A few years ago I put together a little tool to help assemble RSS feeds of Amazon products called the Amazon RSS Feed-Builder
. I've been using feeds generated with this tool for about three years, tracking the latest books, music, and DVDs across series and artists that I like. Because publishers often announce books to Amazon well in advance, I know about new books in the Hacks Series
well before O'Reilly announces the books on their own website. Amazon also offers pre-built feeds on their Amazon Syndication
These old-style Amazon feeds have worked well at alerting me about new products, but they are fairly limited. I just see the title, the author, and a price in my newsreader. I decided to upgrade my Amazon feeds so each item includes a product image (if available), a product description, and product details. And I figured if I was going to go through the trouble of upgrading my feeds, why not just upgrade the Amazon RSS Feed-Builder? So here's the new thing:
Amazon Feed Generator
It's hot off the assembly line today, and I'm sure there are bugs to be worked out. (It's also powered by orange gradients.) If you want to give it a shot, feel free to try it out and post any comments/problems on this post. As an example, here are the latest books in a Polar Exploration Feed
. I subscribe to this feed, and I'm notified whenever new books about polar exploration show up in Amazon's catalog.
This uses the latest version of Amazon Web Services
, with a custom stylesheet
and Amazon's server-side XSLT service. And I want to say thanks to Alan Taylor for his recent article subtitled, AMZN-XSLT-JSON-AJAX (AXJA?)
. His stylesheet is a perfect example of consuming the new, more-complex AWS responses with XSL.