LibriVox API Discussion Thread

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Cori
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Post by Cori » February 27th, 2013, 1:42 pm

You're welcome to experiment with the new API, but as far as I know it's still considered beta and so things in it may yet change. We should have a stable official release in the next few months ... it'll be announced in the forum and via the blog.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

happymindsparker
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Post by happymindsparker » February 27th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Thanks for your reply

anitha2012
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Post by anitha2012 » February 28th, 2013, 10:12 am

Hi,

I would like to see the following features :

1. Search the books based on published date or copyright date. Right now, the url http://dev.librivox.org/api/feed/audiobooks/copyright_year=1845 returns incorrect results. It would be nice to get the results which limit all books after the copyright_year or published date or in between year1 and year2

2. Would like to see the cover art in the search result for http://dev.librivox.org/api/feed/audiobooks

3. Would be nice to have the genre and category in the rss. Some of them are empty http://librivox.org/rss/5781

For example: http://librivox.org/rss/47.
Right now I see the genre as comma separated fields.
<genre>Romance, Adventure</genre>

But for the category it does not appear consistent. It would be nice to see the <category>Arts, Literature</category>
<itunes:category text="Arts">
<itunes:category text="Literature"/>
</itunes:category>

4. Some of the rss feeds http://librivox.org/rss/47 do not list mp3 files for individual chapters. It would be nice to see this consistent across Books.

5. Searching by category would be a nice feature. (Fiction, Adventure, Children, War etc)

6. Searching by description. For example important keywords like revolution, medieval etc in description should be available as keyword search.

7. Searching for an author Jane Austin, the rssUrl in the search result lists all the works in the book “Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern” rather than the work by Jane Austin “A Well-Matched Sister and Brother, from Northanger Abbey” .

It would be nice to have an author tag for the rssUrl http://librivox.org/rss/5781 have <author>Various</author> and the individual Chapter have authors as well:

To illustrate it better
<title>A Conversation with a Purpose, from Giboyer's Boy</title>
<author> Émile Augier , Charles Dudley Warner</author>
<enclosure url="http://www.archive.org/download/worlds_best_literature3_1208_librivox/worldsbestliterature3_02_various_64kb.mp3" length="6900000" type="audio/mpeg"/>
<duration>00:14:26<duration>
<pubDate>Sat, 18 Aug 2012 11:58:00 -0400</pubDate>

<title>A Well-Matched Sister and Brother, from Northanger Abbey</title>
<author>Austen, Jane></author>
<enclosure url="http://www.archive.org/download/worlds_best_literature3_1208_librivox/worldsbestliterature3_15_various_64kb.mp3" length="7700000" type="audio/mpeg"/>
<duration>00:16:05<duration>
<pubDate>Sat, 18 Aug 2012 11:45:00 -0400</pubDate>

8. Searching by latest works. It would be nice to search latest works by author, description, genre, category, published date .

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » February 28th, 2013, 10:18 am

Merged all API threads together, so that all interested can keep track more easily :).

Ruth
My LV catalogue page | RuthieG's CataBlog of recordings | Tweet: @RuthGolding

Jintech
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Post by Jintech » March 10th, 2013, 11:29 pm

Hi there
I am working to build an app using Librivox API. As said by Cori, you guys are still working on the new API and now, the new API is not working at all. Any query made using new API leads to some weird webpage (which is also changing over the course of the time) instead of desired XML response. I want to know how long will it take until the new API is up and running ?
I needed some functionalities for my app like setting the number of books that are returned in API response and getting books by some offset (the batch fetching functionality to be precise), the Author list etc. etc. that are introduced in new API. As far as I know, functionalities like the Author list and batch fetching functionality (limiting the number of books in API response) are not present in old API, right ????
So what is the expected time when the new API will be up and running ?
Is is safe to incorporate the new API using the documentation provided on http://dev.librivox.org/public/temp_info/api or is it going to be changed ?

Some notes regarding new API (when it was up and running):
The audio books download links did not worked.
Some information like book Genre and Category were missing.
The book ID was different in new API from the old API (it is intended I guess), so it will be difficult to build something that uses both new and old API.
The Author list contained redundant entries for authors i.e. one Author was listed as many time as his number of books.

Some suggestions:
Allow books to be searched using Genre and Categories.
The available Genre and Categories list should be present somewhere like API docs.
If the current Authors list API functionality in new API is intended to list all the books along with authors, then there should be some different API functionality which would only return the Authors list.

Regards

ekzemplaro
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Post by ekzemplaro » March 11th, 2013, 1:15 pm

Hello,

Isn't it impossible to feed also archive.org's URL?
I mean the following URLs. These examples are my recordings.
http://archive.org/details/futon_ek_1303_librivox
http://archive.org/details/umareizuru_nayami_ez_1302
http://archive.org/details/kazetachinu_ek_librivox

If these information doesn't exist LibriVox database, can't you include them into the database?

Cheers,
Masa

lje67
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Post by lje67 » April 28th, 2013, 8:20 am

I agree with the previous poster with respect to the completeness of the current API. I have a Windows Phone application that uses this interface and currently I have to go to three different URLs to get all the information I need to display. A user might have started with a latest works list, or go directly to a title, author or genre search. Depending on how they started, I have to normalize the data from various sources to get a consistent presentation. For example, the latest works list does not include a cover art URL, but the search does. It's working okay now, but it would be easier and faster to go to one source of the truth. At present I am using the following fields from the various interfaces:

Id
Title
Author
Description
Genre
Category
Total Duration
Language
Cover Image Url
Etext Url
Chapters/Parts
Title
Description
Reader
Duration
Media URL
Detail URL (on archive.org)

The structure of the response from each of the URLs I use is different, as well as the format of the data. For example, from the RSS feed URL, the title is formatted to include both title and author. Search returns title and author separately (or maybe I've got that backwards), but in a different element name. We need a single source and single format of the truth.

