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PHP cURL error: "Empty reply from server"

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have a class function to interface with the RESTful API for Last.FM – its purpose is to grab the most recent tracks for my user. Here it is:

private static $base_url = 'http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/2.0/';

public static function getTopTracks($options = array())
{
  $options = array_merge(array(
    'user' => 'bachya',
    'period' => NULL,
    'api_key' => 'xxxxx...', // obfuscated, obviously
  ), $options);

  $options['method'] = 'user.getTopTracks';

  // Initialize cURL request and set parameters
  $ch = curl_init();
  curl_setopt_array($ch, array(
    CURLOPT_URL            => self::$base_url,
    CURLOPT_POST           => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS     => $options,
    CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_TIMEOUT        => 30,
    CURLOPT_USERAGENT      => 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)'
  ));

  $results = curl_exec($ch);
  return $results;
}

This returns "Empty reply from server". I know that some have suggested that this error comes from some fault in network infrastructure; I do not believe this to be true in my case. If I run a cURL request through the command line, I get my data; the Last.FM service is up and accessible.

Before I go to those folks and see if anything has changed, I wanted to check with you fine folks and see if there’s some issue in my code that would be causing this.

Thanks!

ANSWER: @Jan Kuboschek helped me stumble onto what is (maybe) going on here. By giving CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS an associative array, a particular content-type is specified that may not work with certain RESTful services. A smarter solution is to manually create a URL-encoded version of that data and pass that as the CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS.

For more info, check out: http://www.brandonchecketts.com/archives/array-versus-string-in-curlopt_postfields

How to&Answers:

A common issue are spaces in the URL – beginning, in the middle, or trailing. Did you check that out?

Edit – per comments below, spacing is not the issue.

I ran your code and had the same problem – no output whatsoever. I tried the URL and with a GET request, the server talks to me. I would do the following:

  1. Use the following as $base_url: $base_url = ‘http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/2.0/?user=bachya&period=&api_key=xxx&method=user.getTopTracks‘;

  2. Remove the post fields from your request.

Edit
I moved your code out of the class since I didn’t have the rest and modified it. The following code runs perfect for me. If these changes don’t work for you, I suggest that your error is in a different function.

<?php


function getTopTracks()
{
  $base_url = 'http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/2.0/?user=bachya&period=&api_key=8066d2ebfbf1e1a8d1c32c84cf65c91c&method=user.getTopTracks';
  $options = array_merge(array(
    'user' => 'bachya',
    'period' => NULL,
    'api_key' => 'xxxxx...', // obfuscated, obviously
  ));

  $options['method'] = 'user.getTopTracks';

  // Initialize cURL request and set parameters
  $ch = curl_init($base_url);
  curl_setopt_array($ch, array(
    CURLOPT_URL            => $base_url,
    CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_TIMEOUT        => 30,
    CURLOPT_USERAGENT      => 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)'
  ));

  $results = curl_exec($ch);
  return $results;
}

echo getTopTracks();

?>

Answer:

The server received your request, but sent an empty response. Check the result of curl_getinfo($ch, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE) to find out if the server responded with an HTTP error code.

Update: Ok so the server responds with the 100 Continue HTTP status code. In that case, this should solve your problem:

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Expect:'));

I found this here: PHP and cURL: Disabling 100-continue header. Hope it works!

Answer:

I came acorss the same issue. My Http_code returned 200 but my response was empty. There could be many reasons for this as i experienced.

–Your hedaers might be incorrect

CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER => array('Content-Type:application/json', 'Expect:')

–You might need to send data as post fields in culr and not attached to the URl like url?p1=a1&p2=a2

$data = array (p1=>a1, p2=>a2)
CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => $data

So your options array would be similar to the below

array(
    CURLOPT_URL => $url,
    CURLOPT_FAILONERROR => TRUE, // FALSE if in debug mode
    CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 4,
    CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER => array('Content-Type:application/json', 'Expect:'),
    CURLOPT_POST => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => $data,
);

Answer:

According to Last.FM API documentation you should use GET method instead of POST to pass parameters. When I’ve changed POST to GET I’ve received the answer about incorrect key.

Answer:

And here’s the code for get Album Info from Laft.FM even if return error:

The Function:

function getAlbum($xml,$artist,$album)
{
  $base_url = $xml;
  $options = array_merge(array(
    'user' => 'YOUR_USERNAME',
    'artist'=>$artist,
    'album'=>$album,
    'period' => NULL,
    'api_key' => 'xYxOxUxRxxAxPxIxxKxExYxx', 
  ));

  $options['method'] = 'album.getinfo';

  // Initialize cURL request and set parameters
  $ch = curl_init($base_url);
  curl_setopt_array($ch, array(
    CURLOPT_URL            => 'http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/2.0/',
    CURLOPT_POST           => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS     => $options,
    CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => TRUE,
    CURLOPT_TIMEOUT        => 30,
    CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER        => array( 'Expect:' ) ,
    CURLOPT_USERAGENT      => 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)'
  ));

  $results = curl_exec($ch);
  unset ($options);
  return $results;
}

Usage:

// Get the XML
$xml_error = getAlbum($xml,$artist,$album);

// Show XML error
if (preg_match("/error/i", $xml_error)) {
    echo " <strong>ERRO:</strong> ".trim(strip_tags($xml_error));
}