24 hour programming people

Love programming competitions? Who doesn’t?

This weekend is a big one with the world championship in 24-hour programming being decided in Budapest, Hungary. Taking part are 30 three person teams, that competed in an online competition back in March to qualify. Three of the teams come from KTH in Stockholm and are sponsored by Spotify because we definitely think programming competitions are fun. In fact, four out of the nine team members are Spotify engineers.

Among the teams competing are the reigning champs, who all happen to work here, and five previous or current Swedish champs. We wish them all good luck and hope they bring back the Cup that has been sitting nicely in our kitchen for the past twelve months.

The three Spotify sponsored teams are:

Balloons’R’us (reigning world champions)

  • Fredrik Niemelä (Spotify)
  • Gunnar Kreitz (Spotify)
  • Mattias de Zalenski (Spotify)

budubump

  • Marcus Forsell Stahre (Spotify)
  • Håkan Terelius
  • Elias Freider

#define lever (int i=0;i<1<

  • Anders Sjöqvist
  • Lukáš Poláček
  • Ulf Lundström

If programming is your cup of tea then stay tuned for more details about the Spotify Programming Challenge (our first competition!) coming up in May. And while you’re at it why not check out our jobs site for exciting career opportunities.

UPDATE:We failed to bring the cup back this year – perhaps some great new programming talent can help us reclaim it next year. :) The winners were Rusty from Poland, who finished in 6th place 2008 and won 2006, congrats!

Drowned in April playlist

Ash clouds, UK election chaos and the spring finally came to London, meanwhile, heaps of great records were released and here’s a playlist by DrownedinSound.com’s editor compiling the best bits and sound-tracking the month that was.

Drowned in April 2010Listen/subscribe to this playlist

Bow Wow Wow ‘I Want Candy’
A few weeks ago, the death of Malcolm McLaren hit me in ways I didn’t fully anticipate. McLaren was the visionary and incorrigible force behind the transatlantic importation and explosion of punk in the UK. He’s perhaps best known as the impresario/manager of The Sex Pistols, however his forays at the precarious axis where music, commerce and low-slung high culture clashed, didn’t start and end there. This track from Adam & the Ants former backing band, was released in 1982 (the year I was born) and still sounds as fresh and forward-leaning as it did back then.

Malcolm McLaren ‘Buffalo Gals’
McLaren also wandered into the limelight, releasing several albums (and writing the theme for British Airways?!), including his exploration of local music from African ‘world music’ to hip-hop from New York. Notably, the video to this track introduced break-dancing to the mainstream. Duck Rock from which this track comes, is perhaps a more important part of the legacy he leaves than Never Mind The…. Read tributes to Malcolm McLaren from the likes of Johnny Rotten and former partner Vivienne Westwood and listen to a special tribute playlist here.

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Spotify – the next generation

This morning we’re really excited to announce a major evolution of Spotify. Today we begin rolling out Spotify version 0.4.3 which includes the largest feature upgrade since our launch in late 2008.

To kick it off we’ve added a number of social features, centered on a fully editable Spotify music profile, with the ability to publish playlists, top artists and top tracks for public view. Discovering these profiles is simple as we’ve connected with Facebook so that you can instantly add your friends’ profiles.

As well as introducing a variety of new social features, Spotify is evolving into a total music management platform. We’ve added a ‘Library’ folder in the left side bar, enabling you to combine your own music library with ours.

But before we get into all the details, we’ve put together a little video which will walk you through some of the new features.

That’s a taste of some of the new features we’ve added but there’s a fair bit more, in fact we’ve added over a dozen new features and improvements to this release. The full list of new features, which will be made available to both free and premium users, includes:

Social

  • Connect to Facebook: you can connect to Facebook inside of Spotify, instantly adding all your Facebook friends who’ve selected the same feature. Your friends’ profiles will appear in a new ‘People’ sidebar at the right of the screen, with your personal profile at the top.
  • Add usernames: you can also add people by typing their Spotify username, should you know it, into the Spotify search field. For example searching ‘spotify:user:username’ will bring up their profile (if their profile is published).
  • Publish your Spotify profile to the web: easily publish the link to your Spotify profile on your blog, Facebook page, website or anywhere else on the web and allow others to follow your musical journey. For example here’s a link to the official Spotify profile.
  • Inbox: a new ‘inbox’ folder on Spotify’s left sidebar lets you send tracks to friends directly within the platform, simply by dragging and dropping a track to their name in the People sidebar. Alternatively, just right click on the track and select the new ‘send to’ option.
  • Facebook feed: music your friends have posted on Facebook will be visible on the Spotify ‘What’s new’ page and via a new ‘Feed’ tab.
  • Popularity count for playlists: all playlists will show how many other Spotify users are currently subscribed to that playlist. By clicking on the number, you can even see the usernames of those who added the playlist.
  • Track playlist changes: see who and when a track was added to a playlist with the new ‘Added’ and ‘User’ columns in playlists.

