At Custom Channels we have our own API for Album Art. Our Album Art API was designed before I got here, it was designed for the single use-case of the Custom Channels standard flash player (i.e. 125×125 gif) and isn’t what you’d call “future proof”.

ANYWAY, we’re revisiting some of the Custom Channels’ site design and one idea I had is to show a handful of recently played albums from a few channels on our homepage. And a 125×125 gif ain’t gonna to cut the mustard!

This brings us to the topic of this post—the Amazon Product Advertising API—Step-by-Step.

This assumes you’ve already got a development environment that runs PHP5.

  • The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is to register for Amazon Web Services
  • After you’ve registered for a AWS account, login to your account and go to the “My Account/Console” pulldown at the top and click, “Security Credentials”
  • Scroll down to “Access Credentials”
    Access Credentials
  • Copy your “Access Key ID”, click “Show” and copy your “Secret Access Key”
  • Go ahead and clone the Amazon ECS PHP Library to your development environment

  • You’ll only be using the file lib/AmazonECS.class.php so copy that wherever you’d like
  • Once you’ve got that file it’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy: The code above will take the argument from the “track” url parameter and search Amazon’s digital music store and output the large-format album art for the top match.