Roadtrip Mixtape

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by Paul Lamere

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What is this?

This is an application that you can use to create road trip playlists. Type in the name of your starting and ending points, and the application will create a playlist of music by artists that from the area you are traveling through. Drive through Boston you might hear Aerosmith or Donna Summer. Drive through New Orleans and you might hear Lil Wayne or Dr. John.

When you click 'Play mixtape' your playlist will start playing. If you are in Rdio subscriber you will hear the full songs, if not, you will hear 30 second samples.

Each leg is represented on the map by a green dot. If you click on the green dot you'll see info on that leg including a list of artists along with the city that they are from.

Pressing the next button in the music player will advance you to the next song on the roadtrip. The current leg is shown with a red dot.

Some Trip Info is shown, including the number of artists on the route. One bit of interesting info (at least to me), is the 'Avg distance'. This shows the average distance to the nearest artist throughout the course of the trip. The lower the distance, the more musically dense the geographic region.

You can also just click anywhere on the map and a list of the most popular local artists will be show. If you click the 'Play this location' button, you can listen to the artists.

How does it work?

The app uses the nifty Google Maps API to calculate and display your route. The route is then broken down into 15 minute legs. For each leg, we find the nearest five unplayed artists and use them to generate a 15 minute playlist. If there are more than five nearby artists, we chose the most popular five.

Does it make Rdio playlists?

Not yet, but soon!

What other features are planned?

Some possible features in the works:

  • Make a mobile version that you can actually take with you on the road.
  • Make a version that works with other music services like Spotify
  • Allow you to restrict music selected to particular genres or styles
  • Incorporate concert info

What technologies does it use?

The Echo Nest API is used to get the artist location data. Google maps API for all the mapping and route finding. Rdio for the music and album art.

Who built it?

Paul Lamere from The Echo Nest. You can tweet suggestions to him at @plamere

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