1. Why do I have to use Listen API?
You always have other options: Build and maintain your own podcast database, or choose other podcast APIs on the Internet.
We make it very easy for you to try out Listen API. You don’t have to speak with any sales people, and we don't require you to "request a demo".
subscribe to a FREE plan without entering credit card info and start using Listen API in seconds
Whenever you have any questions, you can get quick answers by emailing [email protected]
-- you'll talk directly to
the founder & CEO of Listen Notes
2. How hard it could be to build a podcast database?
Building a decent podcast database is an ongoing effort.
It's not difficult. But it takes time and money (for server costs, engineer salaries...) to build and maintain.
Just like owning a car or a house, the initial expense to purchase the item is much less than the ongoing costs to maintain it,
due to tax payments, insurance expenses, unexpected repair needs, and most importantly, your time.
In all honesty, the most expensive part of building your own podcast database is the opportunity cost
It's about making a choice. Time spent building your own podcast database is time that you can't use to build your apps or websites.
Using Listen API allows you to jumpstart the most exciting part of your project immediately.
3. Are you actively supporting the API? Do you expect to continue to do so?
Yes and yes.
Listen API powers our user-facing website ListenNotes.com. Listen API also benefits from most backend improvements of ListenNotes.com.
We've been around since 2017 and we plan on being around for a long time.
4. If we use Listen API and it goes away in the future…
Your concern is valid. We all know that NO online services or companies can last forever.
However, if we decide to shut down Listen API, we’ll give you (at least) 12 weeks’ notice and you’ll be able to buy the most current database dump (all podcasts + all episodes) at a reasonably low price.
Listen Notes will probably outlive many well-funded startups or even public companies.
We run Listen Notes lean. Unlike other bigger companies, we don't employ tons of people,
so we don't need to pay tons of salaries - that means it's unlikely that our company will shut down due to an internal power struggle.
We are able to architect the software infrastructure to be robust enough while not wasting tons of money on server bills.
5. Do you provide any support?
Yes. If you have any questions about Listen API, just email [email protected]
Unlike tracking down lame customer service reps in other companies, you’ll speak directly with the founder and CEO of Listen Notes, Inc.
who built this whole thing by hand & by heart.
6. If my app becomes so successful, will you copy my idea?
No. We are not interested in building apps.
For us at Listen Notes, the minute spent building apps is the minute that we can't improve the podcast search engine,
the podcast database, the podcast api, and more.
Also, ideas are cheap - execution is everything! If it's so easy to copy a startup idea, then big companies would always win.
Good luck for your business.
7. We'll use tons of API requests. Are you able to support our scale?
Right now, there are developers doing tens of millions of requests/month with Listen API.
We can easily support at least 10x of current traffic without adding more servers.
We apply best practices of infrastructure operations, with great monitoring & alerting in place.
If there is something wrong with the API infrastructure, we are able to troubleshoot and fix as soon as possible.
8. Can we cache the API response on the client side (e.g., inside the app or the web browser...)?
but you can't cache on the server side, except for podcast/episode ids and pub_dates.
In other words, you can permanently store only podcast/episode ids and pub_dates on the server side, e.g., in your own database.
This "no caching" policy is very common for data APIs, e.g., Google Maps API
(In-page search "No caching or storage").
9. In the API response, why audio urls and RSS urls are from the listennotes.com domain name?
To be clear, we don't store audios or RSS feeds on our own servers.
Podcasters will get accurate analytics data, e.g., the listener's ip address, user-agent...
We wrap the actual URLs with our own URLs (HTTP 301
because podcasts often change audio URLs and RSS URLs, and we want
to help you and your users figure out the correct URLs.
It's a common practice for apps to cache data on the client side for performance optimization.
Apps cache the permanent Listen Notes URLs on the client side,
while we figure out the correct audio URLs and RSS URLs from the server side.
We constantly check to determine if podcasts change their audio / RSS URLs from our end.
10. What if we can't find a particular podcast? What if the data is not in sync with the RSS feed (e.g., audios are broken, incorrect podcast meta data...)?
Although our podcast database is very comprehensive, it's possible that we don't add some new shows in time.
In this case, you can help submit the missing shows
It's also possible that the podcast creator changes the RSS feed and we don't catch the changes in time.
In this case, you can report to us via [email protected]
If you subscribe to the PRO plan and use over 1 million API requests per month,
we can give you a tool to refresh the RSS feed of podcasts on your end.
11. How do you make sure your podcast database is up-to-date?
To find new podcasts, we use three approaches.
First, we run crawlers 24/7 to find publicly accessible podcasts on the Internet, which is similar to how Google or other search engines find new websites.
Second, podcasters submit new shows
to Listen Notes on their own -- we get dozens of new submissions from podcasters every day.
Third, if we see any missing podcasts, we manually add them to our database.
We check the RSS feed of all podcasts 24/7.
For recently-listened podcasts (based on our website and API traffic), new episodes would be added to our database within 1 hour (typically within 15 to 30 minutes).
For other podcasts, new episodes would be fetched within a few hours - typically 2 to 4 hours.
The two most common cases that an API user gets suspended are the following:
1. Creating multiple accounts to get around the quota limit of the FREE plan, especially using disposable email addresses
2. Caching most of the response data on the server side.
13. Do we have to display Listen Notes logo in our app even if we were to use the paid plan?
You only need to display "Powered by Listen Notes" on one screen that uses our data.
You don't need to do it for every screen.
You are allowed to place our logo below the fold, so it won't be too intrusive to your users.
We don't make any exception for API users, no matter if you are an individual developer or a public company.
Those one-off customizations would increase the operational complexity on our end,
which would take away our time that could've been used to improve the core products.
Displaying attribution is a common policy for data APIs.
as with Google Places & Maps APIs
Uber uses Google Maps in their app. There is
a big Google logo
in the Uber app.
14. Can we discuss our partnership on phone?
Listen API is designed to be self-service.
If you can't figure out what Listen API can do and how to use it in a few minutes, then it's the failure on our end,
which means we haven't done a good job explaining things.
If you have any questions, let's chat via email first: [email protected]
You'll get informative answers via email from us much much faster than scheduling a phone call.