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#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
__author__ = "Alexandru Nedelcu"
__email__ = ""
Simple script for crawling the Android Marketplace.
See this article for details:
python path/to/destination.json_lines
- Google may not allow this for long, you may get your IP blocked
- this will eat several GB of your monthly allocated bandwidth
- I ran this from a VPS in San Franscisco, with good bandwidth and
it still took ~ 5 hours to complete
# we are using eventlet for concurrent requests by means of async I/O
# and greenthreads, see the sample at:
import eventlet
import os
import re
import urllib
import json
import sys
from import urllib2
# using PyQuery for querying retrieved HTML content using CSS3
# selectors (awesome!)
from pyquery import pyquery as pq
class AndroidMarketCrawler(object):
Our Marketplace crawler.
for app in AndroidMarketCrawler(concurrency=10):
# app is a dictionary with the values of a retrieved app
print app['dev_name']
def __init__(self, concurrency=10):
# a green pool is a pool of greenthreads - you're pushing
# tasks to it and they get executed when eventlet's loop is
# active
self.pool = eventlet.GreenPool(concurrency)
# the queue receives URLs to visit
self.queue = eventlet.Queue()
# our root URL, the first to be fetched
# after a fetch of an app is finished, results get pushed in
# this queue
self.results = eventlet.Queue()
# we need to make sure we don't fetch the same URL more than
# once, otherwise the script might never finish
self.seen = set()
# `seen_app_ids` cuts down on fetching apps that have been
# fetched before; it is necessary in addition to `seen`
self.seen_app_ids = set()
# just a counter for statistics
self.failed = 0
# our opener
self.browser = urllib2.build_opener()
self.browser.addheaders.append(('Cookie', 'hlSession2=en'))
def next(self):
Implements the iterator protocol for `AndroidMarketCrawler`
(see usage example above)
# when there are results, then return them even though you've
# got other things to do, too
if not self.results.empty():
return self.results.get()
# as long as there are tasks scheduled in the queue, or as
# long as there are active scripts running ...
while not self.queue.empty() or self.pool.running() != 0:
# gets a new URL from the queue, to be fetched. if the
# queue is empty, then waits until it isn't (eventlet's
# run-loop can continue processing during this wait)
url = eventlet.with_timeout(0.1, self.queue.get, timeout_value='')
# if we have a new URL, then we spawn another green thread for fetching the content
if url:
if url in self.seen: continue
uid = self.get_id(url)
if uid in self.seen_app_ids: continue
self.pool.spawn_n(self.fetch_content, url)
# in case we have results waiting to be served, then
# return
if not self.results.empty():
return self.results.get()
raise StopIteration
def fetch_content(self, url):
Fetches the content of an URL, gets app links from it and
pushes them down the queue. Then parses the content to
determine if it is an app and if it is, then push the parsed
result in the `results` queue for later processing.
This logic is getting executed inside green threads. You
shouldn't spawn new green threads here, as this is not the
parent and trouble may arise.
resp =
except urllib2.HTTPError, ex:
# silently ignores errors, even though the script will not
# block here.
if ex.code == 404:
# this is a slight problem, it shouldn't happen but it
# does sometimes, so keeping tracking is useful to see how
# often it does happen
self.failed += 1
except urllib2.URLError:
self.failed += 1
content =
doc = pq.PyQuery(content)
# we must do our best to ignore pages that are not
# relevant (music, movies, other pages that don't have
# links to apps in them)
if not self.is_page_valid(url, doc):
# I like keeping a log of URLs processed
sys.stderr.write(url + "\n")
# fetches links in this page, by regular expressions.
# we are interested in app links and publisher links.
all_links = [
for a in doc('a')
if'\/(details|developer)[?]', a.attrib.get('href', '')) \
and not'reviewId', a.attrib.get('href', '')) \
and not'accounts\/ServiceLogin', a.attrib.get('href', ''))
# pushing new links down the queue for processing later
for link in all_links:
if not link: continue
# fetches app info from the fetched content, but ONLY in
# case the URL is about an actual app
app_info = self.fetch_app_info(url, doc)
if app_info:
# prevents going to already visited IDs
# we must ignore exceptions as sometimes we don't make the
# best assumptions. Some fields may be missing, the page's
# format can change slightly, etc... when I ran the script
# the first time it froze halfway-through and had to start
# all over again
def is_page_valid(self, url, doc):
This is a hackish method to determine if the visited page is
useful at all.
