I decided to stay on at Music Tech Fest after my presentation yesterday, and ended up joining in with the hack challenges. There were plenty that I had nothing to contribute to, as I can’t write code or programme in any way – but one of the hack challenges caught my attention: “reinvent music radio”.
In fact, the brief was actually posed as follows:
Radio is crucial to the music industry. It promotes music to the masses and largely determines the taste of the public. The problem is that the channel to make and promote music is controlled by a few large stations. Can you develop an alternative to radio that allows independent labels to promote their music to the public?
I asked if anyone in the room was keen to work on this, and had no response. Most people wanted to invent new musical instruments, design a “3D playlist”, create a software oscillator, build a hardware drum trigger, hack the robot bartender – that sort of thing. Sexier projects where you get to make things, in other words.
However, once I finally decided to tackle the radio problem myself, I was quickly joined by a designer by the name of Jedediah.
Between us, by about 2am, we had come up with the core concepts for RADIATR: a mobile platform that aims to solve some of the problems discussed in the hack challenge above. Here’s the document I wrote, with some of Jed’s mockups in the mix.
Later today, I’m giving a presentation that outlines some of the key ideas. It’s not perfect, of course – it was created in less than 12 hours in an all-night brainstorming and development session fuelled by junk food and Red Bull (perfect hacker sustenance, apparently…), but I think there are some interesting concepts in here.
Here are the slides from this evening’s presentation. There are prizes at stake.
Interested to hear your thoughts. Whether we end up doing something with this remains to be seen – but I think we could stand to kick it around a bit more before we abandon it. I may be utterly sleep deprived, but I feel like there’s potentially something worthwhile in here somewhere…