The Office Music Democratizer

Tuesday, 16 November 2010
by Matt Sheret
filed under Stuff Other People Made
Comments: 14

First up, an introduction: I’m Matt, Last.fm’s Data Griot. My job is to flag up some of the stuff Last.fm can do, both with our data and as a music discovery service.

Something we all loved seeing a couple of weeks back was the Office Music Democratizer from the folks at BREAKFAST. I got in touch with one of the creators – Zolty – and asked him to write a few words about how it came to be built…

BREAKFAST is a crew of engineers, designers, coders, inventors and all around creative folk. It’s this mish-mash of skills that makes us unique in that you don’t usually find this mix of people under one roof. What it means is that we can create crazy products and experiences that easily span from online to the real world.

Sometimes it comes in the form of a Kinect-like experience, and other times it means building a bike that can share its thoughts and feelings online.

Our latest toy – the Office Music Democratizer – is an example of how we keep our tools sharp. We’re always looking for annoying little problems that we can solve quickly in our extra hours.

Like many design offices, we explored a slew of options to solve the enjoyed-by-all office jukebox. Last.fm seemed to be the answer, but going over to a computer to rate a song felt a bit un-inviting. So, we thought “wouldn’t it be great if anyone could just smack a pretty button on the wall instead.”

The Democratizer is a fully working prototype that hangs in our New York office – as seen in the video. We’ve had a good deal of purchase requests, but aren’t planning mass production anytime too soon. Rather than a big production shop, we think of ourselves more like the tailors on Savile Row – hand-made, custom things for those who appreciate them most. We’re much more excited about making our next great toy rather than dealing with mass production… at least for now.

If you’ve seen something else that does cool stuff with Last.fm, be it with the API or with plastic and glue, then drop us a comment below.

Comments

  1. Chris Payne
    16 November, 12:50

    This doesn’t really solve the whole “moving to a computer” theory though, Instead your now moving to a button on the wall. But heyyy whatever floats your boat :)

    Chris Payne – 16 November, 12:50
  2. Fed up with CBS greed
    16 November, 13:16

    ID this the great things you are working on to replace the removal of subscriber services? Wow that really will stop me removing my subscription for the first time in 5 years

    Fed up with CBS greed – 16 November, 13:16
  3. Spintos
    16 November, 13:21

    This doesn’t really solve the whole “moving to a computer” theory though, Instead your now moving to a button on the wall

    Spintos – 16 November, 13:21
  4. codespace
    16 November, 13:53

    I think they mean “moving to a computer, navigating menus, clicking on a tiny button while bent over awkwardly because you’re only using the computer long enough to click said button”.

    Instead, you just slap the appropriate side of the switch, which is a more natural interaction. Heck, you could probably even hit it with a Nerf gun if you’re any kind of decent shot.

    codespace – 16 November, 13:53
  5. Lavacano
    16 November, 14:52

    WHO DOESN’T LOVE BUTTONS?!

    Lavacano – 16 November, 14:52
  6. soadize
    17 November, 00:02

    Your ideas for new subscription features:
    a free love/ban wall-button for every subscriber ;)

    soadize – 17 November, 00:02
  7. Aengus
    17 November, 09:05

    That’s it?!

    Aengus – 17 November, 09:05
  8. Gezz
    17 November, 14:36

    :sigh: Once last.fm was pure greatness… Once…

    Gezz – 17 November, 14:36
  9. Reader.
    17 November, 17:35

    @Fed Up with CBS greed:
    No, this isn’t what Last.fm are working on for new subscriber features. You could quite easily have figured that out yourself by reading the blog properly, as the second paragraph clearly states that it was made by Breakfast, not Last.fm.

    Reader. – 17 November, 17:35
  10. Julian
    17 November, 21:50

    It would be great if you could make a real office radio. Someone could start e.g. “group last.fm” on their computer and invite collegues. When they accept, their taste is getting added and their last.fm program shows whats playing in the office. Anyone taking part gets the songs scrobbled and can love or ban the currently playing one. Thus an office taste is created.

    Julian – 17 November, 21:50
  11. padanagloves
    20 November, 06:46

    you idea is new, i like it, nice about wall button.

    padanagloves – 20 November, 06:46
  12. sewa mobil murah
    23 November, 03:31

    nice post

    sewa mobil murah – 23 November, 03:31
  13. Francis McWho
    24 November, 23:59

    we really need a special Last.fm app now multitasking is out. Main screen is just two big buttons, hate or love, like this one. Then at parties, if you’re a DJ, you can check what the crowd thinks of this new tune. And you can even see tunes blow-up in other cities. I’ve wanted to make that for ages!

    Francis McWho – 24 November, 23:59
  14. dhc
    8 December, 17:41

    span from online to the real world.

    dhc – 8 December, 17:41

Comments are closed for this entry.