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]

Spotify Launches New Version Of Windows/Mac App – Brings Playlist-Sased Radio, Post To Tumblr & More

Spotify has announced tons of new features to its application on Windows and Mac OS, while it rolls out Version 0.8.3 today. The new features include:

  • Ability to listen to radio stations based on a playlist or an album: When users are on any album or a playlist they can click on Start Playlist Radio or Start Album Radio to listen to similar music using Spotify Radio.

  • Instant Search: Instant search, made popular by Google’s search engine has made its entry to Spotify app. This will let users hover over results in the search suggestion drop-down, or use the arrow keys to navigate between them, they’ll render automatically in the main view.

  • Sharing made easier: Users can now right click on any album, playlist or track and select “Copy Embed Code” to get embeddable HTML codes for users to easily post Spotify Play Buttons on their website or blog.

  • New Sharing options: Spotify has not only made it easier to embed a song but has also added new sharing options. Users can now share any music content from Spotify directly to their Tumblr, and get a shortened link for Twitter.

Earlier this month, Spotify launched its iPhone and iPad app. Spotify, which was available only in US, is now available in 12 other countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

The update will be rolled out to users, but the impatient ones can download newest version of the app from Spotify website and enjoy the new features.

Single and Ready to Mingle? Spotify Can Help You Find Potential Partners

Yes, you heard that right! The digital music service provider Spotify has teamed up with two dating websites and has released two new apps called Tastebuds and Fellody, basically to create a social dating platform that not only matches and filters out users with similar tastes in music, but also provides matches based on their personalized playlist.

By installing the new Spotify apps, users can find their potential partners based on their musical likes and dislikes. Both the apps work in a similar fashion. Once you are connected with Facebook or with a unique username, the apps examines through your music playlists and library to find your favorite artists and songs.

Once this is done, the app then presents you with a list of profiles (Spotify users) with similar taste in music. This search can, however, be refined based on your preferences like gender, age, and location. This match-making feature has been provided by the two dating websites, and

For instance, here’s how the Fellody app will work. It uses a mechanism, or rather a technique in finding your potential partner. It first begins by dropping your music library on the app, and will start rating potential love interest. Along with that, the app will generate a ‘compatibility’ score, and also enables you to send a ‘flirt’ (very much similar to Facebook’s Poke feature), while browsing your matches’ tastes.


The Tastebuds app on the other hand will help find a user his/her potential partner based on the artists they’ve been listening to on Spotify. It also scans through the user’s playlists. The app then filters out a list of profiles based on matches by gender, age and location, and message matches in real-time. Users can also arrange an offline meet-up by showing their tracking with the Songkick Spotify concert app. helps you ‘meet people who share your love for music’. Of late, has been creating a lot of buzz around the Web with an increasing number of users, mainly in the UK. The social dating site was founded by two musicians – Alex Parish and Julian Keenaghan from London, who are the founder members of the band Years Of Rice And Salt.

Tastebuds - Connect Through Music

According to co-founder Alex Parish, 43% of first messages get a reply on Tastebuds. He also states this is “a much higher response rate than non-music based dating sites.”

Fellody founder Robin Simon says, “After our successful launch with Spotify in Germany, we are now very happy to welcome all Spotify users on Fellody, where they might get more groupies with their taste in music than Robbie Williams during the 90’s.”

So, all you single fellas out there, are you all set to mingle?

Ubuntu Unveils Web Music Streaming Service

It’s official, Ubuntu has rolled out a Web Music addition to their Ubuntu One service.

An addition to the Ubuntu One “cloud service” now allows all users with a paid subscription to save, store and stream music directly from a web browser. After logging into your  UbuntuOne  control panel, there is a new tab showing off the features, which include offline listening, access to the vast Ubuntu One Music Store and 20GB of storage, with a monthly subscription. Of course there is also a 30 day free trial for the service should you want to try before you buy.

Previous to today, the service was only available from a mobile device running iOS or Android. A free app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, provided mobile users with a way to stream and access all the content stored in their cloud. Although users have access to the iTunes Cloud and Google Music on their respective handsets, many use alternatives that provide “personalized  radio” based on recommendations, tag matching and “crowdsourced” content such as Spotify and Pandora. Unfortunately UbuntuOne Web Music does not include this, but playlist creation, queue management and shuffle might be enough for you.

