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Music Hack Day London: Spotify Hacks & More

Cloudchamber_previewMusic Hack Day London took place December 3 and 4 resulting in the usual mix of stuff that didn't work, stuff that kind of worked, stuff that worked but was just for fun and stuff that's clearly headed for market at a future date. Spotify's efforts to further open its API were richly rewarded with numerous hacks built using Spotify in one form or another. Sounds like another fun event that again reminds us that opening up one's data can put one in the forefront of shifts in music and technology.

Music Hack Day London 2011 was not just a good look for Spotify. Hacks also made use of the popular EMI API powered by Echo Nest and both SoundCloud and Last.fm made regular appearances.

Kinect, Webdoc and MuseScore all appeared more than once in hacks. Github, Heroku's Cloud App Platform and Google's Chrome browser were popular services.

Mashups of APIs and hacks inspired by mashing up the ideas behind multiple services remained popular. Owl Octave seems to be the media coverage winner, viewable at owloctave.com, using SoundCloud for audio hosting and owl sounds from The Owl Pages to create a playable keyboard. However, I haven't had success getting any sounds out of it.

Here are some hacks that caught my attention:

Helimin at the Music Hack Day London

  • Helimin
    • Toy "Helicopter + Theremin = The world's most irritating instrument."
  • Spotify Picture Show
    • "This is a SpotifyApp. While you are listening to music, this app shows you a nifty slideshow of images of the artist." Demo video.
  • Bring on the Wall
    • "A game to test your knowledge of your friends' music tastes" using Facebook. I lost! Try it here.
  • MusicHackTee
    • "An interactive musical tshirt...a script that allows a LilyPad Arduino to use its pads as a musical keyboard...The piece uses e-textiles and sewable conductive thread rather than wires to conduct voltage and signal."
    • Pic 1 ~ Pic 2 ~ Related Projects
  • CloudChamber
    • "Hear your SoundCloud tracks played back in the Reverb Chamber at the National Physical Laboratory." It was offline when I checked it out but apparently it records a new track as part of the process.

Next up is Music Hack Day Cannes in late January at MIDEM. This could easily be a breakthrough event for those seeking to interface the old school music industry with new school music technology.

More: Standout Hacks from Music Hack Day Boston 2011

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.