Having Fun with the Neon API

One of the exciting things that got to do at South by Southwest last month in Austin was help with a hackathon where developers got to experiment with building new music apps and experiences.  As part of this hackathon, I helped a newly-independent artist, Neon Hitch release her own API in her own voice and wrote about it here on this blog and Billboard and The Daily Californian (UC Berkeley) blog wrote about it as well.

Since then, Neon Hitch has joined the Microsoft BizSpark program which gets her production company and label free software and Azure cloud services.  BizSpark is actually great for an independent artist who wants to do something innovative with technology because many musicians fit the BizSpark criteria:

  • Developing software or apps
  • Less than 5 years old and privately held
  • Making less than US$1M annually

Because Neon’s API is run with Azure API Management, the cost for her to manage and run the API, is basically $0.  Because Neon released an API, new opportunities can open up.  Here is one:

Kinetic Typography

I have had a fascination with Kinetic Typography.  Here is one of my favorite examples is Ira Glass talking about the creative process:

I like Kinetic Typography so much, I built an app for Windows to create it.  One of the reasons that I created it was to learn about how to use CSS Animations – it turns out you can do all sorts of things with CSS Animation today in any modern browser.

Since I released the app last year, I have added audio from NASA and words from some of my favorite poems, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol and Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  I just released an update to the app which uses the Neon API to let her fans create kinetic typography videos with her songs which she released with a Creative Commons License

Now make your own Neon Hitch Lyric Videos!

Get Kinetic Typography today for Windows 8.1: it’s free!

I’d love to see what people create with this – please post here if you make something cool with Kinetic Typography.