It really does seem as if Ubuntu is laying the framework and infrastructure for eventually providing a mobile operating system or partnering with an OEM for shipping U1 services directly on devices. They have a niche market with Ubuntu installations on many personal computers, they have cross-platform sync through a proven cloud service that allows file storage, contact and note sync, and now completely cross-platform music streaming.

Ubuntu says they will continue building out their One service and 2012 will be a big year. The mobile space has been heating up for a long time, and although there might not be any room for a new platform, providing tightly integrated services could be a real differentiating factor for many OEMs. Hopefully Canonical sees this opportunity and can seize it, truly bringing Ubuntu to the masses.

Facebook To Launch Music Service

Facebook has partnered with Spotify and is planning to launch a music service. The service will allow Facebook users to listen songs with friends at the same time. It is expected to launch in two weeks time.


The integrated service is currently going through testing phase. Once launched, Facebook users will see a Spotify icon appear on the left side of their newsfeed, along with the usual icons. By clicking on the Spotify icon, the service will be installed on the users’ desktop and will grant access to millions of songs in Spotify’s library.

The service is currently unnamed. It may be called as “Facebook Music” and will be available only in those countries where Spotify is supported. Bad news for folks in US.

Spotify is already integrated with Facebook Connect, allowing users to see what their Facebook friends are listening to and share playlists and recommend songs. It is said that the new service will allow users listen to music with friends at the same time.

If Facebook launches this service, Spotify will eventually increase its user-base and the service could possibly be a competitor to Google Music.

(via Forbes )

Facebook Collaborating with Spotify to Offer Streaming Music

Forbes is reporting that Facebook is currently testing a new streaming music feature. Rumors about Facebook launching its own music service to complete with iTunes are nothing new. However, Forbes’ report suggests that Facebook won’t actually be launching its own music service. Instead, it will be tapping into Spotify, which is already a sensation in Europe.


The new feature will show up as a small Spotify icon on the left hand side of the Facebook news feed. Clicking on the button will download the Spotify app in the background, providing users with access to Spotify’s massive library of songs. Spotify already has a Facebook app; however, this collaboration will enable them to integrate more tightly, besides reaching millions of more users. Facebook users will also be able to play songs together with their friends. This is an interesting feature that is likely to be particularly appealing to the lovebirds.

The catch is that this service will only available in regions supported by Spotify. Spotify’s services are currently available only in select few European countries including the UK and France. US launch is in the cards, but has been taking a lot longer than anticipated.

Facebook will not be paying Spotify for its services. For its services, Spotify will get access to a Facebook’s user base, many of whom might sign up for the premium subscription. Free users are only allowed to listen to up to 10 hours of music per month.

Spotify comes out with a Linux client

Spotify may not be available in most parts of the world, but that hasn’t prevented them from coming out with a Linux client. In a blog entry Spotify mentions:

A lot of our developers are using Linux, obviously they want to listen to music while they’re coding away and looking at the feedback we get it appears that they’re not the  only ones. So today we’re pretty happy to present a preview version of  Spotify for Linux.

Built by our brilliant developers during hack days and late nights, it shares most of the same features as our Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications.

While this is indeed good news for Linux users, it must be reminded that client is still in a preview version and is available only for Spotify Premium subscribers, as Spotify claims that they still haven’t figured how to reliably display ads. Also missing is support for playback of local files, as they are grappling with decoding issues. Still, I guess something’s better than nothing. Here’s hoping for an new, improved version to come out soon. And perhaps, for Spotify to be rolled outside of UK and certain parts of Europe.

Spotify is currently available as packaged for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 & Debian Squeeze, head over to the preview page to download it.

Sony Ericsson Integrates Spotify Into Xperia X10

Sony Ericsson has revealed that it has developed a customized version of Xperia X10 with Spotify integration.

The Spotify mod integrates the online music streaming service into the Timescape and Mediascape interfaces offered by Xperia X10. While recently played songs on Spotify will show up as event tiles in Timescape, Spotify will be available as an online music service in Mediascape.

You can see the modified Xperia X10 interface, which was developed for the Swedish telecom operator Telia, in action in the video below.

The Spotify integration will also be launched in the United Kingdom in association with 3 Mobile. In addition to two months of free subscription, 3 Mobile users will also get access to celebrity playlists. Some of the notable bands and music artists, who have been roped in for this promotion include Keane, The Stereophonics and Ellie Goulding.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is the handset maker’s flagship Android device. It features an impressive combination of killer looks and functionality. You can find more Xperia X10 news here.