Archive for August, 2006

Playing XSPFs in Rhapsody – REST API

August 24, 2006

One of the main features of the new version of Musicmobs is the ability to play playlists in Rhapsody. What you might not know is that the REST API we’ve created can be used to open other XSPF files into Rhapsody as well.

If you look at any of the “Play” links on Musicmobs, you’ll notice URLs that look like this:

http://www.musicmobs.com/player?xspf=http://xspf.musicmobs.com/playlist/ellie117/Indie.xspf

The key is the ?xspf= query string. As long as the XSPF you’re trying to open is hosted on the web, and properly marked up with metadata (<creator>, <album> and <title> elements for each track) our player should be able to grab it and do its best to find the songs in Rhapsody.

Where do you find playlists to open? For now there are really only two places you can get properly marked up XSPFs: Musicmobs and Last.fm. Finding XSPFs on Musicmobs is easy enough, but Last.fm takes a little digging.

If you look at the Audioscrobbler Web Services page you’ll see that they expose various data feeds in XSPF format. Any of these URLs should be valid to use with our REST API.

For example this URL will play the top tracks tagged ‘Rock’ on Last.fm:

http://www.musicmobs.com/player?xspf=http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/1.0/tag/Rock/toptracks.xspf

The one caveat is that Last.fm doesn’t include the <album> element in their XSPFs. This means that our player will only find the song in Rhapsody after it’s been cached from the Rhapsody Web Services API at least once. Since our cache is continuously being filled, our matching will improve over time.

Finally, since it’s unlikely that you want the player to load (and therefore resize) your current window, it’s best to add target=”_blank” to any player URL. The finished product should look something like this:

<a href=”http://www.musicmobs.com/player?xspf=http://xspf.musicmobs.com/playlist/ellie117/Indie.xspf&#8221; target=”_blank”>Indie Playlist</a>

Also, if anyone knows of other web sites that you can get fully marked up XSPFs, please leave a comment and we’ll check it out.

Advertisements

SimilarTunes 1.0.1

August 24, 2006

We recently stumbled upon this nice little app built on top of the Musicmobs and Last.fm APIs:

SimilarTunes works a lot like the “In Your Library” column of Mobster. Basically, it will take the related artist results from Musicmobs and build a playlist out of the recommendations that are available in your iTunes collection. This app is Mac only, but it’s Universal Binary so that’s a plus. Overall, it’s pretty slick.

[Get SimilarTunes Here]

Musicmobs Upgrade

August 22, 2006

Welcome to the Musicmobs blog! We’ve just released a batch of new features, dive in to learn more…

Play in Rhapsody – Lately we’ve been pretty excited about Rhapsody. We’ve always wanted to provide a way to open playlists into a music subscription service but until now, no APIs were mature enough. The new Rhapsody Web Services API offered a great way to link into their service and play the majority of the songs in any playlist on the web. Clicking “Play” will search Rhapsody for all of the songs in the playlist (or song list). It doesn’t always find everything but this should improve over time.
To use this, you’ll need to download the Rhapsody plugin (you’ll be prompted at some point when you click a Play icon). You get 25 plays for free without registering, after that you’ll have to get a Rhapsody subscription for unlimited plays.
This is the first step in a multi-part integration. Next up is tracking play counts from Rhapsody.

Improved CSS – We redid the CSS for all the pages to make the site more “liquid”. Content will now stretch if you resize your browser window. This should make for much better browsing at higher resolutions. We also updated the headers and tweaked various other UI elements. Consider the layout 60% complete. More updates on this coming soon…

Tag Cloud – Always a useful way to represent a folksonomy. This was part of an index redesign with more of a focus on functionality. The cloud is based on popular tags for the last 2 months. The time interval may change depending on playlist flow.

New Tag Pages – We now break out the playlists by popularity and what’s new on the tag pages (for example the “indie” tag). This should make it easier to find interesting playlists that you may have missed the first time around.

Better Playlist RSS Feeds – All playlist RSS feeds now include links to play in Rhapsody and to download a XSPF for each playlist. We also added some playlist metadata like tags, creator and date created.

More RSS Feeds – There are now RSS feeds for new and popular playlists for each tag and new playlists for each artist.

This Blog – The news has been removed from the index and replaced by this WordPress blog. I think it’s going to be a big improvement since it will allow for more 2 way communication. We’ve entered our backlog of news and at some point soon we’ll tweak the CSS of the blog to make it look cool.

If you have any questions about the new features just let us know!

UPDATE: The Rhapsody integration looks like it’s working in IE now. Please let me know if you have any problems.

Musicmobs is Back!

August 4, 2006

Our web server had a hardware failure and needed to be replaced, but the new hardware is up and seems to be performing well. Make sure to kick the tires a bit and please let us know if anything seems to be wrong.Now that we’re back up, we’ve got a few updates we want to roll out. Keep your eye out news soon…