Thursday 14 December 2017

Perfect way to tune into hacking

Anyone looking for signs of life in the music industry concerning technology and innovation should take a look into Music Hack Day. Established in July 2009, the 24-hour coding marathon serves as an experimental lab for new digital music applications and technology in various cities around the world.

Initially organised by David Haynes, of music-listening platform Soundcloud, and developer James Darling, the event brings together web developers and hackers who have a passion for music and building software. While 'hacker' implies an illegal operative, here it's a case of a collaborative community using open-source software to make cool new apps with the help of APIs (application programming interfaces) from companies such as Last.fm, Soundcloud, Songkick and more.

Haynes, along with The Echo Nest's Matthew Ogle, gave a talk at South By Southwest, where they discussed how "developers are crucial to the future of music". They then demoed some of the fascinating apps that have come out of the 12 Music Hack Days so far, which confirms just how vital developers are to music, whether for future applications or just for kicks:

Invisible Instruments -- Use a Nintendo Wii controller and an iPhone to accurately recreate instruments (bit.ly/invisiapp);

Bragging Rights -- Find out who heard your favourite band first (bit.ly/bragrights);

Six Degrees -- Find the links between two artists (labs.echonest.com/SixDegrees/);

Earth Destroyers -- Find out how earth-friendly your band's touring schedule is. (labs.echonest.com/EarthDestroyers/);

CitySounds -- Using Soundcloud, create city-based playlists (citysounds.fm);

iSteelPan -- Turns an iPad into a Caribbean steelpan drum (bit.ly/steelpad);

Find You Some Vinyl -- Searches stores for the best price (findyousomevinyl.com);

Stringer -- A virtual instrument using a 3D Kinect camera (afeld.github.com/stringer/);

Bionic DJ -- Control the music using gestures and 3D camera. (bit.ly/bionicdj);

JSONLoops -- Allowing artists to work together in real-time. (bit.ly/jsonloops).

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