The big problem is that I cannot infer the type of item I've
got just from the link. Links for audio, movies and apps have
the same format.
`doc` is therefore an instantiated PyQuery document with the
fetched content.
What this buys us is that we can then ignore links from
invalid pages (as movies will tend to link to other movies,
not to other apps).
if url == "":
return True
if url.startswith(""):
return True
if url.startswith(""):
return True
if not'details|developer', url):
return False
if'reviewId', url):
return False
params = self.query_vars(url)
if not params.get('id') and not params.get('pub'):
return False
if'developer', url):
if not (doc('').text() or '').lower().startswith('apps by'):
return False
return True
if not doc('div.apps.details-page'):
return False
if 'Apps' not in doc('.page-content .breadcrumbs a').text():
return False
return True
def fetch_app_info(self, url, doc):
At this point, we are almost sure we have an app, so this
method attempts parsing the content into a dictionary.
We are using PyQuery and CSS3 selectors heavily.
params = self.query_vars(url)
if not params.get('id'): return None
if not doc('div.apps.details-page'): return None
if 'Apps' not in doc('.page-content .breadcrumbs a').text():
return None
app_info = {
'uid': params['id'],
'name': doc('h1.doc-banner-title').text(),
'app_link': self.absolute_url('/details?id=' + params['id']),
'dev_name': doc('a.doc-header-link').text(),
'dev_link': self.absolute_url(doc('a.doc-header-link').attr['href']),
'dev_web_links': list(set([
for a in doc('.doc-overview a')
if a.text and "Visit Developer's Website" in a.text
'dev_emails': list(set([
for a in doc('.doc-overview a')
if a.attrib.get('href', '').startswith('mailto:')
'rating_count': int(re.sub(r'\D+', '', doc('[itemprop=ratingCount]').text() or '0')),
'rating_value': doc('[itemprop=ratingValue]').attr['content'],
'description_html': doc('#doc-original-text').html(),
'users_also_installed': [
for a in doc('[data-analyticsid=users-also-installed] a.common-snippet-title')
'users_also_viewed': [
for a in doc('[data-analyticsid=related] a.common-snippet-title')
match = re.findall(r'.*[\d\.]+', doc('.buy-button-price').text())
if match:
app_info['is_free'] = False
app_info['price'] = match[0]
app_info['is_free'] = True
app_info['price'] = 0
match = [a.text for a in doc('.doc-metadata-list dd a') if 'category' in a.attrib.get('href')]
if match: app_info['category'] = match[0]
match = re.findall('([\d,]+)\s*-\s*([\d,]+)', doc('[itemprop=numDownloads]').text() or '')
if match:
imin, imax = [re.sub(r'\D+', '', m) for m in match[0]]
app_info['installs_min'] = int(imin)
app_info['installs_max'] = int(imax)
return app_info
def get_id(self, url):
Extracts the ID param from a Marketplace URL.
params = self.query_vars(url)
return params.get('id')
def query_vars(self, url):
Parses the query part of an URL. It was faster to implement
this myself, than to find something already available.
v = {}
match = re.findall('[^?]+[?](.*)$', url)
if match:
query = match[0]
parts = query.split('&')
for part in parts:
keyval = [urllib.unquote_plus(i) for i in part.split('=', 1)]
key, val = keyval if len(keyval) == 2 else (keyval[0], '')
v[key] = val
return v
def absolute_url(self, url):
Converts relative URL to a Marketplace absolute URL.
if url and url.startswith('/'):
return "" + url
return url or ''
def __iter__(self):
return self
if __name__ == '__main__':
if len(sys.argv) <= 1:
sys.stderr.write("\nERROR: destination filepath is missing!\n\n")
fh = open(sys.argv[1], 'w')
# we are dumping JSON objects, one on each line (this file will be
# huge, so it's a bad idea to serialize the whole thing as an
# array
for app in AndroidMarketCrawler(concurrency=10):
fh.write(json.dumps(app) + "\n")