no matter how niche or menial. However, like Axline said, some would argue that wikipedia is similar to this but in reality, it is just a page of text. Some could say that the internet as a whole could loosely be called an API for everything as you can search for information about something or how something works in an infinite and expanding number of topics.

I would argue that these ways of finding information are too limited and difficult to use, to be considered an ‘API for everything’. In my opinion, an ideal API for everything would be an easy to navigate interface in which anyone can enter information about any topic in a regulated way which limits errors on misuse. Also this interface should be available in every language so that it has maximum reach and availability for input.

Possible API’s for my App Project

Discogs API (x)

The Discogs API would be a great way for me to give my app access to a expansive database of over 7.5 Million musical releases. The Discogs API contains a large amount of information about each releases listed and my app could be the portal to which users find all the dance music focused music within the Discogs database. This would create a greater overall experience for users as there will be a larger amount of music compared to entering each track separately which is more likely to retain their interest for longer.

api.ai (x)

api.ai is a speech command API much like Siri on Apple devices. I could use this API for my own project by implementing it into the landing page for users to enter or speak their search queries. For example, the user could say ‘I want to listed to 90’s dance music from Germany’ and my app would recognise that the user wants to see database results which fall under the categories of ‘90’s’ and ‘Germany’. This would improve the user experience by giving a more interactive and personal feel to the app, like the app is a digital servant who the user has commanded to fetch some tracks for. I think this would give the app a unique experience and open up the project for a unique selling point.

{API}Search (x)

With {API}Search, I could implement a search bar within the app with lets people search by other fields such as: Year, genre, artist, record label etc. This would open the app up to a new way of discovering music in the app, not just by decade and country. This would be a great way to expand on the existing user experience as users could begin to search for certain aspects they liked from their searches using the original method of country and decade. It opens the results of the database to be accessed from many angles by using the information that is usually displayed about them as an end point.

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