New TwitterMan for AIM 6.8 Beta

I posted a new version of TwitterMan for AIM 6.8 Beta 3. This plugin was a collaboration between myself and one of my teammates, Gus.

This build will only work with the latest AIM 6.8 Beta or newer. For those unfamiliar with TwitterMan, this AIM plugin will set your status message on Twitter to the same status you have currently set on AIM. Recently Twitter added the ability to push your Twitter status to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and others. So now TwitterMan will be able to propagate your AIM status from AIM to Twitter then to Facebook for example. The latest version will securely store your Twitter credentials so you do not have to enter them every time you sign into AIM. The latest version appears at the bottom of your buddy list where you can log into Twitter and manage your settings.

We will be making some improvements over time, including getting alerts when your Twitter Friend Feed has changed.

AIM MusicLink Feedback

I want to say thank you to all the people who have downloaded the latest AIM MusicLink version and are using it every day. The uptake for the plugin has been really great, and I have to be honest this release has gone much better than earlier ones. I wanted to address some of the issues people have been having.

  • I have fixed the problem with the Songbird Extension for AIM MusicLink and you can download the extension here. Once you download the extension, please use Songbird to load the sbMusicLink.xpi file.
  • I have spent a few hours testing this version of AIM MusicLink with Windows Media Player 11 in just about every configuration possible and cannot reproduce any of the reports people have. All my WMP plugin does is listen to the current playing song and then writes to the Windows Registry if the player is playing and if so what is the current song. Then AIM MusicLink reads the registry key. These two keys can be found in HKCUSoftwareAIMAIMPluginsAIM MusicLinkWMPCurrentMedia and WMPIsPlaying. If you observe weird behavior with these keys please let me know.
  • The latest WinAMP version has been working for me.
  • The theory I have regarding those who have issues with players beyond iTunes working, is that make sure iTunes is truly closed. I have seen instances where I close iTunes yet it is not truly shutdown. AIM MusicLink will still think it sees iTunes opened and try to set the iTunes song not WinAmp or other player you are using. AIM MusicLink has a specific order of operations that it looks for music. The first player it finds music for, it will try to report the result, even if no song is loaded on the player in some cases. Here is the order that I use:
  1. iTunes
  2. WinAmp
  3. MediaMonkey
  4. Windows Media Player 9/10/11
  5. Yahoo Jukebox
  6. Songbird
  7. RealPlayer

Please make sure if you are seeing issues where AIM MusicLink is reporting an incorrect or unexpected result, check the above list and make sure that a player is not accidentally loaded that you think you closed. As always I appreciate all the feedback, and keep it coming so I can make sure AIM MusicLink continues to be the top AIM Plugin.

Schmap on the iPhone

A post on TechCrunch caught my attention this morning. Schmap is launching their city guides for the iPhone and iPodTouch. These free travel guides are a nice way to get info on a city online or offline. As readers of this blog know, I travel a lot to meet with developers who are building Open AIM applications and to evangelize Open AIM. Schmap city guides can be browsed online or offline, so before I get onto the plane I usually download Schmap so I can browse a city guide in flight. Schmap caught my attention last year when they asked to use one of my photos on Flickr that I took during W3C for their city guide for Calgary. If you are doing a lot of travel this summer, check out Schmap as an alternative or supplement to TripAdvisor or other online travel sites.

PS – Here is the photo that Schmap used from my Calgary collection:

AOL on Desktop for the Mac

It has been an eternity (well more like 5 years), but we have released a new AOL client for the Mac. The client will run on both MacTel and PPC for Leopard and Tiger.

So far the reviews have been very good for this application, so if you are a long time AOL user on the Mac check out the latest build.

One thing about this client that is worth pointing out is the buddy list and IM functionality in the client is powered by the Open AIM Mac SDK. The Mac SDK contains framework for applications to be written using Cocoa. This framework is the same that powers our experimental AIM Lite client for the Mac that we released in January of this year. You can view the source for this experimental client in the Mac SDK. We are starting to see more applications being written for platforms other than Windows which is really exciting.

I know the AOL Mac team would love to have some feedback on their work. They have a blog where you can keep up with the latest info and where you can share your thoughts on the client.

Calling Out on Mother’s Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and whether you celebrate the holiday with Mom or not, today is a great time to call Mom and say, “thanks for putting up with me all these years!” AIM Call Out is giving out free calls from Saturday May 10th at 6AM EDT to Monday May 12th at 4AM EDT so that way you can give mom or even grandma a call to say Happy Mother’s Day. The catch is that you have to add $5 to your AIM Call Out account, after the weekend, all $5 will still be there for you to use. Just make sure you are using AIM 6.5 or better or if you do not have AIM installed you can use AIM Call Out Web Connect.

