New Music Releases RSS Feed

Album Cover: Pretty Hate Machine

"If I was twice the man I could be, I'd still be half of what you need."
NIN / Ringfinger

Posted on May 29, 2005 12:11 PM in XML
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

A couple weeks ago I scoured the web looking for an RSS feed of upcoming music releases. I don't listen to as much radio as I once did, so it's become harder for me to know when new releases are coming out. I figured by adding a good feed to my subscriptions I'd have no problem keeping up with the latest music releases.

Unfortunately, the only good thing I found was the iTunes Music Store RSS Generator. At first glance, the generator looked pretty darn cool. It let me specify the genres I'm interested in and the size of the feed. However, after being subscribed for a couple weeks, I now know that the iTunes Music Store feed isn't for me. There's just too much random stuff mixed in with the music I'd expect to see. Too much noise, I guess you could say.

So there I was, back at square one, wondering if I had any other options. Well, as it turns out, I did. They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. So I did. Thanks to a little elbow grease (or finger grease, maybe?), the power of regular expressions, and the handiness of Perl, I now have an RSS feed of upcoming music releases based on the information that Amazon.com provides.

Right now the feed is set up to display 20 entries at a time, relaying title, artist, date and price information along with the actual album cover of the new release. Right now I have the script I wrote set up to regenerate the feed every Monday at 2am. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, if you'd like to see the actual Perl script (with email addresses and SMTP servers changed to protect the innocent), feel free to take a look at new_releases.pl.

If you're interested in subscribing to the feed, just copy and paste http://www.bernzilla.com/xml/music.xml into your news aggregator (as always, I recommend Bloglines).

Otherwise, if you have any comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Update: I made some tweaks to the script so that titles no longer contain the information in brackets and the artist name is apparent in the feed entry titles. Hopefully the actual display of the information will be a little cleaner too, as I've made sure my feed is actually valid.

Comments

vishneda on June 23, 2005 at 5:42 AM:

Just wanted to say thanks for this.. I have been on the same quest for information for a while now.

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hm on July 04, 2005 at 7:35 PM:

I've copied the perl script and made some minor cosmetic changes to the output (added my affiliate code for the amazon links, etc) but I can't get it to run. I just get a 500 Error. It's been so long since I've written/run a Perl script (I do PHP now) - what do I have to do to get this running (chmod file to ?).

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Matt on July 11, 2005 at 4:12 AM:

Thank you very much for this new music feed.
I couldn't find one either !

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JAC on August 05, 2005 at 9:28 AM:

think you could mod this one instead?
http://www.findusedcds.com/index.aspx

seems more comprehensive to me, musically
and it's already nicely broken down into genres

unfortunately, the RSS feature is just links to the pages

...still looking for the "perfect" New Music Releases RSS feed, but yours is close. Combined with the above site, I think it'd be killer.

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JAC on August 05, 2005 at 9:31 AM:
neil on October 27, 2006 at 5:17 PM:

hi bernie,

just came across your great amazon new release feed. only thing, i'm based in the UK - any chance you could easily tweak and throw up a UK variant ..?

ps tried to set up sth similar in ponyfish (which works great for CDWOW!, but falters with Amazon).

cheers ..

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Jesse Legg on February 23, 2007 at 9:01 AM:

This is awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing it! It's cool that you were able to hack it together with regular expressions yourselves. Wouldn't it be nice if Amazon did this already? I don't understand why they don't.

A couple questions: why not update the feed daily instead of on Monday's? Also, there's obviously a growing need for this, you should put together a whole bunch of these feeds for other Amazon geographies and also things besides music. At the very least it'd drive some traffic to your site.

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g on January 30, 2008 at 11:52 AM:

wow. this is pretty much the only rss option for future releases from amazon. this is great. anyway to narrow it according to genre? i looked at the pl and i do not understand how you arrived at the URL for the releases pages? (i.e. URIs of Amazon's first three future releases pages). in any case, i'll keep searching. thanks.

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Bernie Zimmermann on January 31, 2008 at 1:46 AM:

Thanks for the comment, g. I've since updated the script (probably a few months ago), even after the update I posted in the original post above. I no longer use those three URIs and instead rely on Amazon's web services. I had to use some brute force interrogation of a lot of information to get a decent feed, but the good news is that the XML is a much more stable source of content and I'm able to run the process on a nightly basis now.

At some point I may be able to look into limiting the feed(s) to specific genres, but for now the feed gives basic coverage of the major music releases and seems to do the trick (for me, anyway).

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Rob on June 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM:

I was wondering - Can you give us the source code to your feed? I like it alot and would like to modify the layout of the feed so that it works for me and my site? Of course, I would link to your site for the credits / usage of the feed.

Thanks!

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Bernie Zimmermann on June 15, 2008 at 8:47 AM:

Rob,

Thanks for dropping by. I sent you an email with some information on the "brute force interrogation" method I mentioned in a previous comment on this post. Hopefully that will get you on your way to creating similar feeds using Amazon's web services.

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Alex on November 06, 2008 at 5:18 PM:

You can also use Muspy: it allows you to add artists and subscribe to an rss feed containing new releases.

http://www.muspy.com

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Matt on November 24, 2008 at 5:52 PM:

Along the same lines as Muspy (mentioned above), you can try http://music.rsstalker.com. You don't need an account to create your feed and there are stock feeds for genre, record labels...

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Webdawson on September 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM:

Hi Bernie,
could you please send me some infos about the script.
I've tried it with the Amazon WebService API but without success :(
Tried the following Parameters
&Operation=ItemSearch
&SearchIndex=Music
&Condition = Pre Order

but i think i need some more params...!?
Thank you!

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Bernie Zimmermann on September 23, 2009 at 12:08 AM:

Webdawson, Amazon has completely reworked the way they authenticate API requests at this point, so you'll need to head on over to their site and read up on their documentation to figure out how it works. It's not as straightforward as it once was.

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Paterick on February 21, 2010 at 10:46 AM:

thanks a lot for this.

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Jimmi on May 26, 2010 at 8:08 AM:

I found this website, pretty cool. You can choose bands and stay updated about new releases and gigs in your city.
All of this via RSS.

www.myfavbands.com

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Kurt on March 21, 2011 at 4:10 PM:

There's a good choice you'll probably never see this since this is a rather old article, but this is almost exactly what I'm looking for. However, would it be possible to have this, but only in one post? I want to use an RSS feeder on my forum to show new releases every Tuesday, but I don't want to flood it with post after post, so I was hoping there could just be one new entry that would list them all. Any help with that would be greatly appreciated; thanks!

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Mridang on April 08, 2011 at 5:36 AM:

Hi, could you share the script that gets the latest releases from Amazon. I tried digging through the AWS API documentation but couldn't find what I was looking for. :( Thanks.

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kyle on June 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM:

Does anyone know any good rss feeds to just listen to music?

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