"As a university aged student in Sydney Australia, I feel trapped in my own country. I feel isolated from the cultures of the world and I feel like opportunities to explore, connect and immerse myself in different cultures have been stripped away from me. I feel existing online methods of communication are alienating and not fun. The language barrier is so present and we cannot transcend with existing tools."
Inspired to solve this problem, we devised a solution that can enable the authentic experience of global exchange by creating a library of cultural expression in the universal language of music not inhibited by the limits of space, time or social anxiety.
What it does
MusicMate allows you to connect with others across the globe based on their top 5 most beloved songs. Once signed up, you are randomly matched with another profile allowing you to view their favourite songs and their stories behind them. A ‘song chat’ is available where you can message in the form of sending additional songs. These songs get merged into a Spotify playlist as a record of your musical explorations with your PlayPal.
How we built it
The web app was built using a myriad of technologies including Preact and Tailwind CSS for the front-end and the Spotify API, Chalice, and AWS CDK (Cognito, DynamoDB) for the back-end/database.
Challenges we ran into
The ideation process was long and gruelling due to the immense amount of ideas and inspiration drawn out of the Crazy 8s brainstorming technique. The selection of our final idea required a pragmatic approach taking into consideration time constraints and quality of life sacrifices that would be required. The selected idea would ensure the optimal hackathon outcome despite requiring the abandonment of all mental health considerations.
Setting up authentication for the Spotify API and integration with AWS Cognito were particularly rewarding challenges in addition to other inevitable technical idiosyncrasies.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The use and integration of some unfamiliar technologies and building these into a cohesive solution was the proudest achievement of the team. The commitment and drive of our team members to push towards ambitious goals made the entire hackathon a truly enriching and cathartic experience.
What we learned
Throughout this hackathon, we learned about new tools/technologies and means of collaboration in a virtual environment. Especially, we learned how much we hate AWS Cognito and how much we like the Crazy 8s concept ideation method.
What's next for MusicMate
Future iterations of MusicMate would likely include an auto-generated “Discover Weekly PlayPal” playlist which is populated with another user’s favourite songs and a link to their MusicMate profile. This better integrates with the Spotify app providing a simpler user journey which does not require constant context switching to the MusicMate app. A map view could also be included to set a location preference of where in the world you would prefer your match to come from. Over consecutive days communicating via the song chat, increasing forms of communication such as text or images may also be permitted allowing deeper connections to be formed.