There are a number of different web based APIs that you can use to gather information that can be used within music apps.
Two of those APIs are provided by Last.FM and 8tracks that you can use to gather artist information, and information on different user created mixes and radio stations that can be used to enhance music apps.
Nathan Mock has created an open source example mashup-app utilizing last.FM and 8 tracks illustrating how to create a searchable interface, and populate it with the information from these two sources:
Here are a few screenshots from the readme:
You can find the Artisan-iOS example on Github here.
A nice example on how to create an app utilizing web based services.
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