Over the past couple weeks the folks at RealNetworks’ Rhapsody have made some product announcements which have an API component, but that API piece hasn’t received a lot of press yet. Most of the initial buzz has been about the new devices like the upcoming SanDisk Sansa and the Sonos 2 home stereo device (with this positive review from Walt Mossberg). For Real, this is all part of their new Rhapsody DNA initiative — a combination of technology platform, DRM, partnerships and marketing. Here’s the Sonos setup:
The new APIs come into play because these devices integrate with it directly, no computer needed. So it becomes a device-to-web-API model. As they note in their blog “Now that we’ve built this API, Rhapsody can be easily extended to other embedded audio systems and solutions without involving a PC at all. The web service API is the cornerstone of DNA.” For example, the Sonos device can “browse, search and stream” the 2.5 million track Rhapsody catalog using this new SOAP-based API. The API can be used from other network devices, as is done with Sonos desktop client software. See Rhapsody Web Services blog posts here and here for more.
Also, see our Rhapsody API entry here for details on their existing services.
There are a not a lot of details about the new APIs available yet, but Real looks quite serious about creating a programmable jukebox in the cloud.