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Signs point to impending iLike developer launch

The company, which announced it was working on a developer platform in July, said it appears to be ready to launch the service next week.

It looks like social music site iLike will launch its developer platform early next week.

The Seattle-based company, which announced plans to build a third-party developer platform in July, has begun notifying news outlets that it will have a "significant technology announcement" on Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, iLike's President Hadi Partovi, wrote an e-mail to third-party developers notifying them that the company was "gearing up to prepare for launch" of the platform. According to Partovi's e-mail, the iLike Developer Platform is designed to add "interactive music features to Facebook apps and Web sites."

"We'll open up detailed information very soon," Partovi said in his August 29 e-mail. "In the mean time, we'd love to encourage a few Web sites or (Facebook) apps to be early adopters."

"If you're working on a Web site or Facebook app and are interested, shoot me an e-mail and we'll get you into the early preview. And if you're interested in being referenced as part of our launch and PR efforts, let me know too. We're considering picking a short list of launch partners to promote to our 15mm Facebook users."

An iLike spokeswoman declined to comment.

A source close to the music industry, who requested anonymity, also said that iLike's platform was opening next week.

iLike is making this announcement in conjunction with the Web 2.0 Expo, the O'Reilly Media-organized confab set to hit New York next week. But conferences aside, this is a particularly notable time for iLike, which rose to fame as an application on Facebook's developer platform, to make this move. The News Corp.-owned social network MySpace will be launching its much-anticipated MySpace Music service soon, and has confirmed that on Monday it will be announcing the program's initial brand advertisers.

This is a time when other social music businesses, iLike among them, are scrambling to make their own moves and snag a bit of the limelight. The rapid-fire, competing-announcement phenomenon is something the tech industry saw last spring when the press was barraged with data-portability announcements: Google Friend Connect, MySpace Data Availability, and Facebook Connect all were announced within a week of each other.

Next week, likewise, should shape up to be a big one for digital music. iLike already has a partnership in place with RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service so that members can stream full-length songs, and the company announced this summer that membership has surpassed 30 million users.

CNET News' Caroline McCarthy contributed to this report.