This week, music industry movers and shakers will descend on Boston for the Rethink Music Conference, an event aimed at cultivating innovation in the business. Not being a recognized part of the industry, I won’t be there – but I was able to attend part of the pre-event Hacker’s Weekend, which brought together developers, designers and programmers to build music apps based off platforms like The Echo Nest, Spotify, LyricFind, Songkick and more. Today was demo day at Microsoft’s New England Research & Development Center (I’ve been spending a lot of time there lately, eh?), with 20-plus projects being presented.
All of them were impressive in that they were at least partially functional after less than 48 hours of work – but a few stood out above the rest. Here are six I feel like I would actually use (or know someone who would):
The Byrds and the Bees Gees
Plug in your birthday and the site will spit out a playlist based on what your parents might have listened to on the night of your conception. As if that weren’t creepy enough, you can check a box that says whether your dad was “smooth” or not.
You’re having a party, and you want the music to please everyone – an impossible task, but at least you can come close with this app, which pulls together a playlist based on the likes of your Facebook friends who’ve RSVP’ed to the event.
Control music with your dance moves; plug in any Mp3 and start shaking, and the instruments will begin to sync up. Appropriate song choice: “Hips Don’t Lie.”
There’s nothing worse than signing up at karaoke night, and then never getting to sing. This app streamlines the process for both singers and DJs, making it easy to choose a song, know when you’ll be singing it, and even practice beforehand with lyrics and streaming music.
Tagline: We bring your music posters alive. Scan the QR code app on any music poster (or flyer, or CD) and you can instantly download tracks, buy concert tickets, or just save it for later.
Lyrical Sonnet Awesome
Choose three words and instantly build a Shakespearean sonnet (in iambic pentameter!) from related song lyrics. Teachers, take note.
Nice work by all the hackers. I’ll look forward to seeing how these progress – and to seeing how Biz Markie represents music innovation at the conference party on Monday night.