This was the 13th Music Hack Day, where developers utilize freely available APIs to create prototype music apps based on whatever creative impulse drive them. Most are prototypes that have no immediate application other than that of a proof of concept. But there's clearly a momentum and energy here that is starting to bleed over into more traditional music industry outlets.
More than 50 apps were demonstrated at the end of this weekend's coding. Some could have a more immediate footprint, such as HeartbeatMatch: a dating app of sorts designed to hook up two users based on proximity and similarity of musical tastes. Others have less clear uses, such as the DJDJRevolution, a hack using the Kinect game controller to let users control a mashup of two different songs based on how they move their body.
But the point of these weekends is not to emerge with an established product and attached business model. Rather, they're designed to feed off the collective creative energy of a group of music fans with programming prowess as a sort of brainstorming session for geeks.
This weekend's most popular muse was the Rdio API, which last week was integrated into the Echo Nest music platform. Every time a new API becomes available, these developers swarm all over it like a new toy, exploring its potential. The next U.S. installment of the series will take place this November, in Boston.
Organizers hope to have more participation of the music industry by then. And by that, they mean artists, no suits. There is a growing call among Music Hack Day participants and organizers to bring in the creative talent of the music industry to collaborate with the creative talent of the tech community to add a new level of partnership to the day.
In the interim, however, there is a growing interest from other elements of the music industry in what's taking place at Music Hack Days. Lollapalooza organizers for instance used this weekend's event to launch HackLolla-a contest to see who can create the best app for this summer's Lollapalooza festival.
MTV will be nominating Best Of Show winners for the Best Hack category in the next O Music Awards.