// Internet Duct Tape

How to Get an RSS Feed for your XBOX 360 Gamertag

Hacking RSS with Yahoo Pipes

My geek want of the day is getting an RSS feed of my Xbox 360 game activity so that I can use it with lifestreaming services. For once I’m not the only person who feels this need. There’s at least two of us! :)

badger-tweet.png

I’m not sure why Microsoft doesn’t make an RSS feed of your Xbox Live activity available. The information is all there, they publish it as a gamercard. But they don’t give you access to the raw data to do with as you please unless you’re a member of the Xbox Community Developers Program. Here are the various ways you can access your Xbox 360 Gamercard to use with other websites.

Method 1: Embed Gamercard as an Image

By far the easiest way to display your Xbox 360 info is by using a Gamercard image. You can embed the image or flash in your web site and it’ll display in real time. There’s also a WordPress plugin that uses a slightly hacky method of using regular expressions on the official Xbox gamercard.

Method 2: Facebook App

Xbox 360 Live Gamercard is a Facebook app that will give you all the info right on your page.

…will show you what games you play along with your Gamerscore and achievements for each game. A few times a day, your Gamercard will be updated and your new achievements published to the news feed for all of your friends to marvel at through our use of exclusive Xbox Live APIs. See who your friends are on Xbox Live and there is also a leaderboard. Enjoy.

It works for Xbox 360, Games for Windows and Live Anywhere. Your profile will show your latest games, how many achievements you have got in each, and you can compare games with your friends.

Here’s an example of Modern Life Is Rubbish‘s gamertag:

xbox-360-live-gamertag.png

There are other FB apps that do the same thing like Xbox Live Express.

Method 3: Broadcast your Xbox 360 Status to Twitter

Duncan MacKenzie has written a Windows app for broadcasting your Xbox activity to Twitter. You install it on your computer, put in your Xbox gamertag and Twitter username/password and it’ll update Twitter with your Xbox activity.

Method 4: SOAP/REST APIs!

Duncan earns huge geek points in my book for putting up SOAP/REST APIs to the Xbox gamertag info. This is what Microsoft should have made available and in my books it underlines everything that’s wrong the M$.

He explains where he gets the information from:

It is not from scraping and it is not from any publicly available source. I joined the Xbox Community Developer Program (XCDP), which is an official program designed to support folks who are building community sites (forums, reviews, blogs, etc…) around Xbox related topics.

Many folks who want Xbox info, are not working on a large site like the people in the XCDP, which is exactly why I created my service. This way, people who are building a small tool or script, most likely to be used by a small number of folks, can have access to some well formed and easy to use data.

What if you would qualify for the XCDP? Well, at the moment I don’t have any direct link for you, but I’ll ask around to see if I can find a link or a contact for anyone may qualify and would like to sign up….

Method 5: Yahoo Pipe RSS Feed

Because Duncan was awesome enough to provide a REST API for the Xbox 360, I was able to create some pipes for converting that information to an RSS feed. You can use it with lifestreaming apps like Friend Feed until they get access to the developer program and are able to officially support the Xbox 360.

friendfeed-xbox360-info.png

The RSS feed includes your gamerscore and achivements in the description, as well as a thumbnail of the game. The links point to your Xbox.com Live profile so people can compare games with you.

xbox-360-gamertag-rssfeed.png

I’ve put together two different pipes

  1. Displays your Gamertag in the feed title, and links to your Xbox.com Live profile
  2. Does not display your Gamertag and does not link to your Xbox.com Live profile (more private)

Click on the link you want, enter your gamertag and run the pipe. Then click on More options and Get as RSS.

46 Responses

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  1. [...] How to Get an RSS Feed for your XBOX 360 Gamertag [...]

  2. Dan Thornton said, on April 01, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Wow! Who knew was a simple twitter message of mine could provoke!

    Really useful and helpful post, and one I’ve made sure I’m bookmarked etc for future reference, as my Xbox Live social life is as important as Twitter/blogging etc.

