Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Barcode Scanning Progress

I have my Amazon Associate Account and I've got some code in development that is able to retrieve the movie title based on the UPC on the back of the DVD.

Here are some of my challenges:
  1. The Amazon lookup for UPC only returns the title. I need to find a different one, or get the Amazon ID and perform a second, more detailed, lookup for rating and movie thumbnail.
  2. All Amazon lookup requests need told if it's a DVD or Game which means the UI will need to have that Option.
  3. I need to work out a good and fast XML parsing method. I'm using JAX right now and it works, I want to make sure that's the right thing to do.
I'll keep plugging away at the API documentation and the Google news groups for issue 1.

As for issue 2, I'm thinking of implementing the scanning in a way that you store the UPC and can perform the lookup on demand in the Movie Edit screen. That way, you can specify DVD/Blu-Ray and select "Lookup" from the menu.

I want this to be simple because I have people emailing me telling me they have 400 to 1000 movies and at 10 seconds a movie, they could be using my application for 3 years straight before they can put it down. I'm hoping for no more than 3 steps, preferably 2.

Issue 3 shouldn't be a problem, I just don't want to finalize the code until I'm sure I took the best "mobile phone" appropriate approach.

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