To review the most common questions asked about Amazon Creator, see the Frequently Asked Questions. The following questions aren't as frequently asked but are still worth noting.
- Q: As I signed up for a YouTube API Key, some of the options were confusing. For example, "Where will you be calling the API from?" I’m also given the option to restrict the key. Should I do that? what do I select for "What data will you be accessing?" Is simple API access needed only? or do I need OAUTH 2.0 access?
- You don't need to worry about these options. See the tutorial in the Amazon Creator documentation here: Get the YouTube Developer API Key. This tutorial provides the simplest approach to getting a key.
- Q: Do I create my app once and then just update the content in YouTube? Do I have to keep creating/publishing my app each time I have an update?
- Your app's content (videos, titles, descriptions, navigation bar sections/categories) will dynamically update each time the app starts based on updates to your YouTube channel, MRSS feed, or Brightcove application. However, to update your app descriptions and metadata (used to promote your app in the Amazon Appstore), which you completed during the publishing process, you will need to make edits in Amazon Creator and publish your app again. The new version will need to be approved. See Update Your Live App for more details.
- Q: How often does the app pull in updates from YouTube data?
- The app's content updates each time you start the app. The app content will not update on the fly while the app is open, so if you want to see updates, you need to close the app and re-launch it. If you restart the app and don't see the updates, clear your browser's cache (or launch the preview in an Incognito/Private window).
- Q: Is internationalization supported?
- Yes, see more detail in localizing your app. If you're using YouTube, you can have one app per language per marketplace. Marketplaces where you can localize your app include United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, and India. When you localize your app, you will have a single app in the Appstore shown for the designated marketplace. Localization is not supported for MRSS feeds.
- Q: What’s the difference between a YouTube channel versus a playlist versus just a YouTube account?
- All YouTube accounts have a channel by default. The channel is the space that arranges and presents your uploaded videos on YouTube. You can organize your channel with various playlists. You can then assign the playlists to different sections within your YouTube channel. You can also create multiple channels within the same YouTube account. See Use a YouTube Channel to Configure Amazon Creator for more details in working with YouTube.
- Q: Can you load more than 1 MRSS feed?
- No, you can load only 1 MRSS feed per app.
- Q: Are iTunes tags supported in the MRSS feeds?
- Yes, if your MRSS feed contains iTunes namespace tags, they will be read by Amazon Creator when you create your app. After you enter your feed, Amazon Creator shows you how the feed elements get mapped in the app. In the mapping preview, only the first item in your feed is mapped. But when you preview or publish your app, you will see the other feed items mapped.
- Q: Is there an easy/recommended way to create an MRSS feed? What might be the advantages of having an MRSS feed versus the YouTube channel approach?
- Often if you have your videos with an online video provider (such as Brightcove, Ooyala, Kaltura, or others), the host will usually provide an MRSS feed for your videos. You can also create an MRSS feed yourself either manually or programmatically (see the Jekll project referenced in the MRSS topic). MRSS feeds make sense if your content isn't on YouTube. Some people prefer to avoid YouTube because they want more control over their video content.
App Appearance and Style
- Q: How do I change my logo?
- You change the app logo using the visual editor in the sidebar when you preview your app. Click the
in the Logo section and upload a 500x500px icon. For the sake of consistency, your the logo inside your app should match the same app logo you upload in the image assets section when you Publish Your App (but this consistency isn't enforced).
- Q: Can I upload my own font?
- No, currently only two font "themes" are supported: Light and Dark. The current fonts ensure readability of the text in your app and are designed to work well with the other Amazon Creator elements.
- Q: Why do the thumbnail images in the carousel have black bars surrounding the image?
- With YouTube video sources, the thumbnails that YouTube serves up from the API include the black bars by default.
- Q: Can I show a different row as primary for different users?
- No, you can't personalize the options in the category navigation bar based on the type of user. If you need to localize your app for different locales, see Localize Your App. You also cannot associate different themes for different categories in the navigation bar.
- Q: How will my videos be sorted?
- The video sort order is based on your YouTube channel edit dates (with latest edited videos appearing first) or based on the item order in your MRSS feed. This means if you edit a video that you first published a decade ago, that video will appear first in the Latest category.
- Q: What does the "Latest" option refer to in the category navigation bar?
- Latest shows the 50 most recent videos uploaded to your channel. Latest sorts the videos by the time the video was last updated. The most recently updated videos appear first.
- Q: Can I link outside the app? For example, link to a membership or to buy a product?
- No, you can't link outside the app. However, you could put a short URL in a video description, which users could then go to manually (by typing it into their computers as they read the link on your media description).
- Q: Can we do any kind of A/B testing with our apps?
- No, you can't do A/B testing. But you can share a preview of your app. You can create and save different themes using the visual editor. After getting feedback on one theme, you can update your app to a different theme and share a preview with that theme. But you can't share multiple themes simultaneously or let users toggle different themes.
- Q: How do I adjust the About page?
- You can't change the About page. This page is legally required if you're using YouTube as a data source.
- Q: Will Fire TV automatically select the highest resolution of the content?
- Yes, for users who have a Fire TV Stick that automatically selects video quality based on available bandwidth, the highest resolution will be automatically selected (unless a user specifically selects a lower resolution).
- Q: Do you support HLS (HTTP live streaming)?
- If your video content contains streaming media, it will appear in your app. However, there's nothing to indicate live versus video-on-demand content in the app interface. Note that when you're configuring your app in Amazon Creator, the browser preview plays HLS content fine as long as you use Safari, since Safari natively supports HLS (whereas other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, do not support HLS without extensions).
- Q: How do I set up multiple apps or playlists?
- As a best practice, assign one playlist per section in your YouTube channel. See Group Videos into Playlists in Your App's Category Navigation Bar for details. Some of the content options for YouTube sections will be ignored by Fire TV.
- Q: Can I send recommendations to the Recommended By Your Apps row?
- No, apps created with Amazon Creator do not send recommendations to the Fire TV home screen.
App Submission, Approval and Post-Launch
- Q: How should I rate my content if I have beer in the video?
- If alcohol consumption is present in your content, you can indicate this in the Subject Matter options when you publish your app.
- Q: What is looked for in the app approval process?
- On a technical level, make sure that content loads with each selection in the category navigation bar. On a content level, make sure your content conforms to Amazon's content policy requirements.
- Q: Can users find my video in search? How do I get my content included in the Amazon Catalog?
- When users search for your app on Fire TV (either using voice or global text search), your app can surface in the results based on the app's title, the app's keywords, or the app's description. However, your app's content will not be integrated into the Amazon Catalog. (Catalog ingestion allows search results to surface content items from inside your app, not just your app title.)
- Q: Can I publish the same web app I build with Amazon Creator to Google Play?
- No, apps built with Amazon Creator are compatible only with Fire TV.
- Q: How many Amazon Creator apps can I create?
- You can create as many apps as you want. However, you may run into a limit on the number of apps you can publish per day.
- Q: How best can I manage my app?
- As a best practice, manage your Amazon Creator app entirely through the Amazon Creator site. Information flows one way only — updates you make in Amazon Creator flow into the Developer Portal, but any updates you make in the Developer Portal do not flow back into Amazon Creator. If you modify your app details (for example, updating descriptions, images, or other metadata) from within the Developer Portal, your app in Amazon Creator will not reflect those changes. Updates you submit from Amazon Creator will always overwrite any changes you made in the Developer Portal. See Update Your Live App for details. Also note that Amazon Creator apps are required to be free.