The URLs in the new API suggest a RESTful intent, but IMHO they do not follow REST patterns correctly. For example, if I want the 20 most recent audiobooks, I would expect to hit a path like: .../audiobooks/recent?limit=20. The "since" modifier gets confusing when used with variable limits. If I say .../audiobooks/?since=[timestamp]&limit=20, am I going to get the 20 books closest to the timestamp, or closest to the current date? I'd recommend URL patterns something like this:

.../audiobooks/[:id] - returns list of audiobooks in alphabetical order by title [or detail of a single book]
.../audiobooks/latest - returns list of recent audiobooks, newest first
.../audiobooks/byauthor/[:author] - returns list of audiobooks in alphabetical order for a given author (partial matching), [or list of audiobooks for a given author, partial matching]
.../audiobooks/bygenre/[:genre] - returns list of audiobooks in alphabetical order for a given genre (partial matching), [or audiobooks for a given genre, partial matching]
.../audiobooks/bycategory/[:category]

It would then be cool to just string together some of these paths to run a complex query, such as

.../audiobooks/bygenre/science+fiction/byauthor/asimov

Just a thought. If the intent was not to provide a REST-ful API, then please disregard this comment. I have been using the MediaLibrary API on Windows Phone recently and found it fascinating, though it was probably a pain to implement. In that API you can ask for Albums, then for an Album, then for that Album as for the Artist, then from that Artist ask for Albums again, and you get to the Albums by that Artist. You can also start with Artist, or Genre, or any other field. It's pretty cool, and I would love to see that kind of interface here, though I'm not sure how you'd implement it.

Something else that I have wished for is a way to enumerate the various taxonomies used in the API. So, for example:

.../categories
.../authors
.../genres

Searching by more than one criteria (i.e., find all books by asimov in the science fiction genre with moon in the title) is an important feature for me.

Being able to filter all results (search and recent) by language is important. Maybe it already does this (see below).

The addition of different content formats (i.e., JSON/P, etc.) is a HUGE win. Thanks!

I tried looking at the new API but it appears to be down ATM. I get a invalid method error. Has something changed and I missed it? I'd be happy to provide more direct feedback if I could see what is currently returned. I'm looking forward to seeing how things have changed.

ekzemplaro
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Post by ekzemplaro » April 28th, 2013, 4:34 pm

Hello lje67 san,

Welcome to LibriVox. I hope you enjoy it here.

As of now I' d like to have a method to mirror LibriVox database.
I don't need sond file nor forum posts nor private infirmation.
Once database is mirrored and synchronized everyday, everybody can write APIs.

Cheers,
Masa

Jintech
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Post by Jintech » May 2nd, 2013, 7:37 am

Hi there
I am using old LibriVox API and I have noticed that web search returns more results as compared to response of API request for the same query.

Here is an example:
Web search (returns 7 results)
https://catalog.librivox.org/search.php?title=hello&author=&status=all&action=Search

API request (returns 2 results)
https://catalog.librivox.org/search_xml.php?title=hello&author=&status=all&action=Search

Is there any problem in our API request so that less results are being returned or is it something on LibriVox end ???

Regards

Cori
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Post by Cori » May 2nd, 2013, 7:48 am

I don't know anything about the old API, and don't know if there's anyone else here who'd be able to answer that question. The API's creator stepped back from active LVing some time ago.

We'll be moving to the new API in the near future (no date specified, but hopefully within the next month or so) ... so it's probably not even that helpful to answer it?


Regarding the new API's data -- cover art information and genres probably wouldn't have been attached to any books at the time of that testing, since we're still in the process of data cleansing (this also applies to the duplicate author results, although by dint of mega-hard work from admins, that should be vastly improved going forward.) However, I can't comment on RESTness or anything technical.

I'll check about why it's not currently accessible.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

happymindsparker
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Joined: February 27th, 2013, 9:18 am

Post by happymindsparker » May 2nd, 2013, 1:38 pm

Cori wrote: ...
We'll be moving to the new API in the near future (no date specified, but hopefully within the next month or so) ...
Hi Cori,
Will the news about the new API be posted somewhere so that we could get notified promptly?
Thanks

Cori
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Post by Cori » May 2nd, 2013, 2:25 pm

I think we'll blog about it, yes ... as well as announcing it here in the forum.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

dalewking
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Post by dalewking » May 15th, 2013, 4:28 pm

New API does not appear to be working. No matter what I try I get status 0, Unknown method.

tbook
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Post by tbook » May 28th, 2013, 7:57 am

Will the old API be going down when the new one goes up? It would be good to have some transition time, anyhow, in order to get things moved over. Thanks!
Working on iOS and Android apps for LibriVox. You can see the comments from the apps on our web site: LibriVox Audio Books

ekzemplaro
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Post by ekzemplaro » May 28th, 2013, 1:03 pm

Hello tbook san,
tbook wrote:Will the old API be going down when the new one goes up?
New API doesn't work recently. I mean since May/16 or before.

Today I tested it again.
http://dev.librivox.org/api/feed/audiobooks/?id=52
<xml><status>0</status><error>Unknown method.</error></xml>
I don't think the new one goes up for a while.

Cheers,
Masa

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