Tag: API

Max Twitter client using ruby

Send and receive Tweets using Max via OSC to a background ruby server.

An advantage of this method is that both the patch and the server are  compact and easy to understand. The Max patch does things in a Max way. And likewise with the ruby scripts.



folder: twitter-ruby


  • twitter-client.maxpat
  • twitter-server-send.rb (for sending Tweets)
  • twitter-server-get.rb (for receiving Tweets)
ruby gems

The ruby script requires installation of the following gems

  • json
  • osc-ruby
  • twitter

For example:

# sudo gem install twitter

Twitter authorization

In addition to having a Twitter account, you will need to set up a Twitter application from the developer site here:


Good instructions on how to do this can be found in this stackoverflow.com post under this heading: So you want to use the Twitter v1.1 API?


When you get to step 5 – in the instructions – instead of writing your own code, just use a text editor to copy your access tokens into these ruby programs:

  • twitter-server-send.rb
  • twitter-server-get.rb

Replace the strings in this line of code by copying and pasting the appropriate ones from your Twitter application:

twitterClient = Twitter::REST::Client.new do |config|
  config.consumer_key = "mqQtoYh16343tDFG3BK7QQ"       
  config.consumer_secret = "X0KexjlK49fhhrnn9EztapZfATCQqWCc5fXVJH2pE"      
  config.oauth_token = "205589709-5krgh9FR3KkLGRDnewiU7GKKBMA6i2La84c"       
  config.oauth_token_secret = "LNARAeooN2vkklkF006GRdihQ5D8YYkm8dYvEs68M"  
Yeah – its cryptic, but trivial compared to writing the ouath code. Just a reminder, if even one letter or quote mark, or anything is out of place, the authorization will fail.


(note: currently running with ruby version 2.0) Display your ruby version by typing: ruby –version

Sending Tweets
  • Open the Max patch: twitter-client.maxpat
  • In a terminal window run the ruby script:
# ./twitter-server-send.rb

  • In the Max patch, type in a Tweet. Press the green button to send. 
  • When you have tweeted enough, end the ruby server program by typing <ctrl-c>
 Receiving Tweets
  • Open the Max patch: twitter-client.maxpat
  • In a terminal window run the ruby script:
  • From Twitter, send a Tweet to the user name embedded in the server
# ./twitter-server-get.rb

Both ruby servers can run at the same time.

What’s next?

  • Parse incoming Tweets into various components
  • Combine the 2 Ruby servers

revision history

  • 5/21/2014 – refactored app names. Added receive server
  • 5/19/2004 – moved to twitter-ruby folder
  • 1/18/2014 – minor fixes to ruby server for current ruby version 2.0
  • 9/7/2013 – uses oauth to communicate directly to Twitter from ruby

Send Tweets with a Little Tikes piano

This project uses the Max fzero~ object to detect which key of the piano gets pressed and send a pre-written Tweet like “Signs point to yellow” based on the color of the key.

It works with the Internet sensors project that sends Tweets from Max using Ruby. http://reactivemusic.net/?p=7013



folder: twitter-ruby


  1. Follow instructions here to send Tweets using Max and Ruby: http://reactivemusic.net/?p=7013
  2. At this point you will have a Max patch open and a Ruby server running in a terminal window.
  3. Now open little-tikes.maxpat
  4. Carefully play individual tones on the Little Tikes piano. 


fzero~ is probably not the best choice for this. It doesn’t work above 2500hz which means it won’t probably distinguish between the lowest and highest key which are an octave apart. In fact the Little-Tikes piano, for a pitched instrument, is difficult to analyze. Due to relatively equal weight of partials to fundamental, and the quick decay. Other choices, would be pitch~ (Jehan) fiddle~ (Pucket…)

I remember seeing an Arduino project where somebody did this in reverse – actually built a motorized striker to play the piano)

… insert link to video here…


Tweet from Max with ruby

Update 6/2014: working version here: http://reactivemusic.net/?p=7013


The zapier.com trigger method of sending tweets from Max is limited by number of tweets and sync rate. So it would be nice to set up another intermediary server program in ruby or php which eliminates the middle-man and just sends tweets directly.

Or you could use the mxj searchTweet program, which has been updated to do this on the search side.

twitter gem

update: Got it working with this gem: https://github.com/sferik/twitter. Its much easier than dealing with xively.

docs: http://rdoc.info/gems/twitter

how to destroy a tweet: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10640811/twitter-gem-how-to-get-the-id-of-a-new-tweet

how to get a timeline: http://bobbyprabowo.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/simple-twitter-gem-tutorial/

example of error handling code:

num_attempts = 0
  num_attempts += 1
  retweets = Twitter.retweeted_by_user("sferik")
rescue Twitter::Error::TooManyRequests => error
  if num_attempts <= MAX_ATTEMPTS
    # NOTE: Your process could go to sleep for up to 15 minutes but if you
    # retry any sooner, it will almost certainly fail with the same exception.
    sleep error.rate_limit.reset_in


Another useful SO post: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16618037/twitter-rate-limit-hit-while-requesting-friends-with-ruby-gem/16620639#16620639


How to set up Max Twitter triggers with Xively and Zapier


pachube.com and cosm.com have now changed into xively.com. Also Twitter has migrated to the version 1.1 API. The old method of sending tweets with cosm.com no longer works as of of June 2013.

Here are revised instructions for setting up an intermediary program that allows you to send Tweets from Max/MSP using a xively.com “device” (feed). This setup is required by the tweetCurl patches in the Max/MSP internet sensors project:


Summary: the Max program will issue an http: put request to your xively.com feed with the Tweet text as data. When the data is received it triggers a request to xapier.com which logs into your Twitter account and sends the Tweet. xapier.com handles authentication using Oauth.

1. set up a xively.com account (self explanatory)

2. add a device. From the xively.com home page select “develop” from the “web tools” menu. You’ll get a screen like this one:

Click on +add device. The following screen will appear:

Fill in the fields. The names and choices can be whatever you want.  Then click the “Add Device” box to get the following screen:

Now click on +Add Channel. Fill in the Channel ID field with the name: tweet (as shown below) then click the “save channel” box.

3. Add Trigger. The trigger will link this channel to Twitter. Please follow the instructions here: https://xively.com/dev/tutorials/zapier/


  • You will need to sign up for a free zapier account
  • assign Twitter as your action service for the “zap”
  • For the ‘message’ field of your zap select “body trigger datastream value value”. This will be the actual text of the tweet coming from xively.com
  • limited to 10 tweets per hour
  • when you select twitter as an action in zapier, it will attempt to log you in to do the oauth authentication. If you are already logged into Twitter – make sure its the correct account.
  • zapier will provide you with the URL to insert into the trigger field in your xively.com device.
4. From the xively.com device screen copy the feed-ID and API-key into your Max patch in the appropriate fields.





Tesla vehicle API with Max/MSP


update 12/2013 – see this post for an example of how to display geo-coded data from Max/MSP to Google maps http://reactivemusic.net/?p=8115

original post

This is a reference to some notes. In June, I wrote a Max patch to communicate with my brother David’s Tesla Model S, using an API which runs on Tesla servers and communicates with the car. You can do things like honk horn, flash lights, open doors – and also receive data on speed, position, and battery condition.

Can’t really test the control part of this – without the possibility of causing a car accident in California, but here’s a screen shot of the files. Essentially  I just ran a node server for the API and communicated from Max using Osc.

The last thing I did was to track his return trip from SFO to Santa Cruz and plot points on a map.We will eventually update this prototype to plot data on a Google Map.

Much of the logic was borrowed from the Irish Train mapping project: http://reactivemusic.net/?p=5477