Welcome, and thank you for your interest in building with Napster. We are thrilled that you have decided to build a music application with us and are excited to see what you will create. This page contains information about our service, requirements for building, and general guidelines that we think will help you build a fantastic application. As you get going, please feel free to contact the platform team at any time with questions you may have.
Napster is the original streaming music service and has a loyal subscriber base of over 3.5 million paying customers in 34 countries around the globe. We have over 35 million songs in our catalog in addition to a vast array of curated content we have created over the years. Through the Napster Developer API, you have access to our entire catalog of artists, albums and tracks, associated metadata, and our exclusive curated content.
Napster is a global brand operating in 34 countries in North America, South America, and Europe. Your app must display the appropriate global brand regardless of which country it operates within.
- Go to developer.napster.com/signin and log in with your Napster account. If you do not have a Napster account, you can get a free developer account here.
- Create an application in order to acquire your API key and secret. These will be used when making calls to the Napster API and for Napster SDKs.
- Download any relevant SDKs or view API documentation.
- Start building!
- Sample Projects - All SDKs have sample projects in the SDK.zip files. Download the SDK to view documentation.
- UI Kit - Download our UIKit to view Napster brand colors, fonts, buttons and logos. Napster UI Kit
Napster maintains an open development platform which gives you vast amounts of flexibility as to the experience you wish to craft. However, we do have a few guidelines you must adhere to in order to give proper attribution to our brand and service. Please make sure that all applications you build are in compliance with the following:
Naming Your App
Your application name should be creative and unique. It should not however, contain any affiliation with Napster or Napster brands. Don’t start your application name with Rhap- or Nap- or end it with -sody or -ster. This is your unique application, communicate that to your customers with a unique name.
The Napster logo must appear in your application. We have provided various color options in the Napster UI Kit for you to choose from. The logo must be unobstructed, be clearly visible/legible and appear on the following screens:
Home/Splash - The Napster logo must appear on your applications splash screen if a mobile app, or above the fold on your homepage if a web app.
Player UI - The Napster logo must appear on your applications player UI
Local Music and Napster
If your application combines Napster metadata and playback with local MP3 metadata and playback, each piece of Napster content must be identified. We recommend using the Napster "Cat" icon to identify Napster content.
Connect With Napster
Whenever your application provides functionality or a call to action for the user to connect with or login to their Napster account, you must display one of our branded logos.
We have been in the business of building music applications for over 15 years and have learned a few things along the way. Below are some learnings and best practices we would like to share that will help you build a killer music app. These are not required, but are heavily recommended guidelines.
The preferred model for playback for a Napster experience is “Play in Place” where an entire container (album or track list) is played whenever playback for an individual track is started. For example, if I start a single track on an album or playlist page, playback continues with the next track until all tracks have been played so the user keeps hearing music until they select something different. This playback model drives significantly higher playback rates and helps to “keep the music playing” with the minimum of user effort.
Be consistent where applicable. Consistency in your applications increases customer confidence and customer accessibility. Consistency and understandability reduces training, support and testing costs for consumers.
Give Immediate Feedback
It is important to provide immediate feedback, even when you cannot fulfill users’ requests immediately. You should attempt to handle queued requests as users would expect, discarding out-of-date requests that are no longer relevant. Wherever possible, break large tasks into smaller ones so they complete quickly.
Display Feedback As Soon As Possible
If you cannot display all information, display the most important/relevant information first. Prepare to perform the command that is most likely to follow the current command. Use background processing as much as possible and delay work that is not urgent.
Each subsequent set of data should ideally be displayed within 5 seconds of selection at average WiFi or Ethernet speeds. You don’t want users to sit around while the product is loading and processing, you want them to be interacting with the service, or listening to music.
Resuming Playback in Subsequent Sessions
When possible, devices should store information regarding the currently-playing track (or Napster Radio station), the point within the track, and their local play queue even after they have left the Napster area of the device and/or shut down their device. When the device is powered on (if it was powered off in the middle of listening to Napster content) or when the user re-enters Napster, on-demand playback should resume from same point within the track, while Napster station playback should resume by requesting the next channel track.
Color as Redundant Cue
A large percentage of the world’s population is color blind (or color deficient). As such, it is important to use color only as a redundant cue. For example, if you turn the text on the screen to red when there is a problem, with no other signals, a large percentage of your consumers may not even know that there was an error. Therefore you need to handle these cases a bit differently, perhaps by adding something like a subtle sound, icon or message box to more adequately reflect the error.
Sound as Redundant Cue
Despite the fact that you’re selling an audio product, there is a possibility that one of the users of the system is hearing impaired. Therefore, when using subtle audio cues as part of your user interface, you should consider providing a cue that is redundant, like an error message, icon, or color change on the display.