    The only downside is it means I can never play Xbox if I’m having a sick day off work!!!

    Again, great post!
    Dan/Badger Gravling…

  3. [...] How to Get an RSS Feed for your XBOX 360 Gamertag My geek want of the day is getting an RSS feed of my Xbox 360 game activity so that I can use it with lifestreaming services. For once I’m not the only person who feels this need. There’s at least two of us! (tags: internetducttape.com 2008 mes3 dia1 at_tecp RSS ***** XBox webservices mashup) [...]

  4. [...] I won’t even pretend to understand much of what this tutorial post by Eric (aka //engtech) over at The Internet Duct Tape does, other than show the way you can have your [...]

  5. [...] Add XBOX 360 Gamertags [...]

  6. rijit said, on April 01, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    The 360 Voice blog (http://www.360voice.com/) for your Xbox 360 should have definitely been mentioned in this post… a daily blog feed from the site about what your Xbox did today is cool, specially since the “voice” the blog takes is that of your Xbox. They also have a few APIs available for use from Live as well. You can check out the 360 voice forums at http://www.360voice.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=10 for what is available.

  7. rijit said, on April 01, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Eh, A slight correction from my last post… the APIs that 360voice.com offers is from their site but you can still get quite a bit of information about your gaming from their once you have signed up.

  8. engtech said, on April 01, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    @ rijit:

    Thanks for the link to 360voice.com. I hadn’t found it in my research.

  9. XBox Live Ticker « Nyvision said, on April 02, 2008 at 3:38 am

    [...] diese und andere Mglichkeiten bin ber diesen Blogeintrag [...]

  10. engtech said, on April 02, 2008 at 9:54 am

    If the Xbox Live to Twitter app doesn’t work for you, here’s an alternate one that will:

    http://geekswithblogs.net/hinshelm/archive/2008/01/04/xbox-live-to-twitter.aspx

  11. [...] Duct Tape has a great instruction manual on how to make your Xbox Gamertag Twitter itself, or Yahoo itself, etc. My geek want of the day is [...]

  12. Cat said, on April 02, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Very good post showing the alternatives. :)

    And I can only agree with the Facebook application, I’ve been using it for a while and it’s simple comparing yourself to other friends with it.

  13. TheChrisD said, on April 03, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Glad to see that there are plenty of options available.

    One bad thing I must say though – how can you endorse that load of crap that people have the nerve to call a Facebook app? It’s creator still seems to think that he owns the only application of it’s type on Facebook

    There’s a pretty decent alternative available, which is a lot more scalable and user-friendly: http://apps.facebook.com/xboxliveexpress/

  14. engtech said, on April 03, 2008 at 11:52 am

    @ TheChrisD:

    The app I featured has around ~1450 daily users, when other Xbox Live Facebook apps have around ~50 daily users or less.

    Which one would you have blogged about?

  15. Morbus Iff said, on April 03, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I’m not entirely impressed with any of these, for the sole reason that they don’t tell you WHAT achievement you’ve just unlocked. It’s not useful to me to know that you’ve “unlocked 3 achievements in Frogger” – I want to know *which* ones you’ve unlocked. In effect, I want an RSS feed for actual achievements, not for per-game statistics.

    Sadly, I had this once, before Microsoft changed their sites to autoexpire sessions and some other crazy crap that happened within the last three months. I used an Automator application to download all the “compareTo” URLs for me, and then a Perl script to parse them all out into a large achievements table in HTML. You can see the original Perl script here:

    http://www.disobey.com/detergent/code/x360a.pl

    The Automator app was never published (since it was OS X specific) but it’s irrelevant now – it doesn’t appear that Safari, when Automated, can properly login to Xbox.com – the downloading of the per-game achievement pages always returns with a login-required screen or a general error. I’ve yet to find an alternative for getting the achievement pages – no amount of Firefox automation, lynx/wget/curl tweaking, or what have you, has gotten past their most recent changes.

