Welcome to the first post in a series spotlighting the cool apps developers are creating with Magnet Message! Today we feature Story Teller —a recent Hackathon First Prize winner at Integrate 2015 in Santa Clara, California and Second Place winner in our latest DevPost Challenge. Created by software engineer Anthony Alayo and a few colleagues at Nvidia, the prizewinning app is a next-generation replacement for those old-fashioned audio players used for self-touring museums, zoos and other attractions. It uses Magnet Message to record up to 90 seconds of audio and video at any location, associate it with a channel by tagging it with location, anstore it for later retrieval.
Think this is a great way to experience a locale without getting off the couch? Not so fast, says Alayo. “We want the app to encourage exploration and discovery, not just inform. We want people to get out there. So you can only record content about a place when you’re at that place—and the same goes for retrieval.”
Yes, you have to go there to see what others have said, heard and seen. And, so you’ll know where to head, Alayo and team developed an “Explorer view” that lets you search for locations with associated StoryTeller content. And channels (enabled by Magnet Message’s built-in tagging capabilities) that help classify the content. That means anyone can see there’s a story, on some topic, waiting to be heard or seen, at a specific place. But they’ll still have to go to that place to hear or see the story.
StoryTeller runs on iOS, using native iOS libraries—and, of course, Magnet Message. Recorded content is stored in the cloud, and the URL of each recording is stored, tagged and tracked as a message in the Magnet Server—keeping the server as light as possible. “This lets us isolate the upload and download of audio and video from Magnet server operation—so everything runs efficiently,” says Alayo. For the app’s early development, the team simply uses the free Magnet sandbox.
What does Alayo like about Magnet Message? Among other things, it’s easy to use, right away. “Too often, it’s difficult to learn how a piece of middleware works,” he explains. “This hasn’t been a problem with Magnet, because its code is so clean, and because it’s well-documented, right there with the code.”
Congratulations, Anthony! We look forward to seeing what else you can do with Magnet. Learn more about their winning app here.