Apps & Mobile

Clyde’s Top Picks From SF Music Hack Day 2012

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Though the Grammys may soak up much of the mainstream media attention that might otherwise go to outstanding apps from SF Music Hack Day 2012, the 60+ hacks announced include numerous examples with industry buzz potential as well as apps that could attract mainstream attention. Though Music Hack Days are softsell environments, by having a presence one can boost industry buzz and by allying a timely theme with pleasing design one can cross over via mainstream media.

Industry Buzz Potential: Prizes, Sponsorships & Infrastructure

A complete list of SF Music Hack Day 2012 winners hasn't yet shown online so I'll update with that info. Being a winner is great way to draw attention to the hackers, the services being used and any related sponsorship whether for the team or a prize.

The APIs in use ebb and flow from one event to the next but The Echo Nest has achieved an omnipresence due to providing the platform that powers so many of these apps. They also are featured in related announcements such as Seatwave's integration with their Rosetta Stone platform.

Paul-vs-billboardPaul Lamere, director of The Echo Nest's developer platform and author of the essential music tech blog Music Machinery, offers one excellent example of how to choose a timely theme and create engaging visual assets that encourage post-event coverage. And it's all an organic part of documenting and sharing his hack Paul vs. Billboard that predicted Grammy winners based on examining "thousands of the most recent news and blog posts to get a sense of the online buzz."

Graphic via Music Hack Day Wiki.

3Scale was a Hack Day sponsor that also offered a GoPro HD2 Camera for the best hack which used at least one of their three music APIs. SideTrack won the 3scale GoPro Prize for its "cool mashup of input, lyrics and randomness to pop new songs."

Tokbox hosted the event at its great looking space in San Francisco. Let's Listen provides a particularly nice integration of their group listening app with Tokbox's live video chat. Tokbox also powered the Lovegram and Valentine v-card app described below.

Mass Media Potential: Grammys, Valentine's Day, Concept x Design

Paul Lamere's Paul vs. Billboard takes top marketing honors across the board. Not only is it perfectly positioned for industry buzz but I predict it will get the largest and broadest amount of media coverage in the coming week of any of the other Hack Day apps unless Valentine's Day hacks trump all.

A number of SF 2012 hacks had themes that could be related to Valentine's Day though few really promoted that aspect:

  • – "Curated radio station of your favorites from around the web" with a graphic look that easily relates.
  • Lovegram – "Send a video message and song to your valentine."
  • – Based on your "top 5 artists will find your soulmate and reveal your soulmate's Twitter handle."
  • Valentine v-card – "Make a personalized Valentine's card" including pics, video message and song.
  • Openheart – "Use your mobile phone to beam heart beats."

There were a lot more hacks, over 60, but here are a few more that stuck out for combining a great idea with an engaging design.

  • Music Smasher – Searches "Spotify, Rdio, Grooveshark, MOG, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp to find out who has the music you like."
  • The Tangible Theremin – "2 iOS devices [are] used to recreate the modern Theremin instrument."
  • The Social Radio – "Listen to what people are saying on Twitter mixed with the music trending on SoundCloud."
  • Concert 2021 – "Move your avatar around this virtual festival to hear different sounds and songs (powered by SoundCloud)."
  • SpinAmp – "A full-featured, skinnable WinAmp clone that runs inside Spotify."

And, in honor of the cultural terrain of San Francisco:

Buddahfy – "Control a Spotify playlist with your brain."



Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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