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Imeem Makes Its Own Platform Play For Music Apps. Who's OpenSocial?

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Yeah, But He Didn't Predict The iPhone, Did He?

imeem-logo.pngFor those of you who thought OpenSocial was going to make things easy for developers who want to create social networking apps once and deploy them everywhere, think again. More splintering is occurring. Tonight, rising music social network imeem (an original member of OpenSocial) is releasing its own software development kit for programmers to create applications on imeem. Imeem is not abandoning OpenSocial, it is just that programmers will be able to build a lot cooler apps using the new imeem Media Platform. But don’t worry, support for OpenSocial is “coming soon.”

So what’s so special about this API that would make programmers bother to take the effort? It offers access to imeem’s vast music library and all the profile data of its 24 million members worldwide (comScore says 19 million, but who’s counting?). It is also the same platform that imeem itself uses to creates its own applications. CEO Dalton Caldwell realizes he is not going to convince developers to ditch Facebook or OpenSocial, but he does think he is offering something unique enough to pique their interest. He admits:

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This is a baby step. We are just shipping code. This is something we built for our own consumption. We are not saying just, “Hey, port your existing app to imeem.” That is played out. What we think is cool is enabling new apps by saying, “Hey, you can access this insane library of music.”

Developers will be able to tap into imeem’s fully licensed library of millions of songs from all the major record labels and create their own music apps on imeem. Imeem’s media player, music search, recommendation engine, member profile data, contacts, playlists, videos and photos will also be exposed in the APIs. The apps will all be built on Adobe Flex to start, with support for Javascript coming down the line. And there will eventually be a way to port OpenSocial apps to the imeem Media Platform.

The types of apps that could be created include music players with new skins and controls, dating apps based on musical compatibility, smart playlists automatically generated from a user’s list of favorite bands, a “Name That Tune” quiz, or a playlist based on what your friends are listening to. All of this would be great if programmers could take these apps to other sites like MySpace. But for now they can’t (there are a few little licensing issues to work out). So is this dead in the water or will imeem’s large audience and music library be enough of a draw?

Here is the full list of the imeem Media Platform’s capabilities:

* Access any music, videos, and photos available on imeem

* Fully customize the imeem media player (via a “chromeless” player)

* Upload music, video or photos, and modify metadata for that content

* Access imeem’s social graph, including users, friends, and associated profile data

* Create, edit, and manage new playlists, or access millions of music, video and photo playlists created by imeem users

* Search imeem’s media content by keyword, artist, song title, or album name

* Ability to favorite media and playlists back to the user’s profile

* Access imeem’s recommendation engine and discovery tools

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