In other AIM Call Out news, last week we launched Open Voice APIs. Open Voice allows AIM® Call Out customers to use a third-party software client or hardware device with their AIM Call Out account by providing a generally available SIP Gateway. The AOL Voice team has successfully used the AIM Call SIP Gateway with the following devices:


  • X-Lite (Version 3.0)
  • PhonerLite (version 1.43)

The two limitations right now is that we do not allow SIP client registration for inbound calling, nor does this service do pc-2-pc calling, this can be done via the Open AIM APIs with the Windows or Linux SDK.

Open AIM and Adobe AIR

Recently an article was written on AOL’s Developer Network site, showing how you can use our Web AIM API ActionScript3 library to build your own AIM client. When Open AIM launched I mentioned that we added Flash AMF3 return values to our Web AIM APIs. In the article the author shares a step-by-step process to getting your environment set up and importing the necessary APIs. In the end you have built an embeddable chat application.

Check out the article here.

“Open AIM is the Most Open Synchronous Platform in the World”

The above post title was a comment that Dave Recordon from SixApart made during his talk on Thursday at Web 2.0 Expo on Open Web 2.0 Platforms. In his talk he pointed out how AIM was the most closed, “walled garden” messaging network in the space 3 years ago. Now AIM is the standard in building an open synchronous network, from our SDK, Web APIs or documented protocol you can build on top of our network if you are a Linux C++ developer, an iPhone Objective-C developer, a Flash developer or PHP/Script jockey. Thanks Dave for the kind words.

Open AIM is not the only property at AOL getting love today. Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch wrote a cool article about AOL’s strong growth in our sites. The reason for this growth is all the revamping we have done on sites like webmail, and even Things are definitely getting exciting here at AOL as we continue to build on the success of our open platforms and products.

Live from Web 2.0 in San Francisco

After last years Web 2.0 Expo where I only saw business development and product management people, I had little hope for Web 2.0 this year to be the technical juggernaut OReilly promised. I am glad I was wrong. This year there have been few, if any, vaporware announcements and developers are all over the place. We continue to see tremendous interest in Open AIM and we have fantastic swag to hand out at our booth in Moscone West.

Yesterday’s keynotes were really quite good. Microsoft showed off Live Mesh, which is very interesting as a content distribution tool and storage backup. If I take a picture on my mobile device from the conference, I can use Live Mesh to share pictures instantly with all of my ‘mesh.’ Mesh will run on XP, Vista, and eventually it will run on mobile devices and Macs. Microsoft, internally, has 6 mobile devices and Mac support working and say it will be released later this year. Clay Shirky spoke about how today’s youth spends their free time and how interacting with entertainment is important for them, not sitting idly in front of the TV. Max Levchin from Slide defended his company’s $500 Million valuation and how Slide is staying ahead of the curve with regards to monetization. He believes business models being used in Asia in the form of micropayments and premium services will be the next phase of Slide and other social network apps revenue streams.

Edwin Aoki spoke in front of 4000 people about Open AIM. He borrowed parts of my talk on the History of Open AIM which is a case study of how and why we opened up our APIs. Edwin did a terrific job and it was awesome to have an audience this size hear about AIM.

New AIM Gallery Apps

We are starting to see some cool results with the Top Coder Open AIM competition where we are giving $100,000 in prizes and some t-shirts as well. Recent additions to the AIM Gallery include an IM Whiteboard plugin, a very cool mashup that allows you to chat with buddies while watching videos, and a neat bot that tests your skills in math and logic. You can find these submission and a bunch more at The site also is host to many other Open AIM plugins, clients, bots and mashups that the community has built. Check out all these apps and more here.

My Cricket Bot

For my trip to India I decided I would write a bot that can return the latest Cricket News, Scores and Cricket videos via Truveo Video Search. This is super important today as India is in a test with South Africa. Of course I have no understanding of cricket, though the employees here in BDC are definitely watching closely. The bot was written in C-Sharp, which I maintain as the best way to write a bot. The reason being, you have full access to the Open AIM API, you do not have to worry about deploying the .net framework with the bot, and with C-Sharp you get easy to write code with auto complete via Visual Studio. The bot code is posted here for everyone to check out.