Developer Newsletter for February 2011
Hey Echo Nest developers. In this month’s newsletter we highlight updates to the Echo Nest APIs, show off some really cool apps that were built recently on the Echo Nest platform, give a recap of the recent Music Hack Day in New York, present my new favorite non-music API, and we announce a new partnership between The Echo Nest and Island Def Jam.
New API features: Catalog/Feed
This month we added a new feed method to our catalog API. The feed method allows you to easily query for all of the latest information (news, reviews, blogs, audio and video) for all of the artists in a catalog. You can use this method to create personalized information sources. For example you can build a catalog containing the favorite artists for a listener. With the feed method you can use this catalog to create a personalized music newspaper filled with the latest news and reviews for every artist in the catalog.
Music Hack Day NYC
During the weekend of February 12 and 13th nearly 200 music hackers gathered for New York City’s first Music Hack Day. It was an amazing event that culminated in a standing-room-only crowd watching hackers demo the many hacks that were built during the weekend, including over 30 hacks that were built on top of the Echo Nest API. Some of our favorites were:
- Heartbeat - A program that utilizes the familiarity and hotttnesss of songs, combined with the overall tempo of the song to gradually lower heart rate and stress.
- GridSong - a web app that allows you to visually interact with your music collection.
- Vib Ribbof - a music based reaction game that runs in your browser.
- Flowlist - an interactive playlist generator that bridges the gap between fully automatic recommenders and manual playlist building.
Evolver.fm has great coverage of the many hacks built during the weekend. Also check out this recap with links to photos and news articles: “We Will Hack”.
Current tentative schedule for upcoming Music Hack Days are: Spring in San Francisco, Summer in London, Fall in Boston. Check MusicHackDay.org for the latest updates.
My new favorite non-music API is Twilio!
While at the Music Hack Day NYC, I learned about Twilio, a cloud communications company that provides a web-service API to build scalable reliable communications apps. John Britton, one of our co-organizers of the Music Hack Day is a developer evangelist for Twilio. John gave a superb live-hacking demo where he did some really clever things with our phones - including making one giant conference call that included all the hackers in the room. Check out this recording of a demo that John gave at the New York Tech Meetup.
Cool music apps
Here are just a couple of the cool apps that were built recently using the Echo Nest technology.
- Pocket Hipster - “It’s, like, the
- coolest music app ever… but you’ve probably never heard of it..” Pocket Hipster lets you listen to some of the hottest indie artists in the world right now. Each hipster will scan your iTunes library and recommend new music you should listen to.
- Discovr - It’s an interactive map of millions of bands and
- artists. It lets you see how the music you love is connected, and makes it easy to discover new bands and artists that are similar to what you like.
If you are interest in reading about new music apps (even apps that are not built with Echo Nest technology) be sure to read Eliot Van Buskirk’s new blog: Evolver.fm
The Echo Nest partners with Island Def Jam to create opportunities for developers
The Echo Nest has partnered with the legendary Island Def Jam Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, to form the first-ever alliance between a major label and the independent app developer community.
As part of the agreement, Island Def Jam will make its music available for any developer to create commercial apps using The Echo Nest’s APIs. ”Amazing music experiences for fans across all screens is our true goal.” says Jon Vanhala, SVP Digital at Island Def Jam Music Group. “The Echo Nest’s world class data and APIs combined with our world class artist roster and catalog creates a streamlined innovation environment, designed to inspire the best and brightest in the developer community, attract brand partnerships, and facilitate speed to market with more remarkable, engaging apps.”
Details about how developers can take advantage of this partnership and start building apps around IDJ content will be forthcoming.
On the calendar
Some Echo Nest talks and appearance for March:
- Finding Music With Pictures: Data Visualization for Discovery With so much music available, finding new music that you like can be like finding a needle in a haystack. We need new tools to help us to explore the world of music, tools that can help us separate the wheat from the chaff. In this panel we will look at how visualizations can be used to help people explore the music space and discover new, interesting music that they will like. Paul Lamere SXSW Austin, TX, March 13
- Love Music & APIs In the old days it was DJs, A&R folks, labels and record store owners that were the gatekeepers to music. Today, we are seeing a new music gatekeeper emerge… the developer. Using open APIs, developers are creating new apps that change how people explore, discover, create and interact with music. Matt Ogle SXSW Austin, TX, March 14
- Topic TBD - Brian Whitman - momo Amsterdam, March 28
It is exciting for all of us here at the Echo Nest to see all of the cool things people are building on top of the Echo Nest APIs. We are continually surprised and delighted by the creativity of you folks.
Remember to let us know when you build something using our stuff so we can add it to our showcase.
Director of Developer Platform
The Echo Nest