(This post originally appeared here.)
One of the best things about starting a band is coming up with the name. It’s so fun that even people who aren’t starting a band like to do it. If you had a nickel for every time you’d heard “Hey, that’d be a great band name,” you’d probably have enough for a latte.
Nobody wants to end up with a band name that’s already taken, unless it’s an intentional similarity — Hennessy Youngman, we’re looking at you (as usual). That’s how we music fans ended up with The Charlatans in the U.K. and The Charlatans UK in America, which are the same band. The English one had to add the “UK” to avoid confusion in the states.
They might have solved that problem with access to a database of band names. The Echo Nest’s deep musical intelligence knows all about music and the people who make it — too much to describe here, in fact — including detailed information about over 2.5 million recording artists from all over the world to date, which brings us to our point.
If you’re starting a band, or are just curious to know whether your latest ingenious band name is taken, consider bookmarking the band name checker whipped up by The Echo Nest data alchemist Glenn McDonald. It’s pretty simple: You just ask, “Is this band name taken?” and the aptly named web app responds “Yes, think of something else,” or “Maybe not. Get good fast.”
That’s all it does, which is why Glenn calls this “the simplest possible Echo Nest API application.” It makes a single API call, and all it’s looking for is whether the band name exists.
You’ll find other band name searchers on the internet, but only this one is based on the largest database about music in the world, which reads over ten million web pages per day to index ever more artists, among other things.