Feb 19 AT 7:40 PM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

Introducing Android Bounty – UPC Torrents

I’m not really one for astrology, but I had some spare time to burn while waiting on the pop-a-lock guy today at lunch.  As we have been planning for this site and adding new features, a lot of crazy ideas have been tossed around.  Some feel almost too big to tackle right away.  Imagine my surprise when I read the following on the DailyHoroscope app for Android.

You’ve been excited about a new project or goal you want to get started on. But you haven’t started it yet — even though you’ve been talking about it for a long time now. And people are starting to wonder if you’re someone who follows through with their promises. It’s time to get going and put your energy into making your ideas a reality. Put things in motion today. Because if you don’t, you could get a reputation for being flaky. Don’t risk it.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.  Android and Me is proud to launch our first promotion we are calling Android Bounty.

Android Bounty is an exciting new idea designed to bring customers the apps they are craving for.  The system is very simple.  Users submit original ideas for apps they would like to have and then pledge money toward the potential developer who will create the app.  Ideas are voted up by other users in the community by the amount of money they pledge.  When a working app is submitted, the dev is then able to claim the bounty.  The dev can release the app however he sees fit, but anyone who pledges will receive a free copy.

The aim of this program is to foster new ideas and push the Android platform to its limits.  With the open source platform of Google Android, anything is possible.  These are some of the benefits participants will be able to enjoy.

Customer Benefits

  • Watch your ideas turn into real apps.  User who submits original idea will receive recognition.
  • Contribute to the development of an app by suggesting features and testing submissions.
  • Receive a free copy of any app you pledge to.

Developer Benefits

  • Review of your app featured on Android and Me.
  • Free web services to market your app, including web design, domain name, and hosting (Courtesy of ClarkLab)
  • Retain full rights to your app to distribute however you see fit.
  • Launch your app with an already engaged user base.

As the project evolves and pick up community support, we will be running several bounties at the same time.  We will place limits on the number of simultaneous ideas until we refine the process.  A separate section will be created on this site that will only feature Android Bounty content.  Now lets reveal our first bounty.

Bounty Name: UPC Torrents

Current Pledge: $90 USD (contact us to pledge more)
Submitted By: Taylor Wimberly
Purpose: A simple app to scan UPCs and match them with torrent files.
Bounty Sponsors: Android and Me, ClarkLab, Backngear (your name here…)

Summary:  Earlier this week we posted a story Torrents and Google Android which explored the current possibilities available to G1 users.  All the pieces already exist for this app to happen; someone just needs to glue them together.  We do not condone piracy; this is mainly a proof of concept app that will encourage the idea for legal purchases.

Getting Started: If you want to try your hand at developing this, use whatever method you want to achieve the requirements.  Here are a few hints for getting started.  To the right you will see a video demonstration of the OilCan app which is just Greasemonkey for the Android Browser.  Using intents, you can insert a button to launch the program Barcode Scanner.  After that all you have to do is parse the results to a torrent search engine and give the user choice over which torrent file to select.  The file can then be transfer to a home PC running the uTorrent client with webUI configured.

Requirements needed to claim Bounty:

  1. Scan DVD UPC and lookup result.
  2. Send result to torrent search engine.
  3. Allow user to select torrent file from their tracker of choice.
  4. Locate torrent file and send to webUI of uTorrent.
  5. No keyboard entry should be required from user.

Anyone wishing to participate in this first Bounty, please contact us or leave a comment.  You can also contact us if you wish to submit an idea for a future Bounty.  We would love to hear your feedback, criticism, suggestions, or praise on anything mentioned here.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://clarklab.net clark

    I’m so excited to finally see this get started, we’ve been kicking the idea around for so long…

  • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

    Thanks to backngear for being our 1st sponsor!

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  • http://clarklab.net clark

    Three pledges in the first day, thanks guys!

  • nEx.Software

    I might be interested in developing this. I’ve installed the WebUI and MiniWebUI and am now looking at what exactly it all involves to accomplish this piece. After that it shouldn’t be too difficult to do a Tracker Search provider.

    • http://clarklab.net clark

      nEx, that sounds awesome! We thought this shouldn’t be too terribly complex because most the pieces already exist, we just needed someone crafty enough to assemble them. Good luck!

  • Roy

    You might want to invent some rules to make sure not the first developer comes around, makes something a bit crappy and walks with your money, leaving the app with no support.
    You could let several developers give it a go and then let the people who payed a certain fee in advance to be the testers of the apps and choose which one is the best and gets the money.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

      Sounds like a good idea. The app does have to be working in order to claim the bounty. If the dev does not wish to continue on the project, we will encourage them to release the source so that others can continue the work.

  • nEx.Software

    Probably a good idea… As much as I’d like to just take the bounty, I think the point of this is to ensure the best app gets developed. Maybe even set up a team of developers if that is the best thing for the situation.

