MusicGraph API-Driven Party Play App Wins Big at SXSW

Janet Wagner, Data Journalist / Full Stack Developer
Mar. 21 2014, 01:00PM EDT

Last December, Senzari launched the MusicGraph music recommendation and data access engine as well as the new MusicGraph API. Earlier this month, Senzari opened the MusicGraph API to the public, unveiling the API at the first-ever annual SXSW Music Hackathon Championship. Among the apps included in the list of overall grand prize finalists is Party Play which uses the MusicGraph API to create "a dynamic DJ for parties."

MusicGraph API

The first-ever annual SXSW Music Hackathon Championship took place on March 12-13 at the Hilton Austin Hotel. Over a 24-hour period, developers worked on building new music apps using a variety of music APIs which included The Echo Nest, Spotify, Gracenote, and Senzari MusicGraph. Demian Bellumio, COO of Senzari, says in the press release that:

"After a few months of working closely with several partners to test the API in a private beta, we couldn’t think of a better way to open MusicGraph’s doors to the public than to do it during SXSW’s first-ever Music Hackathon. It is a very interesting time in the music data space, and we believe that our ambitious vision for the future of MusicGraph will allow for tremendous innovation opportunities for developers and data scientists interested in pushing the boundaries of digital music experiences.

Senzari not only opened the MusicGraph API to the public at the music hackathon, but also unveiled for the first time brand new functions that have been added to the API. One new feature is the integration of lyrical functions into the Graph Search API making it possible to perform complex graph searches related to lyrics such as "Songs by Coldplay from the last decade that mention the word love."

Another new API function adds the ability to access lyrical features of millions of songs as well as detailed social and play metrics using the Music Data API. The social and play metrics are from the "hundreds of thousands of artists across the world’s leading digital destinations such as Twitter, Facebook and Vevo."

SXSW Music Hackathon

Developers building new music apps at the SXSW Music Hackathon Championship

The Senzari MusicGraph API winners include a group of college students from SMU (Southern Methodist University) who created the music app Party Play. The team describes their music app as "dynamic collaborative playlists." The app can create a playlist based on the music that party goers already listen to. Party Play polls and normalizes the playlists of party goers after they log in to the app. Party Play then uses that information to create a play list for the entire group of party goers.

Senzari provided exclusively to ProgrammableWeb a video interview of the Party Play team that was taken at the SXSW music hackathon. The team was asked what they thought of the MusicGraph API in which several team members replied:

"We thought it [MusicGraph API] was incredibly easy to use and the documentation was very clear cut. It gave us exactly what we were looking for"

The team also told the interviewer that they would like to see in the future the ability for the API to provide the shortest route to finding connections between two artists. In other words, an easy way to find identical music data / attributes between two different artists.

Another Party Play team member went on to say to the interviewer that:

"Having done the majority of the backend stuff, it [MusicGraph API] was a lot easier to use than some of the other APIs that we tried to use. They [the other APIs] always gave us crazy errors that were really ambiguous. I just thought it [MusicGraph API] was really easy to use."

Senzari has created a web app using the MusicGraph API that features an easy-to-use search interface that lets users quickly find music, data, and more for artists, albums and songs. The app lets users export the search results to digital music platforms such as RDIO, LastFM, Spotify and YouTube. At the time of this writing, the MusicGraph web app is only available for FireFox OS. An iPhone app is currently in development and will be released soon.

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Bill Hajjar, CEO of Senzari, told ProgrammableWeb that:

"We were very excited to be a part of the first SXSW Music Hackathon Championship and for the first time be able to release our API to the developer community. Out of the many teams who used our MusicGraph API for the hackathon, Party Play's app showcased the use of MusicGraph the best and really captured the spirit and social aspect of the Senzari brand."

For more information about the MusicGraph platform and API, visit MusicGraph.com.

By Janet Wagner. Janet is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, open data, data visualization and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Janet Wagner is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, data visualization, machine learning, and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @webcodepro, Google+, or send her an email.

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