September 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Hack Out West: Trivia, Cover Art Doodling, Group Listening, and More

hack out westJust before the Way Out West music festival in Gothenberg, Sweden, approximately 60 hackers and music enthusiasts gathered for the Hack Out West hackathon.

These clever people flexed their creativity to build 19 hacks (view the showcase) in part using APIs including Spotify, its subsidiary The Echo Nest, Dropbox, Musixmatch, SJ (Sweden’s passenger train organization) and Songkick.

This is far from the most hacks we’ve seen at a hackathon, but it’s about quality, not quantity.

Crowd Favorites

These were deemed to be the finest creations from the Hack Out West hackathon, based on an instant Mentimeter poll of participants.

1. Destination Unknown (Web)

This clever music trivia game lets music fans compete with each other to identify a place by listening to songs about it. As snippets of music play, you try to be the first one to guess which place the music is about, with text clips from Wikipedia providing hints to augment the music You can play it here.


2. Spacesynth (iOS)

This fun, free iOS app lets you shake your phone to make spacey sounds generated by data from its accelerometer. It’s actually a bit more like an instrument than that makes it sound, though. You can toggle between a bar interface, for playing specific notes, or an open canvas that lets you paint sound with your finger. And all the while, you can tilt and shake your phone to apply various effects to the sound. It’s definitely worth a try if you are into this sort of thing.



This open-source music service was designed to let people make music together online. One person starts with a video of them singing or playing an instrument, and then create a session with other music folks to fill out the song together (no screenshot or link – we’ll post more information on this one if we can get it).

Other Standouts

These hacks caught the eye of Spotify software developer Katarzyna Drzyzga, who participated in the Hack Out West hackathon.

Vingle (web)

This web app first asks you to search for a song title – so far so normal. But after that, things get interesting, as you get to doodle over the cover art as the song plays and then share the animated result to your friends. In our testing, we were able to doodle over a song, but the result seemed to disappear; perhaps you’ll have better luck.

Radiomast (iOS)

This as-yet-unreleased iOS app plays music with the Spotify iOS SDK, while broadcasting the sessions to other users. Friends with the app can tune in to your session to hear what’s playing, and the broadcaster can include their own custom voice-recordings in the stream, for a radio station-like experience.


an app that generates playlists based on current mood and allows users to explore related music by following different acoustic parameters of the song. The resulting set of songs can be saved as a playlist. The app uses Spotify API to get metadata of the songs and play previews, the Echo Nest API is used to get acoustic characteristic of the song and find related songs.


This app generates desktop and mobile wallpapers with song lyrics and artists photos.

Event Photos

hackoutwest_2   hackoutwest_1