The best part of working with the developer community at Spotify is organizing hackathons across the world. Below, I’ve recapped some of the best hacks that have come out of these events:

June 14-15: Music Hack Day Barcelona

Our all-star engineers Andreas Blixt and Ricardo Santos traveled to Barcelona, Spain for Sónar 2012 and a Music Hack Day. Two of our favorite apps built were Huesound and Legalize It!:

  • Huesound, created by @mayhem and @aeon at an earlier Music Hack Day in San Francisco, was ported over a Spotify App in Barcelona. The app presents the user with a color wheel. Once you pick a color, it finds album covers matching or similar to the color you selected.
  • Legalize It! maps the most popular albums across Bittorrent (from Musicmetric API) to Spotify albums. Instead of encouraging people to download the songs there, it simply plays them in Spotify.

August 8-9: Way Out West Hack Battle

We partnered with EMI for a two-day hack battle in Göteborg, Sweden in conjunction with the Way Out West Festival. Out of the 28 hacks, 23 of them used Spotify, which is by far our most successful hackathon to date.

  • Beatiful, like Tap Tap Revenge for Spotify. The songs were synced up to colorful moving blocks, and they drop down to four squares, matched up with the ←↑↓→ keys.
  • Battlefy is a multiplayer, WebGL Astroids-like game implemented as a Spotify App. When someone blasts you, you’re forced to listen to a song of their choosing. Here’s a video of the hack in action. Check out the code here.

  • A couple of quiz apps were presented, Ziuq and Quizify. Both of these centered around user-generated quizes mixed with pulling content from providers like and The Echo Nest.
  • Wobble gives the user contextual information about the current date in relation to artist’s birthdays.
  • Lanyard, created by the Retrofuzz team, mined the Way Out West festival data and helped the user figure which bands and venues to check out. Lanyard
  • Finally, the overall winner of the hack battle, Beerophone 2000, is worth a mention. Even though they didn’t use any music APIs, their hack shows how you can turn anything into a MIDI instrument. Check out some photos from the event from our engineer on-location, Per-Olov Jernberg.

August 24-25: Music Hack Day Scotland

  • Another Quizify app was created in Scotland, but this one is a little different. Instead of relying on user-generated content, this app used the contextual data from the Spotify Apps API. For instance, as a user, you’d be given a song on an album and be asked, “Which song comes next on this album?”, or “What is the shortest song on this album?”, or “Which other artists make appearances on this album?”. For an 18-hour hackathon, this was a terrific feat. Quizify

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