Sick of constantly refreshing your feeds for evidence that Frank Ocean has finally dropped his long-awaited new album? Tired of putting your life on hold and endlessly posting those bootleg Snapchat filters while waiting for Boys Don’t Cry to emerge from its two-year gestation? Shahzeb Khan feels your pain and has a brilliant solution.
“I’m home for the summer and like everyone else I’m a huge Frank Ocean fan and I’ve been anticipating the album and checking up on blogs and websites constantly and there’s been radio silence. I just got tired of refreshing my browsers all day,” the 20 year-old computer science and engineering junior at UC Davis told Billboard about the inspiration for his (650)82OCEAN service. The site promises to “automatically look[s] at Spotify, iTunes, and Twitter for the latest in Frank Ocean news. The second it detects that a new album has gone live, it will automatically send everyone a text with the link for the album.” ?
Khan said it took him a day to write the code, which uses machine learning to detect any movement on the ongoing Ocean livestream that helped launch the latest round of excitement about a possible album release, as well as scanning for updates on major music services and social media sites. As a testament to the building excitement for the album, Khan said that when he went to bed on Wednesday night he had about 300 users signed up and by the time he woke up on Thursday (Aug. 11) it had ballooned to close to 1,500. Khan promises that his service stores your number (or email) in a secure database and you can stop the texts any time you want.
“As far as I know nobody has ever used this level of technical [knowledge] to follow an artist on these services for this purpose,” he said of his endeavor. When Ocean does finally break his silence, Khan already has his next move plotted out. “I’m going to play two tracks every year so I have enough to last me the next five years.”