SoundCloud, BandsInTown and Windows App Studio
Today's Windows Wednesday post I'm continuing with the twofer theme, today highlighting two posts, from Joshua Drew and Lori Lalonde, that show you how easy it is to build music related app's with the Windows App Studio
The thing I've always found nice about building apps with the App Studio is that in the end, you get a complete Visual Studio Solution that you can then build on, if need be. So you start with a web based GUI and end with a complete project with source...
Over the next few weeks I am going to explore adding the SoundCloud services into an app generated by Windows Phone App Studio. If you do not know what Windows Phone App Studio is, you can view the site or follow my tutorials to get you up to speed. In short, it is an online tool to quickly generate Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 apps. You are provided with the source code and have the ability to extend your generated app. Why SoundCloud? The api is pretty straightforward and the benefits are vast. If you are a local DJ and want to get your music in an app or if you are an independent artist you can do the same pretty easy. Drag and drop to create your app out on App Studio and add a few lines of code to enable SoundCloud. The example I am going to start with is a simple track listing. We will grab a few tracks (we will need to get the URL’s from SoundCloud) and add them into App Studio and then generate our project. From there we will make some modifcations and enable accessing those music tracks. Lets dive in! This article assumes you are familiar with Windows Phone App Studio and have created at least one application using it. We are going to implement the SoundCloud api into Windows Phone App Studio. In the first part of this series we will make a connection to SoundCloud and pull in our predefined tracks that we specify within app studio. Later, we will look at playing these tracks using Background Audio as well as integrate playlists from SoundCloud.
Step 1:Register as a developer on SoundCloud.
Let’s face it. We all love music. Some of us love it so much, that we track our favourite musicians waiting for concert dates to be announced and tickets to go on sale. Wouldn’t it be easier to use an app that will do that for you? Better yet, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could purchase available concert tickets for your favourite artist right from within the app?
If you’re not familiar with Windows AppStudio, it is Microsoft’s online design tool which allows you to create Universal apps through a wizard-style interface. It also allows you to generate and download the source code for the app so that you can customize it further from within Visual Studio. AppStudio is great for displaying collections of data, whether it’s an RSS feed, live Twitter stream, Facebook page posts, photos, or static data.
To learn more about how AppStudio works, check out my 3 part blog post series on using AppStudio to create a Windows Phone app:
AppStudio has changed since then to include more features and the ability to generate Universal apps, but the main concepts of the design tool are the same. You can check out how to use the latest features of Windows AppStudio by reading the online How-To guide.
Now that you know what AppStudio is, let’s explore what Bandsintown is all about and how it can help you create a custom fan-based app.
Bandsintown is a platform that connects fans with their favourite artists. It includes information on a multitude of artists, such as band information, concert listings, and ticket availability. Bandsintown v2 API is designed for enterprise partners with websites, media players, and/or mobile applications that are part of the Facebook platform and would like to provide their users with the ability to RSVP to and share artist's real Facebook events. Response data is available either as a JSON or XML result.
In order to use the Bandsintown v2 API, you will need to, review Bandintown’s best practices for using the API, send them a note to let them know that you will be using their API, and choose a custom Id that will serve as your unique application identifier. You will use this value each time an API call is made. Since their API returns links to an artist’s Facebook page, you will also need to ensure that you follow all Facebook policies.
Before you start designing your ultimate fan app, I recommend that the following preparations are made ahead of time to ensure that the app creation process is as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Select your favourite artist, and gather information
To be continued…
Now that you know what your app will be focused on, and have the necessary materials at hand, creating the app will be a seamless process. In my next post, we will explore how to create the ultimate fan app using Windows AppStudio and the Bandsintown v2 AP
Now make your music app! Go... now...