We wanted to find a space for collaborating in music via recording on our smartphones and computers. We also wanted this to be a very casual activity and emphasized the collaboration aspect on sharing through Facebook. Since Facebook doesn't have much of a presence in the world of music (like Spotify and SoundCloud), we thought it would be an interesting idea to promote Facebook's API through this hack.
What it does
Record your singing and/or music and share it for others to work on top of. Share it to Facebook for the world to see!
How we built it
We used Facebook's Parse (as well as their sharing/login API), Microsoft's Azure hosting, Swift 2.0, and Node.js. iOS users can upload their recordings to Parse, contributing to a mobile newsfeed, and allowing web users to collaborate with them (and vice versa).
Challenges we ran into
Parsing .m4a files into mp3 files was a seriously painful and lonely journey (Apple prefers .m4a while the rest of the world likes .mp3). Connecting the backend of both our web and mobile apps was also challenging as we had to configure our Parse classes to be ambiguous enough to host users on both an iOS device and a computer. Also, it was difficult to learn Apple's AVFoundation framework to configure and maintain audio files.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our application works on both web and mobile. It was a miracle. We found really good social applications for our app and had an amazing time making it.
What we learned
What's next for Byte
We plan to update the app to provide cool audio effects and further layering tricks in the form of studio editing in the next release! We'll also try to provide further compatibility for files outside of just m4a and mp3.