Echonest anaylsis in Max.

By Michael Dewberrry

I downloaded the fork version from ‘dewb’ as it has been converted to run in Max6. It looks  like the object retrieves all of the analysis data. It would actually be instructive to read the source code to see how they implemented libcurl and JSON for the http: requests.


curl examples

update 11/02/2014 – in process of updating and checking examples – but we know for sure that the Twitter examples are broken.


This post is a collection of many examples of using curl (from a terminal command line) to make API requests. The ones marked with* will run without passwords or api-keys. The responses will generally be in XML, JSON, or HTML

Some of these curl examples will have API keys, user names, and passwords. To run them, you’ll need to replace the keys with your own.

Also, when running from the command line, ampersands ‘&’ will need to be escaped by preceding them with a backslash, like \&

Other characters may need to be escaped, like:

%23 = #

%40 = @

Or you can wrap the entire URL is quotes like this:

curl "dict://dict.org/d:penguin"
tips for finding curl examples

Look in the address bar of your web browser. Copy the entire URL and run it in curl. It will respond with the ‘text’ version of the web page.

displaying JSON on the command line

The respond from curl is raw data. To format JSON data, pipe the output through python, like this:

curl dict://dict.org/d:dog | python -mjson.tool


curl dict://dict.org/d:antelope
Twitter search (broken)

Twtitter API now requires authentication and will not run from a single curl command, except by using widgets. See this post: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=17428

curl http://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.1/forecast/city/524901

See this post for details: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=6265

curl https://api.vineapp.com/timelines/popular
mashape.com API

Here’s an example of a typical API call which gets the weather in San Francisco. Note I have obscured the API-key.

curl -H "X-Mashape-Authorization: YOUR-MASHAPE-KEY" "https://george-vustrey-weather.p.mashape.com/api.php?_method=getForecasts&location=San%20Francisco"

Here’s the result:

[{"day_of_week":"Wed","high":"63","low":"47","condition":"Mostly Clear"},{"day_of_week":"Thu","high":"66","low":"50","condition":"Partly Cloudy"}]

[Note] more examples in tkzic/mashape


Here is an example of a request to the Thesaurus API

curl http://www.dictionaryapi.com/api/v1/references/thesaurus/xml/cheese?key=ee2466d2-07a0-40af-b959-abcdeb125f0ca



Here are two examples I just got to work using curl

curl -X POST  --data "botid=b0dafd24ee35a477&input=hello" http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk-xml

curl -X POST  --data "botid=b0dafd24ee35a477&input=Where are you?" http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk-xml
Here is the result for the second question
<result status="0" botid="b0dafd24ee35a477" custid="b3422b612633ac87"><input>Where are you?</input><that>I am in the computer at Pandorabots.com.</that></result>
*more pandorabots.com
curl -X POST  --data "botid=b0dafd24ee35a477&input=hello" http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk-xml

curl -X POST  --data "botid=b0dafd24ee35a477&input=Where are you?" http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk-xml

curl -X POST  --data "botid=b0dafd24ee35a477&input=Lets play some music today." http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk-xml
Google speech API (may be broken – need to check the key)

This is an example of the curl command to run from the command line

the test.flac file is located in tkzic/speech – it contains a recording of the phrase “there are turtles wandering through the city”. If you click on the file it will play through audacity.

curl \
  --data-binary @test.flac \
  --header 'Content-type: audio/x-flac; rate=16000' \
cosm.com (may be broken)

Today I was finally able to get this working. Reading a Cosm (Pachube) feed from curl and from Max. Here is an example that works in curl: (replace API-KEY with actual key)

curl http://api.cosm.com/v2/feeds/76490/datastreams/Power.xml?key=API-KEY

You can get JSON responses by leaving off the .xml extension or replacing it with .json

Its critical to use “key=…” not “X-ApiKey=…” like in the cosm documentation, or you will get permission errors from curl and Max.

Youtube.com v3 API

Link to documentation: https://developers.google.com/youtube/v3/docs/search/list

Here is an example (minus the api-key) which searches for videos about cats and returns a JSON response

curl "https://www.googleapis.com/youtube/v3/search?key=API-KEY&part=snippet&q=cats"
google.com custom search API

Use this method to have a custom search which searches the whole web…


Here is an example of a search using this method with curl – note the API-KEY is removed

curl "https://www.googleapis.com/customsearch/v1?key=API-KEY&cx=012117491442732664551:egvalbpelhq&q=lectures"
Twitter streaming API (broken)
 google.com simple search API*

Not really applicable to curl, but it shows something.

curl -A Mozilla http://www.google.com/search?q=linux
coastal wind data API (broken 11/2014)
with a specific lat/lon you can get results along the west coast of us - here's san francisco. This query returns all the current time points for SF

curl http://cordc.ucsd.edu/js/COAMPS/query.php?ll=37.78,-122.44\&fmt=json > sf.json 

lets try for santa cruz

curl http://cordc.ucsd.edu/js/COAMPS/query.php?ll=36.99,-122.03\&fmt=json > sc.json


spellout.org API*
very cool api that does phonetic spellings - works!!!!

curl http://api.spellout.org/en/convert?text=some%20text\&alphabet=int-icao\&format=json
cosm.com API (PUT request)
This works as of 1/28/2013

curl -v --request PUT --data-binary @./abc.json --header "X-ApiKey: 96PqSh4rj7HzNif3rWms3SUhwaDFGUT0g" http://api.cosm.com/v2/feeds/98281.json


Internet sensors projects


A series of projects that use Internet API’s for interactive media projects.

updated 2/14/2021.

