To reduce procrastination and become faster at launching my projects, I've set the goal to launch <a href="/12-startups-12-months">12 startups in 12 months</a>. Each month will see me build something from start to finish. Each project should take up max. 2 weeks and solve someone's problem (often mine). This month, I'm launching the first project, <strong><a href="http://playmyinbox.com">Play My Inbox</a></strong>, which plays music from your inbox.
I have a habit with friends. For years, we've always been emailing each other music tracks from YouTube we love. We have email threads for genres like hip-hop, acid house and techno and each thread contains the best stuff we find. It's great cause it's my friends recommending me music I probably like too. For good reason, we all shy away from Facebook's mass-sharing drivel and prefer this organic (and private) method. Me and my friends must not be the only ones who do this through email, but to be frank, I really don't know!
Now, the issue here is that Gmail's interface is not ideal for playing videos, and it's a lot of effort to keep up with the music flowing through all email threads daily.
I wanted to build something that'd keep me up to date on the music in my inbox and play them for me automagically non-stop.
The first working version looked a little raw:
But after 14-days of working on it on-and-off, with a lot of polishing (and a pretty backdrop from Unsplash) it turned into this:
Privacy is a huge deal for this app and will probably limit its usage since people won't give access to their inbox that easily. To mitigate that, I only request the minimum time of access to people's inbox, which is 60 minutes. After that, Gmail's access token expires. Additionally, it only searches for mails with YouTube/SoundCloud links and only saves those links, the sender/recipient names and subject line to display them below the music.
What it does
- It authenticates to Gmail with XOAuth2
- It fetches email through IMAP, only fetching messages with YouTube URLs
- It stores the YouTube/SoundCloud URLs, subjects and recipients to display
- It pulls every music track's details from the YouTube API and SoundCloud API
- It displays all music on a single automagically playing page with thread and search filters
- It polls the server live for new music and updates the page while they're being received
- It notifies the user by email once it's finished checking all messages
Try it yourself
Try it here and I'd love to hear your feedback and any feature requests you may have.
A month after this post, I've written a debriefing on how the launch went.
P.S. I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. And I wrote a book called MAKE about building startups without funding. See a list of my stories or contact me. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below: