App Developer Focused On Music? Use Xbox Music API and Make Money!

The folks over at Microsoft’s Xbox Music Developer group announced on July 3 that they were extending the Xbox Music API more generally to all third party developers. This REST-based API, announced at //Build earlier this year, encompasses metadata, deep linking, playback and collection management.

This means, a developer with any interest in pulling up information or content related to music, can now use the Xbox Music catalog and resources and integrate them into their apps. There are various possibilities like a video editor being able to use background music, video game makers allowing custom soundtracks, or something as simple as a band’s fan page pulling up metadata from their catalog on Xbox Music.

 

Xbox Music API Features
Xbox Music API Features

The more interesting news in the blog post comes later, where they announce an affiliate program:

Every user you redirect to the Xbox Music application can earn you money on content purchases and Xbox Music Pass subscriptions. You currently will earn a 5 percent share on purchases and as the Xbox Music pass is at the core of our service, 10 percent on all music pass payments for the lifetime of the subscription.  In the US for example, that’s one dollar, per user, per month!

That’s no small change, if you ask me. The Xbox Music Pass is a pretty good deal as it is, and if a developer can lead someone to that vastly underrated product and their customer is able to sign up, a 10% commission is pretty sweet.

 

Xbox Music Affiliate Program
Xbox Music Affiliate Program

The headwinds are strong for Xbox Music because established players like Spotify have also opened up their catalog to developers in a similar fashion. It remains to be seen if the developers find the API and/or the affiliate terms strong enough of an incentive to build against the Xbox Music API vs the others.

 

Integrate Xbox Music API Everywhere
Integrate Xbox Music API Everywhere

One thing to bear in mind is the new Microsoft is not going to remain uni-platform anymore. They have shown all signs of being completely platform-agnostic to prepare for the new normal where Windows becomes just another platform that Microsoft services support.

Are you a developer building apps which require music? Are you using Spotify or anything else? Would you sign up for Xbox Music Developer program? Let me know below.

 

[All images courtesy Microsoft/Xbox blogs; header image is from the author’s computer]

HTC Releases Four New APIs for Developers Including Beats Audio API!

Of late, HTC has been in the news for all the right reasons. First the company publicly accepted its mistake of launching too many handsets and bloating Sense with every new version. Secondly, the company announced some really impressive piece of hardware at the MWC in Barcelona, including the One X and One S. Thirdly, the Sensation is the first non-nexus handset whose final Ice Cream Sandwich build has leaked online. HTC is just waiting for certification from Google before it pushes out the OTA update.

Now, adding to above list is the latest move from HTC. The company has released four new APIs for the OpenSense SDK for developers to take advantage of. These new APIs include the Beats Audio API, Lockscreen API, Mobile Device Management API and a MediaLink HD API.

The Beats Audio API will be really appreciated by developers, and allow them to integrate HTC’s Beats Audio technology in their apps. I am pretty sure this move will be appreciated by a lot of HTC handset users out there. The Lockscreen API will allow developers to enhance the already beautiful lock screen on Sense handsets with more information and integration with their apps.

The MediaLink HD API will be released soon, and will allow developers to wirelessly playback content on HDTV’s using HTC’s MediaLink service. Developers can find more info about the new APIs from HTC here.

Google Releases API For Goo.gl URL Shortener

Some good news for developers and coders who use Google’s URL shortening service and always wanted a Goo.gl API for their web applications.

Google has recently released an API for Goo.gl which allows users to integrate Google’s URL shortener in their web applications, blogs or websites. You can use simple HTTP methods to create, inspect, and manage goo.gl short URLs from desktop, mobile, or web application.

Google’s URL shortening service is one of the fastest URL shortners out there. The only near competitor of Goo.gl is Bit.ly, which also provides analytics for the shortened URL’s apart from providing their own API to developers. It looks like Google wants to level the playing field in the URL shortening market by allowing coders and developers the ability to integrate Goo.gl URL shortening service in their products and apps.

Getting Started With Goo.gl API

The getting started page at Google code lists all the step by step details for developers who want to use Goo.gl in their web properties. First, you will need to get your API key from the console page, which is required to identify your application and pass different arguments or parameters. Here is how the API page looks like:

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, find the URL shortener API section and hit the “Activate” button. All done, you will be given a unique authentication URL as shown below:

After the authentication part is complete, you can head over to the Actions page and learn how to use Goo.gl URL shortener API and choose the different actions required by your application.

For development purposes, you can issue API calls without a developer key, but using a key will grant you much higher usage limits. The advantage of using Goo.gl API is that apart from shortening and expanding long URL’s within your application, you can also fetch history and analytics of the shortened URL’s. Common examples include auto shortening URL’s from a custom Twitter client, shortening the long link of your blog post – the possibilities are endless.

Do give Goo.gl API a try and let us know your ideas in the comments section. [via Google Code blog ]

New Skype SDK Brings Better Hardware Support

Skype is the best online voice and video suite and has a marked presence across various platforms, including the mobile platform. Skype has recently announced a new SDK, which will let developers integrate Skype functionalities into their applications as well as hardware.

skype-logo

This new SDK, which they are calling SkypeKit, has a full voice and video call support along with a support for IM through Skype network. Currently, only desktop applications can use this API. Skype has a separate runtime of its own that cannot be integrated with web services. The SDK also includes SILK, which is Skype’s flagship in-house audio compression tool.

Another new feature in this SDK is the availability of hardware support with which, developers can integrate Skype into hardware, like television and cellphones. Although this open SDK allows developers to use the API in their applications, the prices for using Skype’s communication networks using this API is not yet revealed. However, Skype has hinted a certification fees and a restriction on block usage of its network, which would mean a good amount of limitations.

Skype also has plans for its Skype Shop and plans to make an app store out of it. This is sensible enough as Skype is sure to build a wider presence with the features offered by this SDK.

The SDK is a closed beta for Linux only and requires invites for use. Windows and Mac versions will be available soon. Download the SDK  here.

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