Matt Coneybeare

MC

Getting a More Accurate Download Count in the Adobe Air Marketplace

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Ambiance for the Desktop was released this week and we got some pretty great reviews about it:

These posts drove tons of traffic to the main Ambiance website where we had thousands of downloads:

This was great news for us and we were expecting to stand out in the Adobe Air Marketplace, but when we checked our download count on the Ambiance product page, there were only a few hundred.

We quickly figured out that Adobe is only counting downloads that are directly from their site in this total, and most of the Ambiance downloads came direct from our website. Even though the files downloaded are exactly the same, the download stats weren’t updating from our site. Here is how we fixed it.

We ran the excellent HTTPScoop to trace all outgoing calls made on our test machine. We then visited the Ambiance product page and clicked download, collecting the 4 http calls that were sent to Adobe during the process.

The last GET was the actual file, the stats GET was for Adobe Analytics of some sort, so we tried the other 2. We ran a simple curl test on the POST call to see if it affected the download count:

We ran this for a few minutes, then checked the Ambiance product page once more and voila! The count went up by the same number of POSTs we sent. Knowing this, we added an onclick to the div that contains our download button on our website:

Now, whenever anybody downloads from the Ambiance website directly, or downloads from the Ambiance product page, the download count will accurately increment by 1.

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My name is Matt Coneybeare, I design and develop for iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch), Mac OS X and the Web out of New York. In 2008 I started a software company called Urban Apps that has made some pretty popular apps such as Ambiance and Hourly News. My current Stack Overflow reputation is about 27k.

I was a Rockstar a decade ago, but then went back to school and collected a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. Now I am settled down with my beautiful wife Di and our two doggies Hamachi and Foxy. While coding, I walk several miles/day on my Treadmill Desk. When not at my desk, I love exploring New York City as a Yelp Elite, or training for marathons.

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