Muschamp Rd

Updated my PHP mashup code

October 5th, 2011
PHP logo

As my latest period of unemployment continues to lengthen I’ve worked on an ever larger collection of PHP code that I’ve written and used to make several web mashups. Now eight years later and I’m unemployed again. Even worse the corporations that control the APIs have made changes so code that previously worked no longer does. I may update it, but my priority is to find a paying job, not give away more hours of free labor.

Best Buy API VS Amazon API

When I learned of new APIs if I thought it made sense to add them, I did. One API I added support for was the Best Buy Remix API but I was disappointed in what new capabilities it could actually add to my own code. It doesn’t do more than the Amazon Product API and for me it doesn’t have as much useful data. The one thing the Amazon Product API lacks is a way to access the preview tracks on

Amazon’s API has become more restrictive

Another recent development is Amazon has decided to require all queries to the Amazon Product API need to include an associate tag. I’ve had an associate tag for many, many, years but I don’t think I’ve ever made a dime.  So the 100s of hours I’ve spent working on all this PHP code hasn’t been financially beneficial. But after getting an email informing me of these changes I did a little investigating and I contacted the person who’s code I used as initially. I never heard back.

Screen Shot of some test php I wrote

Debugging Old Code Again Has Gotten Old

I revisited some of the older methods I wrote using the Amazon Product API as I never could get preview tracks for albums. I read that this was possible, but even this guy admits it no longer works. has preview tracks for the songs and albums you can buy off them, but accessing those previews directly isn’t supported by the Amazon Product API and their documentation also disappoints at times. Luckily a lot of people use the Amazon Product API and every now and then I find a new example which gives me some ideas or insight or confirmation that what I was trying to do wasn’t easy or even possible.

Moving on from PHP

Maybe I’ll revisit this code again. So much of it has stopped working due to changes made by corporations. What was possible in 2011 may no longer be possible in 2019 no matter how much PHP I write. I feel I’ve written too much PHP for too little reward. After passing all three CFA® exams I moved on to learning Python. I’m not sure I like Python much better than PHP but at least I plan to solve some new problems, implementing code to access the same APIs a third time is not so appealing at the moment and did not lead to a paying job the first two times I wrote it and gave it away as open source.

If you know of snazzy APIs I should be writing PHP code for, or better yet know of some amazingly well written PHP that I can do cool stuff with, you can leave a comment below.

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