The Amsterdam chapter of Music Hack Day has been going strong for a while now. This weekend marked the fourth annual event, and as always, the environment and the hacks were nothing short of inspiring. People worked on formant synthesizers, web audio and web MIDI synthesizers. The Axoloti project, which was started at the first MHD Amsterdam showed off some great DIY hardware tricks, and one team even hacked together a bunch of digitally controlled actuators for a trumpet. You can check out the full list of hacks on Hacker League (link at the bottom), but before you do, check our our rundown of the hacks built with Rdio.
MiXTee is a service concept that lets you print out t-shirts adorned with your favorite album covers them. Connect to Rdio to grab your favorite playlist, use the MiXTee editor to organize the album art on your shirt, and click “Go” to have a t-shirt printing company print and mail you your shirt. The back of the shirt also has a QR code to point people you encounter on the street over to your playlist. Winner, best use of the Rdio API
lyrics sun burst
A mashup between Rdio and musiXmatch, Lyrics Sunburst provides a new way to visualize the lyrics to whatever you’re listening to at the moment. Verses and stanzas are organized radially in a sunburst, while the current line shows on the right.
Have you ever wished you could shuffle Rdio’s entire catalog? Well, you’re in luck, because Epic Shuffle is an iPhone app that does exactly that! Using a cryptographically safe random number generator, the app pumps out a completely random stream of tracks, with absolutely zero guarantee of cohesion from one track to the next.
The Linkfire team is working on a musical web widget / link aggregator for the tweeting and the blogging. For Music Hack Day, they incorporated into their widget the Rdio API for playback, and musiXmatch for lyrics.
See the whole list on Hacker League.
Every quarter Rdio takes two days to let engineering and design team's creative side run wild with an internal hack day. The team builds prototypes in two days, skipping most of our normal engineering process. None of these projects are ready to be deployed but, some of these features may make it onto our road map.
We enjoy these hack days as a chance to work with folks outside our team, in parts of the code we normally don't get a chance to, and exploring crazy silly ideas.
Checkout the list of projects from Rdio Hack Day 10:
iOS 8 Notification Center Widget
Adds an Rdio widget to the new iOS Notification Center. Displays a selection of your recently played albums and stations so you can easily start listening. Also contains a quick launch bar letting you easily jump to You FM, Favorites, Playlists, and Search.
iOS 8 Notification Actions
Added a play notification action so you can start listening without switching applications.
Rather than using Home as your default landing page, lets you pick something else such as Favorites, Trending, or New Releases.
See an inappropriate review on Rdio? This hack added a button to send the review to the support team.
Receive a notifications whenever a track is added to a playlist you're subscribed to.
This hack pre-calculates certain requests before they are needed. This resulted in faster response times when the user actually needed it.
A fresh implementation of the Rdio web client using React, JSX, and ECMAScript 6.
A simple and well designed karaoke player. Search is limited to karaoke albums.
Sometimes you want to sample a song without adding it to your queue. This web client hack lets you preview songs by hovering over artwork in Home, Trending, and New Releases.
Sometimes you want to add multiple tracks to your queue or to a playlist. Works using the standard ctl+click and shift+click actions.
Soundtrack to Right Now
A new Home story that uses your location, the time of day, and the weather to suggest stations to listen to.
Allows you to converse back and forth with your friends when you share content with them.
A system that uses the multi-armed bandit algorithm to run tests.
Launch a fully configured Rdio development environment with a simple
Music Hack Day Berlin just wrapped up last Saturday and it was spectacular. One of the first Music Hack Days was held in Berlin back in 2009. Given the turnout, hopefully, we wont have to wait wait as long for the next one.
The event was hosted at the Axel Springer Plug & Play Accelerator, an appropriately sized venue with walls covered in what can best be called "interesting" graffiti/art. Turnout was impressive with around 200 folks, 80 of which came from outside Germany.
Hacking started Friday morning, went all through the night, and ended mid-day Saturday. Despite the beautiful weather outside, the hackers were persistent! There were a number of great Rdio hacks making the selection of just one winning project quite difficult.
Commit Beat - Site
Looking at recent commits, GitHub user names are compared to Last.fm usernames, allowing you to listen to the tracks fellow developers were listening to at time of commit. Just click on a row to kick off playback via Rdio.
Winner, best use of Rdio API
Winner (tie), audience favorite
Highlights the best parts of your listening history and allows you to listen via Rdio.
A custom recommendation system that builds an evolving station for you to listen to.
Overall the selection of projects had a good blend of software and hardware. Along with all the APIs available folks brought their own instruments, a Seaboard was made available to hackers, a game made, and a number of digital instruments were created. With great projects, great food, and a great staff it was a model Music Hack Day.
The second annual Outside Hacks was hosted this year by Weebly and featured over a hundred developers. Everyone at Outside Hacks set out to improve the festival experience for fans and artists. Looking at the list of projects, I think it was a success!
Even before the hack day started Paul Lamere put together a JSON file of the Outside Lands lineup. This gave developers a jump-start on development by mapping artist names to the IDs of the sponsoring APIs.
RideShare won the overall prize at Outside Hacks with their application that helped fans leaving Outside Lands efficiently share their cars on the trip back home.
We awarded AfterLands the prize for best use of the Rdio API. AfterLands helps you keep the party going by showing you a map of the hottest after-parties. On your way to the party, you can view what music's playing and suggest the music at the parties.
Checkout the full list of projects on Hacker League.
If the camaraderie wasn't enough reward, there were also plenty of prizes for developers to win, including a collection of Lego sets.
Here are the projects that used the Rdio API:
Racio — Site
Compete against your friends and prove your music knowledge. Questions included: name the song, name the artist, and guess the release year. This project used the Rovi API for music metadata. Winner, best use of Rdio API.
Crowdsourced playlist with the ability to vote on tracks with your Pebble watch.
Let the party be the DJ with this collaborative jukebox. The team planned to use the Simplify API to let you attach money to your votes, giving them more weight, but ran out of time.
Outside Hacks returns again this year ahead of Outside Lands. Outside Hacks challenges developers to improve the festival experience for artists and fans. The winners will receive an ultimate Outside Lands experience and have their application promoted at Outside Lands.
Next month we'll be attending Hack Midwest organized by Kansas City IT Professionals. Started in 2008, Kansas City IT Professionals brings together and promotes the local tech community in Kansas City. Follow @HackMidwest for event updates.