iTunes, HTML5, and CSS3

I'm finding it difficult to squeeze time out of my day to work on my personal projects. There have been barely-noticeable changes on my projects, but I assure you- I'm still working on them! I've been wanting to write about these things for a while now, but I didn't think there was enough interesting content to post them each individually. I've decided to combine my experience with all three subjects into one higher-level post, great!.

If you look at my portfolio page, you'll see I'm working on an online radio-type project. To collect information on songs playing I use the iTunes Music Store Search API. This API is quite extensive and returns just about everything you want to know about a song- including it's album artwork! I can't remember when I stumbled across this API, but ever since I started using it I've had such a strange problem. The API lets you set what type of media you're looking for, songs in my case. The API reference I used instructed me to set the entity to musicTrack. All was good until my application's search function started returning music videos. This issue was easily reproduced, so I turned to the Apple Support Forums. Turns out I was reading an old API reference. Please, if you ever decide to work with this API, use this reference.

Now for the interesting stuff! On my idle time while traveling to and from work I've been reading this book. It has proven to be very interesting and quite the primer on HTML5. Most believe the most exciting feature of HTML5 is probably the canvas element. This element allows us to draw nearly anything (the standard only lists 2D drawing for now) on an area in the browser. When we combine this with the power of javascript DOM and HTML5's audio and video features, amazing things can be created. The goal of all this is to hopefully remove the reliance on Adobe's proprietary Flash software for multimedia on the web. It is catching on, even YouTube has been experimenting with HTML5 for serving content.

Why is this important? Well, it'll be a small step backwards while transitioning to the new standards due to browsers not supporting every element, but once everyone is caught up there will be many more possibilities for developers to present, and wow the end users. Things like CSS3 make life much easier for web developers. Popular website elements like rounded corners used to require a fair bit of markup to accomplish; now just one line of CSS can create these corners on almost every html element. I am very excited to experience this transition and to work through it. I'm also happy to announce I'm working on a new design of this site that will utilize many of the new HTML5 and CSS3 features! Check back often for some dramatic changes.