How we built an App in just 3 days

Ramon and I designed and coded Move to Apple — an easy way to import all your music from Spotify to Apple Music — in a weekend. Here’s how it went.

It was a Thursday night at 8pm. I remember getting a text from my friend Ramon saying “we got to do this”, and I replied “sure thing”.

The Beginning

Apple Music had just launched two weeks before, and Ramon got his first thought: “I want to import all my songs from Spotify into Apple Music to check it out.” Unfortunately, there was nothing available to help him do that.

So he decided to develop a simple script and put on his website for people to download. Surprisingly, they were downloading and using the script, even though it was tricky to get it working in this early iteration. That’s when he realized there was something there. It was an idea really worth exploring further. So he grabbed me to help design and flesh it out as a full app.

The Process

Apple didn’t release an API to grant us permission to “write” users’ songs on iTunes. Ramon (A.K.A Ninja) found an elegant way to intercept iTunes and add songs into the user’s profile.

We spent 3 nights in a row working really hard, from Friday to Sunday, and BOOM — on Monday morning Move to Apple was live and running.

First version of the Move to Apple.

Ramon and I have been working together since we were teenagers in our first digital agency job back in Brazil. We used to spend our afternoons drinking Coca Cola in our flip-flops while doing awesome websites.

Ramon and I working at my house (I'm the handsome one)

The Marketing

OK. The app was done. But now we needed to promote it!

We immediately started posting on our social networks for friends and followers to download. A few days later I woke up with a simple visual idea for the website: 2 phones on a table; Spotify on one phone and Apple Music on the other. So I went to a coffee shop close to work, got a cup of Iced Latte (who doesn’t love to listen to music while drinking coffee?) and just took some photos. YES, I liked the result, one more thing done!

I also remember grabbing a colleague at work and asking him to do the voice over for the video we were producing. He accepted, and everything came together in the end.

One of the attempts to get the hero shot.

Why It Worked

Timing was never a problem for us. Even though I don’t think we launched the best app in the world, at least we put a Minimum Viable Product out there really soon. We’ve learned so much because we both have full-time jobs and were doing everything in our free time.

And to be honest I think that’s the main reason why the app ended up working. We didn’t care so much if all the minute details were right, but we cared if the overall product was clear enough so people could start using right away; and robust enough that it would work reliably and live up to the expectations. We could add all the other fancy pieces later as the world started using it.

Happy End

We were happy working in digital agencies and now we both ended up moving to product companies. Ramon actually moved to Apple in Cupertino (what an irony huh?) and I moved to NYC to join Squarespace.

You can download the app at www.movetoapple.com