Inspiration

Music has the power to set the mood in the bar. We have found that when the music playing in the background is not preferable for us that we do not have the best experience. We wanted to create a more interactive bar experience. As the consumer stays a longer time in the bar, constantly refilling their drink, they will have a higher say over the music. Instant deals will be provided based on customers’ favorite beers and the music selected. This idea also provides value to the bar by creating an incentive for consumers to spend more.

What it does

Tunes on Tap is a mobile app that allows a user to have a say in the music. When the app is initially downloaded the user will log-in to their Spotify and their account will be synced from that moment on. When a customer arrives at a bar they will open the app and select which Spotify playlists they would like to send to the DJ.

How I built it

The server was built using Node.js and a MongoDB database. Node.js was used because it is scalable and real-time. We also created an iOS app for bar goers to use, and also a webapp in case bar goers want to bring their laptops along.

Challenges I ran into

Along the way there have been several smaller roadblocks that we have overcome. One specific challenge was setting up the Spotify API and getting used to authentication. That was compounded by the fact that the primary Node.js module for interfacing with Spotify’s API was incomplete. Manually calling the Spotify API endpoints would’ve been more complete, but more complicated. We chose to use the Node.js module instead of mixing the two methods.

Another was differentiating between production and development environments. This was compounded by the fact that we were using a database. In the development environment, it would be preferable to use a local database so that only one developer can tinker around with a specific database, but no one else could access it. In a production environment, using a local database won’t work -- a shared database must be used.

What I learned

We learned that the first idea is not always the best and through a long brainstorming session, an idea can morph greatly. We also realized that some API’s pose greater problems than others and that by thinking critically, we managed to work around those challenges. We developed our product planning skills while under a time constraint. As a marketing major, I was able to expand my understanding of technical terms as well as learning about the process of an app being designed and built.

What's next for Tunes on Tap

Eventually this app could be automated as to replace an actual DJ. We also think that this could be beneficial to integrate with programs organized by bar owners such as sports night, and trivia night

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