I often come late to the party, hearing about things long after the majority of those in the know have forgotten them and moved on to something shinier and even more exciting.
But learning at The Next Web Conference during Spotify’s Europe Manager Jonathan Forster’s keynote this year that a recent hack had resulted in the BBCify / Spotify thingy, excited me a great deal.
Why? Because it demonstrates what a great hack is. Simple. Seemingly effortlessly executed. And giving the user something they didn’t realise they wanted until after they’ve tried it. How many times have you listened to a radio programme or watch something on TV and thought “I like that music .. what is it?” If you have, I suspect you’ll have articulated that thought slightly less clumsily than I have. Even so, you get the idea.
In brief – because really there’s little to explain here – BBCify takes the a playlist of the music used in a TV programme or radio broadcast (drawn from the BBC’s /programmes service), digs out the links to corresponding tracks listed on the online jukebox Spotify then returns those tracks as a playlist in the desktop or mobile app.
What makes it more delicious is that this isn’t anything to do with the BBC or indeed Spotify. It’s what resourceful people have thought would be fun and useful. Its also the kind of thing the BBC can’t easily do – maybe its commercial arm BBC Worldwide would find it a little easier to execute given its reason for being – but still it satisfies an audience need, albeit a subtle one.
Which probably means someone somewhere will hopping from foot to foot nervously, or reaching for the telephone to lodge a complaint of some kind. I hope not. Because it’s a good thing.
And, what’s really strange (for me at least) is that having spent 48 hours in the company of hackers at TNW2011, I now look at a page like this and think it doesn’t look anywhere near as scary as I thought last week.