During the keynote, Benioff approached Will.i.am and asked the artist about cloud computing. Will.i.am talked about his dream to work in the cloud in real-time, collaborating with his fans as he creates his music.
Will.i.am may have lofty ambitions but this is the age of mixing and matching services with APIs. That's a theme at Dreamforce. The API is taking center stage. We're seeing Salesforce.com reach out to developers. There's a message here: you can achieve your goal by using aspects of different services to make custom, Web-oriented applications.
Music Makers, Fans and APIs
There are several services that would allow Will.i.am to collaborate in the cloud. We picked the following for the completeness of the platforms and the robustness of the APIs.
Indaba Music allows musicians to network and make music together online. It has more than 500,000 musicians as part of its network. The platform offers tools and services that helps musicians across all aspects of their work and careers.
Souncloud allows anyone to upload music or whatever sounds it may be. They can visualize it and then get feedback from other people. For example, a musician may upload a track and send it to another person. The track may be annotated with comments such as where to add a guitar track. The musician who receives the music may then send it back with additional comments.
Soundcloud also serves as an app platform, and than 100 apps have been built using it. It's this aspect of the service that could allow Will.i.am to collaborate with musicians and then with fans through third-party applications.
Echo Nest is one of the most interesting companies I've come across in exploring how companies use APIs as a focal part of running a business. The service provides a network of APIs for developers to build music applications.
Echo Nest co-founder Brian Whitman wrote a post with a slideshow that pretty much sums up the state of the music world and the important role developers play.
Will.i.am can collaborate with his fans. He would just have to pick the right services and a smart developer team to make it happen.