Library

  • Local files: missing any music in Spotify? Now you can import a link to all the music files stored on your computer with a simple click of a button.
  • Local file linking: we will check your local files and see if we have that track/artist/album in Spotify. If we do, we’ll make the file linkable so you can easily go from that file into an artist or album page. This allows for better sharing of playlists that contain a mix of your own music and Spotify’s.
  • Starred: every track and album on Spotify can now be ‘starred’ – allowing you to tag all your favourites into a special sub-folder.
  • Wireless sync: you can copy your music files to your mobile without connecting a USB cable with our new wireless sync feature.
  • Filter bar: the library has a permanent filter-bar at the top so you can easily type in what you’re searching for. In all other lists the filter bar is visible when pressing cmd-f (mac) or ctrl-f (windows).
  • Additional features

    • Mosaic images for playlists: the artwork from the first nine tracks in a playlist will create a cool mosaic image for your playlist
    • New toolbar in headers: Sharing music to Facebook/Twitter and your friends is much simpler. Easy to subscribe or unsubscribe to a playlist as well as view information about how popular a playlist is.
    • A share icon in ‘Now playing’ artwork: makes sharing what you’re currently listening to much easier.
    • Automatic track replacement: Spotify will now automatically try to find a replacement for any track you can’t play. So if a friend in another country sends you a playlist with tracks you can’t play or a local file, we’ll search our catalogue and link to a playable track when possible. A ‘link’ icon next to the track name represents replaced tracks.

    So how do you get the new version? We’ve started rolling out the update to users today, however, it will take us a number of days to get it to everyone. Once we’re ready to update your account it will happen automatically upon restart so you won’t need to do anything.

    We’ve been working long and hard on this for the past few months and we really hope you enjoy it!

    Update: For information regarding updating your account please go to our service status page.

    Spotify Premium, Nobody’s Daughter

    It’s been a number of years since Hole released a new album. Their last record, the 1998 Grammy-nominated Celebrity Skin was a huge hit, and now Courtney Love returns with Nobody’s Daughter, the first new Hole album in over a decade.

    Along with Courtney, the new line-up of Hole includes 23-year-old British guitarist Micko Larkin (formerly of London indie rockers Larrikin Love), bassist Shawn Dailey (of Rock Kills Kid), and drummer Stuart Fisher. Hole recently played a brief series of dates in February at Shepherds Bush Empire in London, then in Milan and Amsterdam.

    The album is out on April 27th but starting today, Spotify Premium users in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Spain can listen to the album in full. Enjoy!

    A selection of playlists for April

    This is the second post in our series of playlists courtesy of ShareMyPlaylists.com. You can check out our March post and thousands more playlists at ShareMyPlaylists.com.

    The Soundtrack to March 2010
    This is a playlist brimming with absolute class. It is so full of quality music that it is hard to know where exactly to begin, so, deep breath. Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s new tune Get Better is inspirational, uplifting and catchy as hell. Plan B’s new single She Said showcases his new found penchant for soulful crooning beautifully. Goldfrapp are back with Rocket which is a slice of pure 80s synth joy, I Feel Better is another rhythmical triumph from Hot Chip and any collaboration between Gorillaz, Gruff Rhys and De La Soul can only end in total sonic success. And exhale, and then repeat the playlist as many times as necessary (lots).

    Dadrock
    If you combine Jeremy Clarkson’s dress sense, Mark Lawrenson’s hair, and Bruce Forsyth’s jokes, this freakish amalgamation of television personalises is unlikely to produce an avid fan of German underground minimal techno. Chances are, it will result in is a good old fashioned Dadrock fan. Yes, this playlist is held up by Phil Collins, Dire Straits and Cliff but there is also some tunes that do not require an embarrassing mid-life crisis air guitar to fully enjoy. The inclusion of James Brown, Talking Heads and Michael Jackson means that there is something for everyone here, although we do strongly recommend thick gauge corduroy trousers and an ill-fitting denim shirt to fully appreciate this play list.

