Music Hack Day, Boston & LondonPosted by Lee Porte on November 22nd, 2012 – 3 Comments
The Music Hack Day held in Boston’s MIT Strata Center was one of the biggest ever with close to 65 hacks and a packed room of people from all over the map. When polled, the crowd makeup was about 25% MIT students and the rest a combination of the usual suspects and others that were new to the scene. The MIT student presence seemed to shine as the hackers entered the room to set up with a higher than average number of hardware hacks and very few technical difficulties in the demos. A telling exchange overheard was when the AV guy on hand was told apologetically about some complicated demo connection needed and responded, “this is MIT man, I have set up for robot competitions and stuff, there is not a lot that can surprise me”.
The following week-end Music Hack Day moved across the pond over to UK, Hosted at Facebook’s London offices hackers from all over Europe have built over 40 music hacks.
The Echo Nest’s API was the star of both shows and used in an overwhelming series of genius mashup and remix projects including a number worthy of a whole hour presentation rather than the 5 minutes allowed for demos.
Out of the many
There were too many amazingly creative hacks done, however we were particularly impressed with the following:
Instant Karaoke – This was our favorite hack and they made a great use of 7digital’s search and streaming API functionality.
Description: We’re taking karaoke to the next level with a multi-player game that allows you to do karaoke for ~any~ song. One player presses a button when a word is said, the other one sings along.
Remix Of The Century – Winner of the 7digital prize in London
Description: We’ve taken every number 1 from the Billboard charts since 1890, and made an interactive remix. The end result is eleven minutes of (mostly) beat-matched automated remixing from 1890 to 2012.
Animal Critic – You can’t beat cute animals for viral scalability, winner of a Gracenote prize.
Description: Generated one-sentence reviews of tracks by the most elite reviewers of the animal kingdom. Using NLP techniques to parse reviews from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, and generate brand new sentences!
Tomahawk Facebook Connections – Good concept, clean demo.
Description: Tomahawk already lets you connect to peers over XMPP, ZeroConf, and Twitter. Now, you can easily connect to your Facebook friends to share and stream music, playlists, and more.
Music: The Gathering – Served a practical use and pulled off a difficult demo with few slip ups, winner of a Rdio prize.
Description: A service that manages a running playlist based on the physical proximity of users to a target wireless network. Once a recognized mobile phone joins the network, an Rdio playlist updates with music relevant to that device’s owner. This ensures that everyone’s music is represented equally at any social gathering.
Stash.fm – Very interesting concept, good implementation of ideas with lots of room to grow!
Description: The world’s first “Mobile Music Bookmarking App”
High Five Hero – Very cute demo and looked like a lot of fun.
Description: We used Makey Makey to turn our secret handshake into our own personal soundtrack.
Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere (Man)! – This entertaining hack cheered up the demo sessions crowd in London
Description: Essentially a Google Maps music video, dropping pins on a map of America in sync with Johnny Cash bragging about all the places he’s been.
Uses the MusixMatch API to get timestamped lyrics , look for place names and reverse geocode using Google Maps API, then synchronises the map plots while playing the song using the Toma.HK player.
and finally our very own hack:
Bad Cover Version Quiz – we got more than 30 players from the audience play simultaneously our multi-player quiz game
Description: The greatest bands in the world… and their sound-alikes. Can you tell them apart?
Uses The Echo Nest API to find hotttessst tracks by familiar artists (that are likely to have plenty of cover versions) then searches the 7digital Catalogue API to find the tributes and randomly picks between a cover and an original version