hack 24 logo

This Spring, on the 2nd and 3rd of May, 7digital are proudly sponsoring a new hack day, set up by the Tech Nottingham community - Hack24.

During this 24 hour coding competition, teams of 4 compete to win exclusive prizes, by showcasing their innovative ideas and raw tech talent!

Set in Nottingham's Creative Quarter, this will definitely be an exciting Hackathon to be a part of.

How to get involved?

7digital folk listen up, now we've set an API challenge as described below; we're looking for 4 people to form a team - it doesn't matter what your specialism is, what department you're in, a team formed of product, systems, data and dev people might be just as good as 4 hardcore h4xx0rs.
 
Challenge: Build a context-based or thematic music application, service or store using the 7digital API augmented with data or APIs from at least one other source.

Context is key to the new wave of music applications. All you can eat music or massive download catalogues are hard to navigate and only let people discover what the retailers think they should. With the onset of wearable technology, open access to contextual data from the internet of things and the general increase in availability of processable data, we can now inform decisions in real-time based on the context in which that person, action or event exists.

Imagine that your music choices could be informed by the weather, or the city you're currently in, or the fact that your friends are all talking about the latest band. What if your music app knew you were running, or cycling, or dancing? Consider that you might want to only listen to rock, or classical, or Christian music or music from bands formed in Nottingham. We have 32 million available tracks to play, but you'll not want to listen to all of them (that's about 369 years of listening) so picking themes is important, and playing them based on the listeners current situation makes them even more important.

The 7digital API allows you to search, list by genre, purchase, preview and stream from our worldwide music catalogue. Couple this with another API or data source, using our partners like MusicBrainz, our matching API, or by combining another API through text searching, and you should be able to create something unique.

Entrance is FREE, we'll take care of the logistics, so all you have to do is sign up for the Hack here!

 

Tag: 
Hackathon
Hack
music app
app
API
sharri.morris@7digital.com
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:49

I wanted to start looking at alternatives to our current set of cucumber feature tests. At the moment on the web team we're using using FireWatir and Capybara. So I though I'd take at look at what was available in Node.js. Many people think it's strange that a .Net shop would use a something written for testing Ruby or even consider something that isn't from the .Net community. Personally I think it's a benefit to truly look at something form the outside in.  Should it matter what you're using to drive your end product or what language your using to test it? Not really. So what are the motivations for moving away from Ruby, Capybara and FireWatir? In a word 'flaky', we've had heaps of issues getting our feature tests, AATs and smoke tests reliable. When it comes to testing, consistency should be king. They should be as solid as your unit tests.  If they fail you want to know that for definite you've broken something, rather than thinking it's a problem with the webdriver. It is with this aim in mind that I started looking at the following. Cucumber.js is definitely in it's infancy, there's lots of stuff missing but there's enough there to get going. Zombie.js is a headless browser, it claims to be insanely fast, no complaints here.

sharri.morris@7digital.com
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:44

After seeing some relative success in our Solr implementations xml response times by switching on Tomcats http gzip compression, I've been doing some comparisons between the other formats solr can return. We use Solrnet, an excellent open source .NET Solr client. At the moment, it only supports xml responses, but every request sends the "Accept-encoding:gzip" header as standard, so all you have to do is switch it on on your server and you've got some nicely compressed responses. There is talk of supporting javabin de-serialisation, but it's not there yet. I've decided to compare the following using curl with 1000 rows and 10000 rows in json, javabin, json/gzip compressed and javabin/gzip compressed.

anna.siegel@7digital.com
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 12:27

 

Following changes to our Catalogue API, we are releasing a change to the Basket API to support premium quality formats.

This release adds a package element below basketItem in all basket responses. This is to support the sale of music in different audio formats.

An example response would now look like this:

Anonymous
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 03:08

Guest Blog by John Nye on His First Week at 7digital

I have recently started at 7digital and already there are a few things of note that may seem small, but highlight the differences in attitude 7digital take over other companies I have worked for. Below are a few thoughts from my first week at 7digital.

Day 1 - Meet the team

After an incredibly frustrating start, owing to a 4 hour delay on my train journey, I was introduced to everyone, given my security pass and directed to a new starter guide that had a series of tasks that needed to be completed. These tasks ranged from installing software to getting added to email groups to reading up on the 7digital handbooks. So I logged into my Ubuntu machine and started going through the list... wait... Ubuntu?

Thoughts from the day:

  • Incredibly welcoming bunch.
  • Locate an Ubuntu book!

Day 2 - Empowerment