    ASOT Top 20 2009
    If, like me, your a fan of dutch DJs with square heads and spikey hair, glowsticks, big fish, little fish and also cardboard boxes, then this is the playlist for you. All the big players in trance are present Cosmic Gate, Paul Van Dyk and the man who is, inexplicably, regularly voted Number one in DJ in the world in DJ magazine’s Top 100 list, Armin Van Buuren. LETS AV’IT!

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    Get closer to Metric with Spotify

    Spotify is very excited to be supporting Canadian rock band Metric with a campaign to bring the band to a wider audience. The band has enjoyed unprecedented success with their self-released album campaign in North America and they are now preparing to take the UK by storm. Check out the deluxe version of their latest album, Fantasies, available only on Spotify.

    The band has also recorded bonus content exclusively for our premium subscribers. Already available are some great acoustic versions and remixes of their tracks and in early May they will be releasing some specially recorded covers of their favourite songs.

    In a special offer, Metric fans can get also 25% discount on tickets to the band’s London show and can download the album ‘Fantasies’ for just £0.99. After promoting the tour on Spotify for two weeks the band have already sold out London’s Shepherds Bush Empire and have now added an extra date at Koko on May 23rd due to the high demand for tickets. This unique opportunity also includes a sponsored contest which has 10 VIP prize packages up for grabs – each comprising of 4 VIP tickets to the Koko show, a personally autographed deluxe edition of ‘Fantasies’ and a meet & greet with the band. For more details and to buy tickets or the album, visit the official Metric website.

    Music Hack Day: Good bye Stockholm, hello Amsterdam

    Remember the Music Hack Day in Stockholm back in February? We sure do, and that’s why we’re happy to announce that we’re going to Amsterdam to participate at the upcoming Music Hack Day during April 24th & 25th.

    If everything goes according to plans, we’ll announce some updates to our libspotify library during the event. We won’t reveal more updates just yet, but we think that you’re going to like them.

    What else then? Since we’re always impressed by nifty services and applications that are using our APIs, we’re going to hand out some prizes to cool hacks that are built upon our stuff. What a shame that someone just revealed a really cool hack the other day – it won’t be eligible for the prizes.

    Last but not least – we know how much hard work it takes to make this kind of event to happen, why we’ll team up with the organizers to make sure that there’s breakfast readily available for those who need a pause from the intensive 24 hour coding marathon. You’ll need some energy if you’re building stuff as cool as this.

    Hope to see you in Amsterdam!

    Spotify Premium, My Little Friend

    This post was guest written by Thomas Dybdahl, who’s new album, Waiting For That One Clear Moment, is available for premium users in Norway as of today. You can also listen to the playlist that he created for Spotify listeners.

    The album has had numerous of working titles before ending up with ”Waiting For That One Clear Moment”. “Party like it`s 1929”, “I Chose To Remain A Monkey (again) and “Blandingstryne” to mention some of them. We started the recording just before Christmas 2 ½ year ago and kept it going between long breaks of thinking and writing, until Christmas last year.

    “We” is me and my co-producer Morten J. Olsen (Moha!, Ultralyd to name just a few). Morten played drums with me and my band “The Great October Sound” up until 2006, before we split and he focused on own projects. My plan was to follow this receipt on the record: Take one core, consisting of a sad man with a guitar, roll it in a thin layer of garageband-quasi-stasifunk, dip it in a light orchestral post-nostalgic chocolate souse and let it dry. Drill then a hole in to the core and suck out the man with the guitar, break him up in small pieces and strew him over the fresh pastry. Voila! If we succeeded can be discussed of course, but the result is a record that doesn’t sound like anything else and I`m very proud of it.

    Hope you like it and enjoy it, even if it`s not playing on the same emotional strings you might know from my previous works.

    Spotify community award winners announced

    Back in February we mentioned the Spotify community awards initiative being run by Afront over at the The Pansentient League blog.

    After a month of voting the results are in and the winners have been announced. Big congrats to Spotibot for taking ‘Best Overall’ category and to all the other winners as well. It’s really incredible to see all the work that has gone into these sites and we look forward to more in the coming months.