MusicHackDay Berlin 2014

Jan Nabbefeld

So MusicHackDay 2014 in Berlin, why should I care? Maybe because it is one of the three major hackathons related to multimedia in Berlin this year. After the MediaHackDay mainly related to print data earlier this year and right before the TVHackDay that is all about video this event is dealing with audio.

Looking at the APIs that has been opened for this event I’m really curious to see the results. Starting with the highlights: Amazon Firefly. The (quite big) team of Amazon brought a bunch of example devices to Berlin, hoping to see a lot of new apps pushed directly to the Amazon appstore. The support and documentation section is huge but beside the Shazam clone feature I couldn’t find anything related to audio. However as a special offer hackers can win a FireTV if they push their app to the Amazon appstore within the next 7 days.

Music streaming services: surely the most important API providers that one can expect on such an event. Next to rdio,, Deezer and soundcloud also Spotify have been around. Actually it wasn’t Spotify who was ruling the roost - it was Paul Lamere from echonest (acquired in March this year by Spotify). An impressive variety of APIs like:

Participants of the hackathon had the possibility the integrate the whole functionality of these tools via the RESTful echonest API. Personally I liked that one much more then the one from Beatguide which is based on JSON-RPC but feels a lot like SOAP. Next to this the audio streaming hardware manufactures Raumfeld (Teufel) presented its API. Trafopop was hoping to get some help for their wearable LED jacket and ROLI presented Seaboard: a keyboard instrument that gives a developer the opportunity to handle nearly every aspect of a fingertip. You totally should watch the video to get an impression of the keyboard. What’s also very convenient about ROLI they made some extra space on the webpage for Music Hack Day. All documentation and the download packages to connect to the API are collected on one spot. Programming and controlling the ROLI device will be handled by Max, JUCE and Python.

The presentations have been promising. Lets have a look at the results. The recent hacks are all collected on hackerleague.

Jan Nabbefeld

Jan has a decade of professional work experience in the IT industry. Throughout his career, he has contributed to numerous software projects, partaking in international teams around the globe.

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