Projects have been tested on Max8 and Mac OS Catalina – except where noted.  Other dependencies are are listed on individual project pages.

My goal is to show a variety of methods to get data to and from Max. API’s come and go, as do the libraries that support them.


internet-sensors is on Github at:  https://github.com/tkzic/internet-sensors

Each project is in a separate folder.


Some projects require passwords and API-keys from providers.

For example, for the ‘Twitter streaming API in Max’ project you’ll need to set up a Twitter application from your account to get authorization credentials.

For projects that need authorization usually you’ll just need to modify the patches/source code with your user information – as directed in the instructions.  The API keys embedded in the code will not work unless specifically mentioned, like with the Google speech API.


API’s used in the projects change fairly often. So there’s no guarantee they’ll work. If you find problems or have ideas – please post to them to the github repository. Or email me at [email protected].


1. Twitter streaming API in Max (FM, php, curl, geocoding, [aka.speech], Soundflower (optional), Morse code, OSC, data recorder, Twitter v1.1 API, Twitter Apps, Oauth)


2. Sending tweets from Max using curl ([sprintf], [aka.shell], xively.com API, zapier.com API, JSON, javascript Twitter v1.1 API, Oauth)

deprecated 2/11/2021 – old project link here: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=5447

3. Send and receive tweets in Max using ruby (ruby, API, JSON, javascript Twitter v1.1 API, OSC, Oauth)

New! – use the project above to send tweets from using a Fisher Price “Little Tikes” piano: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=6993

4. Speech to text in Max (Google speech API, JSON, javascript, sox, Twitter v1.1 API, Oauth)

Note: Send Tweets using speech as well.


5. A conversation with a robot in Max (Google speech API, sox, JSON,  pandorabots API, python, [aka.speech]


7. Playing bird calls in Max (xeno-canto API, [jit.uldl], [jit.qt.movie])


8. Soundcloud API in Max (node.js)



9. Real time train map using Max and node.js (XML, JSON, OSC, data recorder, web sockets, Irish Rail API)


10. stock market music in Max (OSC, netcat,  php, mysql, html, javascript, Yahoo API, linux)

…updates in progress…


11. Using weather forecast data to drive weather sounds in Pure Data (ruby, OSC, JSON, openweathermap API, “Designing Sound” by Andy Farnell)


… updates in progress…

12. Using ping times to control oscilators in Max (Mashape ping-uin API, ruby, OSC, JSON)


13. Spotify Segment analysis player – sonification of audio analysis data from Spotify (echo nest) API, node,  Max/MSP)


14. Quadcopter AR_drone – Fly a quadcopter using Max – with streaming Web video. ( node.js, AR_drone, Google Chrome, Osc, Max/MSP)

deprecated 2/14/2021 – old project link: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=6635

15. Adding markers to Google Maps in Max – ( node.js, ruby, Google Chrome, Osc, Max/MSP, websockets, Google Maps API, Jquery, javascript)

deprecated 2/14/2021 – old project link: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=11412

16. Max data recorder –  Record and play back streams of data simultaneously at various rates


17. MBTA bus data in Max –  Sonification of Mass Ave buses, from Harvard to Dudley

… updates in progress…


Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.26.16 PM



An API factory.


Happened to look at mashape.com again today. Its grown considerably over the past year and now provides access to over 1300 API’s with open source client libraries and Oauth proxies.

Mashape is an API of API’s – a layer of abstraction that standardizes how you consume API’s.

Instructions for using the API: https://www.mashape.com/docs/consume/rest

Here’s an example of a typical API call which gets the weather in San Francisco. Note I have obscured the API-key.

curl -H "X-Mashape-Authorization: YOUR-MASHAPE-KEY" "https://george-vustrey-weather.p.mashape.com/api.php?_method=getForecasts&location=San%20Francisco"

Here’s the result:

[{"day_of_week":"Wed","high":"63","low":"47","condition":"Mostly Clear"},{"day_of_week":"Thu","high":"66","low":"50","condition":"Partly Cloudy"}]

[Note] examples in tkzic/mashape

The API description pages have curl examples.


Installing pycurl on Mac Os


update: 11/1/2014 installed version 7.19.5 using easy_install

Here’s the website: http://pycurl.sourceforge.net

It worked. Because xCode was installed?

sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" /usr/bin/easy_install setuptools pycurl==7.19.0

Here are instructions, but really all I needed was the above command


Pycurl examples: http://www.angryobjects.com/2011/10/15/http-with-python-pycurl-by-example/

Local file examples in tkzic/python-api/

There are other Python libs like request, human curl, urllib….