New Web Service policy for NGS

Once we move to NGS on May 16th, we’re going to require each application that makes requests to our web service to have a proper User-Agent header string. The User-Agent string needs to identify the application and the version of the application that is making the request; having a generic User-Agent string like “Java/1.6.0_24” or “PHP/5.3.4” does not allow us to properly identify the application making the requests.

IMPORTANT: 6 Months after we release NGS (Nov 16th) we’re going to start blocking common generic User-Agents strings, so please make sure that you send us a proper User-Agent header as part of your request.

10 thoughts on “New Web Service policy for NGS”

  1. It seems you’re already blocking requests that contain no User-Agent. Could you allow those requests until Nov 16th as well? Lots of Banshee users are affected by this, and while we’ve fixed it in git already, having 6 months for users to get updated versions would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. Gabriel:

    Not yet. We are, however, throttling those requests. IIRC about half of all the requests are being honored, the other half are getting 503s.

    Now that we know its not someone misbehaving, we’re going to up the limit and see if we can honor more of the requests.

  3. Gabriel: We’ve raised the limits all around:

    > Raised the limits for the per-ua blocks; limits are higher than current request rates, i.e. not being blocked.
    > Raised the global limit from 1200 to 1500 since we seem to be able to take it. I think. All a bit non-scientific :-/

    Currently no requests should be being 503ed. We’re going to keep an eye on things and hopefully it won’t have a negative impact on us.

  4. It doesn’t look like libmusicbrainz provides a way to set the user agent, and instead passes the library’s name and version number as the user agent.

    Does this count as a generic user agent, and if so is there plans to update the library to allow setting a custom user agent?

  5. Roger,

    We’re aware of the bug, but ideally someone from SoundJuicer could work with us to resolve this problem. I’ve contacted the author — lets see if we get a response.

  6. Now Rhythmbox on Ubuntu 11.04 (and older versions) is also broken, all Musicbrainz lookups fail.

    Maybe you could consider giving the major distributions some time to release their fixes. They’re aware by now. 🙂



  7. Jan:

    Rhythmbox isn’t broken because of us blocking them. Until someone in Rhythmbox can tell us why their stuff is broken, we can’t do anything to fix it. If you know the maintainers, either have them fix their own stuff, or have them tell us what is broken in our stuff.

    We’ve been talking about NGS for TWO YEARS and none of these services have even bothered to check to see if their stuff would work with NGS. I’ve even personally reached out to a lot of projects to get them to test their stuff, but clearly it didn’t do any good.

    And things have been broken for over a week now and the authors/maintainers aren’t saying anything. Only their users are complaining. Sigh.

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