Rdio engineering recently held its fifth quarterly Hack Day. Our software team got to take some time to work on whatever product and feature they wanted to, or create some standalone web apps using the Rdio API. We’re really excited to share a few of these great accomplishments. Think you’ve got a great idea for next Hack Day and the engineering chops to build it? Rdio is hiring!
Ian Gilman, Devin Sevilla, and Kevin Nelson took some initial steps towards creating a web-based Rdio listening room that allowed users to chat and add songs to a collective queue while they all listened to the same music. Although it isn’t ready for the spotlight yet, you can check out their source code here.
Ian Gilman also partnered with Geoff Koops from the Rdio design team to collaborate on two hacks focusing on the visual presentation of album art. The first lets you search for a keyword and displays art from albums matching that keyword, masked in the text you searched. The second sorts album art by color, creating a rainbow spectrum of music.
Matt Erkkila created an analytics tool that shows you acts similar to an artist based on what other Rdio listeners who had listened to that artist played in the last month.
Ian Vonseggern created a geo mapping visualization which displays the popularity of a specific track over time via a heat map of the world. This shows how a new song gained popularity in one region and slowly spread to other countries.
Dana Powers from Rdio’s legal team contributed a guest hack. He created some new internal reporting tools that allow us to generate many different kinds of graphs showing a breakdown of play reporting by categories such as label partners.
Rob Ferguson opened up part of our integration with The Echo Nest which drives much of Rdio’s radio station features. Using Rob’s hack allows you to input a session ID generated from The Echo Nest with a specific genre query (such as “high BPM heavy metal”) and create a station based on that genre with Rdio.
Brian Ferrell also tapped into The Echo Nest to create a playlist creation wizard. By first adding a handful of tracks to a playlist, you can auto complete the mix with similar artists and songs with the click of a button.
Ron Buell spent some time diagramming and documenting one of Rdio’s core backend systems, which we dub Everyburger. Everyburger is Rdio’s proprietary Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse system. It tracks events like playing a song, updating a playlist, and other activity on Rdio and parses them in Erlang. In combination with VDB, MySQL and Redis, these events are scrobbled and used to show your history page and recent activity feed in the Rdio app, among other things.
Rebecca Stecker investigated modifying the Rdio HTML presentation layer to add accessibility features to Rdio so that it could be more friendly to screen reading software.
Jimmy O’Neill added some Rdio shortcuts and integration into the Alfred desktop app for OSX. Alfred provides similar functionality to spotlight with some added features. Jimmy’s hack allows you to skip, add to Collection, and a number of other operations with a few quick keystrokes.
Matt Carroll added a feature that allows you to eliminate new release notifications from specific artists that are in your collection.
Adam Lickel improved our mobile apps so that they include artist bio pages and related artist pages. Try this graduated hack for yourself — download the iOS update here.
Patrick Tuckey worked on adding a volume control to our much loved remote control feature which allows you to control Rdio playback on your web or desktop app from a mobile device and vice versa.
Raul Agrait added an improved sharing feature into the Rdio iOS app that lets you directly share a playlist, artist, or track directly with your Rdio followers. This hack should be coming soon to the iOS and Android apps so keep an eye out!