Thursday, January 24, 2008

ISBN Service

LibraryThing has a new API, one that corrects ISBNs and returns both a 10 and 13 digit ISBN. Very Restful. Just send an ISBN to http://www.librarything.com/isbncheck.php?isbn= and it will:
  • Give it any old ISBN and it does the math to return the ISBN10 and ISBN13 forms, if both exist.
  • It removes dashes and other junk.
  • It transparently fixes missing initial zeroes. This is a common problem with data from Excel files, which turn 0765344629 into 765344629.
  • If the ISBN isn't valid and can't be easily fixed, it returns an error.
They ask not to send more than 10 requests per minute second.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Wait—per second! Hit us 600 times/minute!

I'm not sure how much more than that it could take, but since it doesn't hit the database, I think you could hit it pretty hard without degrading performance elsewhere on the site.

Dave Pattern said...

There's also a slight variation here for fans of "Withnail & I" who want to convert ISBN10 to ISBN13:

www.daveyp.com/blog/index.php/ archives/113/