Earlier this month, Dawson, John and I competed in the Reno Hackathon. The purpose of the competition was to develop an app for the Windows 8 marketplace and spark ideas for new business opportunities. More than 60 contestants participated in the 24-hour contest and approximately 13 teams made it to the final turn in.
Most of the teams had five people with a few teams of one to three developers. Our team of three created an app called AllStreamApp. This app is a very unique search engine based live stream filter. What that means is when you download the app on your phone, you can now stream live video from three companies. You can search by keyword or category and expect the content to update live as new feeds become available.
There were two builds of our app within the 24-hour period.
The first build was the API aggregator. This aggregator allowed for us to tie in three different APIs from streaming companies such as Ustream, Twitchtv, and Justintv. We set up the engine to pull in each of the streams and push them into a main database table. It has the following features:
- Pulls all “currently live” streams and marks all that are not pulled in as not live.
- Archives all of the streams into the database and when they become live again, it updates them to show up as live in our database. This feature also updates the stream status / category / tags.
- Every 1 – 5 minutes our server will pull in requests from all three stream aggregators, allowing for constant updates and live streams to be added. We are currently sitting at 220,000 unique streams registered within our database.
- We used indexing within the database to allow for faster search queries and to only display live streams.
- We also built in plans for adding in monitoring analytics to allow us to evolve the app more.
The second build was the app, which included the following features:
Full CSS3 integrations
- We used animations for the loading of images. They flip upon render provides a more visually appealing experience.
- We used a handwritten CSS3 Windows 8 loading animation to allow us to show the user the content is currently loading.
Search bar integration
- This allows a user to search for streams. We use commas to allow for multi-search strings. So a search for “StarCraft” and “League of Legends” will pull those specific games / titles / tags.
- Order by: We allow users to filter down content by popularity, category, and stream name and order them.
- This page shows the user the stream information they clicked on.
- It also has related content that matches content.
- The info page has a “current viewers” area that displays the current users viewing the stream and more information about the stream.
- This page adds a link to the stream that opens up the current user’s browser to that particular stream, allowing them to easily view and open these streams via our search engine app.
After 24-hours, the judging took place and the results were in. Our team took home second place and People’s Choice.
A bunch of people at the competition told us they’ve been waiting for an app like ours to hit the marketplace and we plan to make it happen. We are going to continue developing it. We want to make it available for download.
Microsoft Licensing, EDAWN and PC Doctor teamed up to host this event. A big thank you to the event sponsors for hooking us up with plenty of Monster Energy drinks and snacks. I’m not going to lie, the boost of caffeine helped fuel our adrenaline and creativity.
Have questions about the app? Join the conversation on AllStreamApp’s Facebook page.