After three days of music, madness, heat, sweat, hurricanes, hail and hot dogs without ketchup, I’m proud to say that I survived Lollapalooza 2012. This year’s Lollapalooza was truly one for the record books. There was an estimate of 100,000 people that came from all over the world to cover Chicago’s Grant Park for each day of the festival.
The first day of the festival was a major scorcher as the temperature reached up to a high of 95 degrees. Despite all the heat and sweat, the festival started off beautifully. The first act I saw was Barsuk Records’s Yellow Ostrich. During the set, Yellow Osterich’s friend Nate came out on stage to propose to his girlfriend, Stefani, and she said yes! At this point it really hit me that I was in the right industry to help bring this beautiful moment.
This past weekend, I attended Spotify’s Music Apps Hack Weekend at SPiN, Susan Sarandon’s Manhattan ping pong club (yes, she loves ping pong THAT much). The Music Apps Hack Weekend is a 48-hour Hackathon where developers, coders, designers, and business minds can come together to develop products and ideas to build on Spotify’s new app platform. Just imagine The Social Network’s hacker party scene, but much cooler. Not only was Spotify in the house, but Facebook, Foursquare, The Echo Nest, GoGrid, Twilio and many others also came out to support all these awesome digital music hackers.
The winner of the Spotify Music Apps Hack Weekend’s $10,000 grand prize – that had already caught my eye at the event – was Swarm.fm. Swarm.fm is a music streaming service that has launched the +Music app extension for Google Chrome and Facebook. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the difference between Swarm.fm’s +Music and Spotify, Rdio, and all these other streaming services are out there?” Well, the simple answer is its convenience for facilitating music discovery all on one platform.
For Google Chrome, all you have to do is install the plugin, which will appear on your tool bar. With it, you are able to stream and discover music all at the same time. Say you are browsing your favorite music blog and you discover a new artist. With +Music, all you have to do is highlight the name of an artist, right-click and instantly play or queue a mix of songs from said artist right from your Google Chrome tool bar.
Its integration into Facebook is even better because it allows you to share full songs with friends, even if they don’t have +Music installed. It also allows you to install a mini music player at the top of your Facebook page. In the Share section, +Music gives you the option to search for music where you’d normally post a status update.