By Brian Kecskemety
Last night, New York’s music tech industry came together at the bi-monthly NY Music Tech Meetup at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. I’ve been to several of these events, and every time the audience gets bigger and the demos are slicker. The beer was flowing and pulled pork sandwiches were in supply for the overflowed standing-room crowd.
Sponsor #twubs kicked things off by demonstrating their Twitter aggregating service. #twubs keeps track of different hashtags and aggregates them into a universal live feed complete with pictures, videos, and links. Check out their page for the #nymusictech hashtag here.
For this meetup, each presentation was filmed. See them all at the MusicTechster YouTube page, or for individual presentations, click the video link next to the name of each company below.
Five more groups were on hand to demo their products or services. We’ve got the full rundown below…
Jason Keck, the Co-founder and CEO of Stereotypes showed off the new discovery service. Stereotypes aims to aggregate music recommendations from a variety of trusted sources – mainly, your friends.
When users sign up, they let Stereotypes know how much they listen to a variety of genres. Stereotypes will then assign one of four different traits (or “stereotypes”) to you based on your musical insterests. Stereotypes then matches people based on listening interests and aggregates recommendations based on what these people are listening to. Users can listen to the recommendations using the embedded Spotify play button, so long as the user has a Spotify account.
Keck made sure to highlight that Stereotypes was not a dating site, and not in competition with Last.fm. Stereotypes truly sees themselves as a recommendation engine.
Artists looking to reward fans should look to Jamplify. When fans share an artist’s content and drive clicks, fans earn points. Fans that earn a predetermined number of points can earn prizes like digital goods (downloads) or physical goods (albums, concert tickets). Artists can keep track of winners using Jamplify’s leaderboard.
Jamplify currently has an approval process for any artist looking to launch a “jampaign” but say they hope to streamline the operation more in the future.
K235 is a motion-based musical instrument for you iPad. Creator Peter Kay was on hand to demonstrate its capabilities. The interface is pretty simple. There are two spheres on the screen which users can flick to build the intensity of the sound. Every time the spheres collide or bounce off the edge of the screen, additional sounds are created. The app uses the iPads accelerometer and adds harmonies when users tilt the device, and rhythmic elements when the iPad is shook.
K235, which is only a month old and still in earlier stages, currently comes with two “soundsets”: electro and chamber. Kay mentioned that he plans to release one additional soundset per month, “to remind people they have the app.”
There is no built-in recording functionality in K235, something Kay said was by design, hoping to inspire users to be more spontaneous. Since any savvy user could record the audio output of their iPad using an external device, the lack of this functionality isn’t really a drawback. Kay said that the app has been sold over 500 times at its current $.99 price tag.
Alex White, the CEO and co-founder of music social analytics king Next Big Sound were on hand to show off some new features and detail the growth of their operation, which is now setting up shop in NYC, (and hiring).
In addition to tracking their regular Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Vevo metrics, Instagram has now been added to the fold.
Though Next Big Sound is essentially a B2B operation, White emphasized that Next Big Sound doesn’t yet specialize in consulting based on their data findings. Their specialty is still providing said data.
Rap Genius had the final demo of the day, and it was an impressive one. Rap Genius is more than just your typical lyrics database. Rap Genius crowdsources their lyrical content, but also includes user-edited explanations of each line, in sort of a Wikipedia-style format.
The Rap Genius community is extremely active and dedicated. Users in France and Germany have already set up their own versions in their native languages.
In addition to their regular community members, Rap Genius has special verified artist accounts reserved for actual rappers. There are some real heavy hitters on the site. Nas, Big K.R.I.T., The RZA, ScHoolboy Q, Action Bronson, and many more all have verified accounts. Artists can even record video clips explaining their own lyrics.
Despite the name, Rap Genius is not limiting themselves to just hip-hop lyrics. They even showed that a user had uploaded Paul Ryan’s speech accepting the bid to be Mitt Romney’s running mate for the upcoming presidential election, complete with user explanations and commentary.