Last Friday afternoon I realized that I almost missed the album release of one of my favorite bands. I just happened to visit their website out of boredom and notice they had already released a few singles and were about to release a new album. I don’t have my pulse in the music industry to the point where I know every release as soon as it announced, so I usually rely on checking bands websites.
I wrote on a sticky note “find music alerts site”. I figured later that night after I finished working I’d search around and find a good music alerts site to send me email/RSS alerts whenever my favorite groups released a new album. But when the time came, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I sent Mike a message on Skype saying that it couldn’t be possible, there had to be something out there. Aside from Barnes and Noble (which sends email alerts for about 30 artists), I found nothing viable.
I sent him another Skype message saying that would be a great idea for a site. Ten minutes later I bought Music-Alerts.com. And about 8 hours of programming later I completed Music-Alerts.com.
You enter a comma-separated list of your favorite artists and the site generates a RSS feed of album releases for you. Using Amazon for the data, we add an “alert” to the feed as soon as the product is entered in Amazon’s database. The feed also shows any releases in the past 180 days in case you missed anything. Each “alert” in the feed lists the band, album title, release date, and also shows the album art (if available) and links to the CD on Amazon.
It might shock you to hear this, but I’m more proud of this project than I am of anything else I’ve ever done. It epitomizes what it means to be a web entrepreneur in my mind. I had a problem, nothing available solved the problem, so I solved it myself. I’m banking that other people have the same problem, and if they do this site could become quasi-popular. On top of that, I think I did my best design/CSS work, and it’s by far the most efficient site I’ve ever programmed (the entire site consists of about 100 lines of code).
What do you think? I’ve obviously done limited testing, so please email or comment if you find any bugs.
P.S. – In a horribly ironic twist of fate, my personal music feed works fine in browsers, validates fine, works in every feed reader I try, EXCEPT Google Reader which is of course the one I use. Other Music-Alerts feeds work fine in Google Reader, but mine magically doesn’t show up. Aaaaah!
P.S.S – On about my 8th try it worked. I didn’t change anything…just re-created the feed over and over again. Stupid Google.