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NPR API is Live on NPR.org

by Daniel Jacobson
Jul 16, 2008

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Daniel Jacobson

As referenced in yesterday's post, we launched our new API today. To find the API, you can either go directly to http://www.npr.org/api/ or you can follow the new link called "Tools / API" on the NPR.org left nav under the Services section.

In order to use the API, you will need to register using our new registration engine that Zach mentioned in a previous post. Once registered, you will need to generate an apiKey by clicking the Generate Key button on the API tab of your account profile. The apiKey is used to authenticate all requests to the API. After you get your apiKey, you can read our documentation or just go straight to the Query Generator, which is a comprehensive tool that allows you to easily create your API requests and see what your results would look like.

There were quite a few questions that we addressed when developing the API, but one thing that was not really in question was the need to open as much of our content as possible. As a result, almost everything that you can find on NPR.org that we have the rights to redistribute is available through the API. This includes audio, images, full text, etc. That said, there are elements, series and programs that we could not offer due to rights restrictions.

We also discussed in depth which output formats we would support. For launch, we are supporting RSS, MediaRSS, Atom, JSON, JavaScript Widgets, HTML Widgets and our custom tagging structure called NPRML. We would like feedback on what other formats we should support, although as of now we are planning to extend it to include NewsML. Which of the existing formats are you most likely to use from our API?

There were a ton of contributors to this new API with the primary technical architect being Harold Neal. Other major contributors include Joanne Garlow, Jason Grosman, Tony Yan, Ivan Lazarte, Stephanie Oura, Ben Hands, Shain Miley, Lindsay Mangum, Sugirtha Solai, Todd Welstein and Vida Logan, and others.

Finally, we would really like to get as much feedback from the community on the API, particularly on what you think you will use and what is missing from the offering. We will continue to post here with more thoughts and questions.

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