  16. engtech said, on April 03, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    @ Morbus Iff:

    I hear you. I don’t know wtf is up with them when it comes to not having open APIs to this information. It’s one of those colossal “they just don’t get it” indications like how they didn’t understand the Internet back in ’95.

    Unfortunately Duncan’s republishing of the Developer Program APIs doesn’t seem to include achievements either.

  17. Morbus Iff said, on April 03, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Yeah, to be honest, I think I had found Duncan’s stuff before, and had used that to make the general assumption that the particular breed of data I’m looking for doesn’t exist (there’s a note to this effect in the generated HTML of my script, above). That’s why I ended up doing the spidering/scraping script (again, above). It worked great up until a few months ago, but I just haven’t figured out how to workaround their latest changes.

  18. TheChrisD said, on April 03, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    In response to engtech (comment #128350):

    The app may have many more users, but it’s probably because it always shows up at the top of search results, and most people would take it straight away instead of looking for alternatives.

    Had I been writing, I would have referenced the Xbox Live Express application.
    It’s a lot cleaner than the other application, and a lot more community oriented, featuring the ability to include the user’s latest 360Voice blog. Sure, it may not have as many active users, but it’s probably because not that many people have actually noticed it in the search results.

    I once tried the app you mentioned, and found it horrible to use. Attempting to change settings was near impossible given how many ads they were hidden under…

  19. Your XBox Live Activity as an RSS Feed said, on April 09, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    [...] are a number of ways to broadcast your XBox Live activity, one of the more interesting of which is a method for producing an RSS feed using Yahoo! Pipes. [...]

  20. [...] a blog based on your gaming habits.  Even more brilliant is the Yahoo Pipe feed created by Eric at Internetducttape.com, which creates an RSS feed of all of your Xbox 360 activities.  Imagine signing onto Xbox Live and [...]

  21. [...] I log in today, check my replies, and the first one I see is from Engtech. And it’s a hugely comprehensive guide to how to effectively RSS your XBox Live info, quoting me! Find out how to integrate and RSS your XBox Live information, here. [...]

  22. Richman said, on May 29, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Im unsure on how to make this work all i really want to do with it is to make a xml file to display what the gamertag is currently doing

  23. [...] How to Get an RSS Feed for your XBOX 360 Gamertag. Yahoo pipes FTW! [...]

  24. Matthew said, on June 23, 2008 at 5:16 am

    Thanks very much for the Xbox Live RSS feed Yahoo Pipes goodness. You rock!

  25. Jim said, on July 13, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I am having difficulty creating a proper RSS feed with this for my gamertag (jj flattery ii). When it first generates my list everything is in correct order but when I attempt to change it into an RSS feed it seems to think that “Playing Saints Row Mar 16, ’25, 8:56 AM” is my most recent action on XBL. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thank You,

    Jim

  26. [...] until they get access to the developer program and are able to officially support the Xbox 360. #Yahoo pipes FTW! My Xbox Live status is also now on my lifestream page and I have updated my Full [...]

  27. rap said, on September 21, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks very much for the Xbox Live RSS feed Yahoo Pipes goodness.

  28. Mecandes said, on September 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

    What I’d love to see is an RSS feed which just shows when a new Achievement is earned; is that possible with this Yahoo Pipes method?

    [GamerTag] earned the “[Achievement Name]” achievement in [Game Name].

    I don’t want to bore folks with everything I do on Xbox — I just want to brag when I’ve earned an achievement. ;)

  29. [...] InternetDuctTape.Com created a Yahoo! Pipe that scrapes your XBOX Live account and then RSS-ifies it. Just visit the Pipe, put [...]

  30. [...] until they get access to the developer program and are able to officially support the Xbox 360. #Yahoo pipes FTW! My Xbox Live status is also now on my lifestream page and I have updated my Full [...]

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