  • vito


  • nEx.Software

    Just a little update: I am making progress, Got Bar Code Scanning, Product Lookup, and Torrent Search pieces working (not perfectly but working none-the-less) but still have lots of work to do. The most important piece, interfacing with the uTorrent WebUI/MiniWebUI, and then the UI to go. Don’t know if I am supposed to be “secretive” about my progress, but it’s a good learning experience for me. I am getting to know more about Android in the process.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

      Thanks for the update! I failed to mention in the article how this could be a good learning experience with Android. If you need help with anything, please let us know.

    • http://clarklab.net clark

      If you need a help with any graphics/buttons for the UI of your app, let me know, I will pitch in on design for free…

  • Vito

    How will you determine which tracker/torrent site to download from? limited options or unlimited possibilities? Hell, either way, I’m excited about this.

    • nEx.Software

      I was thinking of multiple views. with varying sorting and filtering capabilities. There are so many torrent sites out there, and only so many that offer truly usable RSS feeds. I am actually using isohunt as my torrent search engine as it appears to be very complete in offering a search of more than 400 torrent sites in one place. It also offers a very usable search friendly RSS feed, making this piece relatively simple. I plan to include the ability to mark certain torrent sites as “Favorites” and allowing for filtering down to favorite sites. As for graphics/buttons etc… I’m certainly open to UI suggestions as that is not really my strong point. I can make a very usable UI, but when it comes to any sort of style, I often fall short.

  • Alec

    Hmm, damn

    I started developing this app as soon as it came out. Ive gotten fairly far along too (scanning/upc lookup/torrent handling), Im not sure what to do now though as if i finish the application and nEx.Software also finishes his application, who gets the bounty?

    Or should it be a race to the finish or something?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

      Alec, thanks for your comment. When we originally came up with this Bounty idea, the plan was to reward whoever finished first. We thought this would encourage the people working on it to complete the project sooner. At the same time, we would like to get the best working app that we can.

      At this time, no one has submitted any working apps to me. If you both complete a working app, I could award the bounty to both of you since I did not specify in the beginning.

      In the future it may be best to have a tiered bounty, where first working alpha gets a set bounty. Then devs could have the option of teaming up and combining their code for an even better app.

      In summary, keep working on your app. I do not have a working app yet and I would like to see what you can do. I may reward 2 bounties for this first idea and in the future we will make the rules much clearer.

  • nEx.Software

    Alec: All in the spirit of good fun. I’m still a ways off from submitting and so I think it would be good for you to keep along too. Maybe we can even bounce some ideas off of each other – split the bounty, whatever. As I said before, I think this idea is about getting the best app and not necessarily the first app.

  • Alec

    Ah i see

    Okie that is good news, I agree with nEx that if we both manage to produce a working product we should split the bounty.

    Sadly untill i release it to you guys (the pledgee’s) i’d prefer not to discuss my approach. But afterwards we can compare notes ^_^

  • nEx.Software

    No worries, Alec. Perfectly understandable.

  • http://iphone.pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=dd067913baf97e9ae9a77612dd29e737&host=gamhead.no-ip.org&port=16103&password=password&user=admin&renderer=iui#___1__ Ben

    Aww well this is nice to see :)

    Yahoo pipes rock btw lads if ur not already using it…


    .. put this together to deal with the iphone/android -> ISOHunt -> uTorrent (with miniUI) bit

    Thats enough for me, I dont want hoodies in my area seeing Ive got a G1 while Im scanning barcodes, Ill just type it in at home. Killer show-off app though,cant wait :)

    • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

      Yes, it is a ‘show-off’ app. I’m still looking forward to see how it plays out. I think it will grab some attention when its released.

  • other

    Heck yeah its a show off app! Would be one of the most useful show off apps on the phone. Ill be following development here. Rather excited about this one ;)

  • nEx.Software

    Just an update:

    I’m still a bit off. I wasn’t real happy with the results from the isoHunt RSS feed so I switched to the JSON feed. Gotta rework a few things before I get an alpha sent in.

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  • nEx.Software

    Just out of curiosity… Any idea what/when the next Bounty Contest might be?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Admin

      might have something to do with voting/polling. more details coming soon…..

  • Patrick

    Something I think would be helpful once new Bluetooth profiles are introduced is something similar to the Symbian ExtGPS or GPS2BLUE on WinMo.
    Sending GPS signals over Bluetooth, so that you can use them with your laptop, or some other device.

    • D

      I realize this post is a bit late, but I think Patrick’s suggestion of an app similar to GPS2Blue is worth pursuing…

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  • Shatterz

    sooo.. progress on this?

  • dizzlle

    this sounds like an exciting idea…has this app been developed yet?

  • http://Website John Ginsberg

    Contact page isn’t working. I;d like to submit an idea.