My Music Hack Day Stockholm hack is ‘Going Undercover‘. This hack uses the extensive cover song data from SecondHandSongs to construct paths between artists by following chains of cover songs. Type in the name of a couple of your favorite artists and Going Undercover will try to find a chain of cover songs that connects the two artists. The resulting playlist will likely contain familiar songs played by artists that you never heard of before. Here’s a Going Undercover playlist from Carly Rae Jepsen to Johnny Cash:
For this hack I stole a lot of code from my recent Boil the Frog hack, and good thing I could do that otherwise I would never have finished the hack in time. I spent many hours working to reconcile the Second Hand Songs data with The Echo Nest and Rdio data (Second Hand Songs is not part of Rosetta stone, so I had to write lots of code to align all the IDs up). Even with leveraging the Boil the Frog code, I had a very late night trying to get all the pieces working (and of course, the bug that I spent 2 hours banging my head on at 3AM was 5 minutes of work after a bit of sleep).
I am pretty pleased with the results of the hack. It is fun to build a path between a couple of artists and listen to a really interesting mix of music. Cover songs are great for music discovery, they give you something familiar to hold on to while listening to a new artist.