Posts Tagged ‘spotify’


Music Hack Day, the Stockholm edition

January 31, 2010

This weekend was Music Hack Day Stockholm (you may recall posts about the Music Hack Day in Boston a few months ago), and I spent far too much of my weekend following the events via their live feed – a little glimpse into the future of  how we interact with music.  I think my takeaway for the weekend was twofold: i) damn it, I really wish I wasn’t a mediocre coder and ii) Can we hurry up and have Spotify in the US already?

Some fave hacks out of the weekend (you can see a full list here):

HacKey: Matt Ogle‘s lovely hack takes your listening history and generates a pie chart to tell you what proportion of your favourite music is in different keys. And if you click on a wedge, it’ll play you a song sample in that key (thanks to Tim for letting me use his pie chart!)

My City vs. Your City: Lets you compare what artists are being listened to in any two cities. I think it’s ‘differentially listened to’ (like Netflix’s ‘Neighborhood’ feature). This is kind of a cool music exploration tool – what are the outlier artists that I’ve never heard of?

Holodeck: This site elegantly links together your info from SoundCloud, Tumblr, Songkick, and The main use case is for artists – it’s a one-step, one-stop web presence.

One that looks great but isn’t quite ready for prime time:

Songkick on Tour: This hack links together info from two focused social media sites,  Songkick for concerts and Dopplr for travel, to make concert recommendations for your upcoming trips. Since I travel a decent amount and always check to see if there are cool shows, I would love to see this app go live (you can see a video of the demo here). And now I want to start using both Songkick and Dopplr more.

And one that I really, really want to play with but I can’t because Spotify isn’t here in the US yet (but if you’re reading this from the UK or other Spotify-friendly countries, enjoy):

TuneMyFeed: Takes any RSS feed (a Twitter stream, frex) or uses Facebook Connect to log into your FB account, pulls out keywords, and creates a list of related songs in Spotify. Want.


A quick round-up

August 8, 2009

Joel Tenenbaum

Still no internet at home, so instead of mainlining information, I’m getting methadone through my phone and the occasional infusion at Diesel. Back on a regular schedule shortly, but here’s some of what I’ve been squeezing through the needle:

In case you’ve missed it, Boston physics student Joel Tenenbaum (pictured above) is blogging his trial, defending himself against a $4.5 million lawsuit from the RIAA (parts one and two, at the Guardian Music Blog). Also, who gets the money the RIAA collects from filesharers? Not the indies.

Music Machinery had made me really excited about Spotify even before they had an iPhone app, so I’m latching onto rumours that they may be coming to the US.

On the agenda: checking out MTraks, which is billing itself as a indie-oriented eMusic alternative after the Sony debacle (and boy, the word on the transition was not good).

There’s a new website out of England called GigPay, for electronic performance contracts – the performer and the venue draw up a contract, the venue puts funds in escrow, and the performer is paid after the gig, and GigPay takes a small per-transaction cut. I’ve heard a bunch of horror stories from bands, and it seems like it would be a useful way for a venue to create, track and pay performance contracts (since you can do it by bank transfer or credit card, not just cash or cheque). But it also seems like there would be a big network effect hump to get over. Artists, others – what do you think?


SanFran MusicTech Summit roundup

May 21, 2009


This year’s SanFran MusicTech Summit had a lot going on. Somewhere north of 600 people turned up, including tech/development people, marketers, and business development people, and I’d say about half of the crowd put up a hand when asked if they were a musician (I suspect there’s considerable overlap between that category and the others).

Unfortunately, with three concurrent tracks, it’s easy to miss a lot of the conference. If you’re interested in knowing more about what went on than what’s in this post, here are some other summaries: CNet, NY Times, Washington Post. And if you think Twitter, and not journalism, is the first rough draft of history,  you can read what people (including me) said about it in the heat of the moment by searching for #sfmusictech.

Some highlights:

Biggest tease: Paul Lamere of Echo Nest demo’ed their extension to Spotify that uses their musical analysis-based technology to create extended Spotify playlists, based on a seed song, for example. It looked great, and you can read more about it at Paul’s blog. Unfortunately, because of the byzantine licensing arrangements (another theme of the conference), Spotify is not yet available in the US. It’s gonna be the future soon, right?

Second-biggest tease: We wrote about Band Metrics, a music analytics service that aggregates data from across the web, a few months ago. The site was demo’ed at the conference. While it’s still in private beta, conference attendees were given an invite code. Unfortunately, it turned out to be only valid for the day, so my attempt to register after the conference was unsuccessful. Stay tuned for more info about the service in the coming weeks (I hope!).

Biggest app north of the border: I talked to Darryl Ballantyne, of Toronto-based LyricFind, and he mentioned that their free iPhone app is one of the most-downloaded in Canada. The company does all the back-end work to make licensed lyrics available (their engine powers, for example) and they’ve recently branched out into consumer products. Worth checking out (and I’m not saying that just because they brought kegs of Canadian beer for the reception).

Biggest fight: By far the most, uh, lively panel I went to was the Monetization: Idealism in Practice panel. Jim Griffin talked about Choruss, which is a proposal to charge colleges a flat per-student fee for access to music, in whatever form (torrents, streaming, purchases, whatever). The school would collect data on how students acquired and listened to music, and use that data to disburse the collected funds to artists (by means which were not fully explained). It was worth going to the panel just to see the Electronic Frontier Foundation (in the person of Fred Von Lohmann, one of their senior staff attorneys) on the same side as the major record labels (Choruss was started by Warner and is backed by several other majors). However, this is still a pretty contentious proposal, especially since the colleges are kind of paying protection money (‘you promise not to sue us, right?’), because it’s not clear how the indies or unsigned musicians will be represented, and because it seems incompatible with other business models. I know that many z=z readers are musicians, associated with a college, or both, and I’d be really interested in what you have to say – does the Choruss model make sense to you? Why or why not?

MP3: Jonathan Coulton – The Future Soon [buy/download]

Image:  San Francisco Music Tech #4 by Flickr user .schill, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.