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From Rdio Engineering: Rdio Hack Day #1

A couple weeks ago, the Rdio engineers participated in the first ever Rdio Hack Day. Using the Rdio API, they built some incredibly cool features and extensions for New Rdio. We’ll let the engineering team take it away and show off their creations.

On Friday, the Rdio engineers put down their task lists and rolled up their sleeves for the first ever Rdio Hack Day. We put aside our regularly scheduled programming and focused our attention on any project we wanted. We built dream features and spelunked into unexplored coding depths. The results included everything from esoteric visualizations to practical hacks that streamlined that one annoying thing that ruins your coding flow every day. Here’s the rundown on a few choice hacks.


Web Audio API Hacks
With the new Rdio’s flash-free music playback, Google Chrome gives us access to the Web Audio API. Michael Smith built an equalizer that lets you adjust your music’s frequencies. This hack is using bleeding edge browser technology, so you may need to wait a bit until you can pump up the bass on that dance party playlist. Also using the Web Audio API was Brian Ferrell’s visualizer. Brian added basic support for WebGL with the three.js library and ported the brilliant visualization by felixturner into Rdio.

Song Identification Integration
Eugene and Raul integrated Shazam and VCast Song ID with Rdio through email. These services let you use your smartphone to identify a song that is playing through nearby speakers. They used Shazam and VCast Song ID to send a digestible email that would then use Rdio’s API to search for an Rdio library match and add it to your playlist. Now you can have the club’s playlist in the comfort of your own home.

Search Results RSS
When is that new album coming out? Eric Fikus tackled this problem and developed an RSS feed for Rdio search results. Tie it into your favorite feed reader and you’ll get notified as your favorite artist's new album becomes available.


Related/Influencer Artists for Android
Brett and Adam supercharged the artist page on the Rdio for Android app, so you can now view the artist bio, related artists and influential artists.


Jim Fleming made an abstract visualization that shows the play count in real-time for Rdio’s top charts. Matt Erkilla and Jon Klobucar built different map visualizers that shows Rdio activity on a world map.

Roku Screensaver
For all your set-top box fans out there, Ryan Nordman added a screensaver for the Roku. Now your television will show album art from the currently-playing track while saving your plasma screen from burn in. Expect this to be in the next Roku update.

Artist View in Collection
Jesse Dawson implemented an artist view in the new Rdio’s collection pages. It shows you a list of all the artists in your collection with collapsible lists of albums. (This feature is coming soon.)

Pay attention in the coming months, you may see some of these shiny new objects make their way into the product. So what would you have built? What’s your Rdio dream feature? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments.