Saturday, December 19, 2009

What I Did at Music Hackday...

Music Hackday BostonImage by teamstickergiant via Flickr

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend up in Boston at the first stateside "Music Hackday". It was a fantastic event all-around... the organization, the facilities, the people, the panels (even though I was on the panel about "The Future of Music") and the hacks.

For me, the highlight was really just spending time hanging out with other music tech geeks (metabrew, toby, jwheare, __lucas, lucas_gonze, dankantor, plamere, fascinated, theineke, bwhitman and many more)... bouncing ideas off of each other, and collaboratively building interesting things.

Why wife, somewhat famously, referred to it as like "a dungeons and dragons conference from music geeks".

Being in the same room with all of these other folks meant that I could not-so-subtly plant ideas for other people's hacks that would support some use cases that I am interested in. Toby Padilla appeased me (thanks Toby!) by adding some support to his great Playgrub app to support scraping artist and track metadata from Twitter so that the content could be resolved using Playdar (or more specifically by the content resolver plug-ins for Playdar that I have installed).

Not sure what I am talking about? Maybe it's easier just to watch. Want to try it yourself?

Just tweet:

★ artist name ♫ track name #playtapus (or any other hashtag/playlist name)

Then use the Playgrub bookmarklet and let Playdar to do the rest.

In short, we are just dealing with extracting and moving song metadata around and handing it off to Playdar (which runs on your local machine). Playdar takes it from there and figures out the best place to source the content from and fulfills the link/play action.

Definitely check out Playgrub (and all of the other sites it supports), as well as the other excellent Playdar-powered web apps like Playlick (by James Wheare), PlaydarTunes (by Dan Kantor) and iTunesAirBridge (by Lucas Hrabrovsky).

Read more about it...

Last, but not least, big thanks to Dave Haynes, Jon Pierce and Paul Lamere for making the whole thing a reality. When's the next one in the U.S.?! :-)

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Top Albums of 2009

So, last year I bitched about how hard it was to post your top albums of the year and swore I would make it easier (at least for me) this year. Tonight I threw together a quick hack to do that. It is still definitely a hack, but at least 2 steps easier than the way I used to do it.

Basically, I take my data for most played albums of the year, and then filter it to only show albums that were released in 2009.

I then took the resulting RSS feed and headed over to Widgetbox to create a widget that would display it...

UPDATE: Mark Reeder managed to take my idea and make it a lot better. Below is the embed code from his Filterable Charts hack.

My chart looks pretty representative of my taste, even though if asked to provide the list editorially I would probably posture a bit by adding some albums that I think were good (although my actions didn't actually prove it out). The only real exception to my list above is that U2 album... I gave it a bunch of tries to get me on board but ultimately failed (I think it is pretty bad actually).

It would probably be pretty interesting to look at some music bloggers' and critics' charts to see how different their "best of" lists are from their "top played".

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