Going On A Roadtrip? Here’s How To Make The Perfect Playlist

Posted July 13

Going on a roadtrip this weekend and can’t find the right tunes to accompany all the winding roads, unplanned pitstops and strange phenomena (sorry, I automatically “equate road trip” with “horror movie,” don’t mind me)? Luckily, one brainy techie has a hack for that.

Introducing, Roadtrip Mixtape, a cool little creation from Paul Lamere, whose hack Bohemian Rhapsichord (created with his daughter, Jennie) won the O Music Award for “Best Music Hack.” Roadtrip Mixtape is a Web app that allows you to plug in two cities (origin and destination) and create a playlist featuring bands who hail from the locations you’re driving through.

The app uses Google Maps to find the best route for your trip (added bonus) and breaks your journey into 15-minute sections, each boasting music from different nearby bands. Roadtrip Mixtape uses Rdio for streaming tunes (you can listen to entire playlists if you’re a paying customer, and samples if you don’t have an account) and artist location data from music intelligence platform The Echo Nest. Lamere gathered location info for the top 100,000 most popular artists on Rdio to create the app.

Granted, the quality of the playlist will change based on where you’re traveling. When you plug in your cities, the app will tell you the average distance between artists, number of artists, distance, time, cities and number of legs. More musically dense areas — like New York and other musical epicenters — will obviously have more tunes. You can also click on nearby cities to hear even more music.

The only real drawback with the app is that you can’t listen on the go — there’s no mobile app — and you can’t save playlists for later listening. Still, it’s pretty cool to be able to see musical history layered over the most mundane of roadtrips.

Music and its ties to location is a growing trend in the music/tech space — from apps like “Instagram for Music” SoundTracking to location-based ticketing aids, like Songkick. Lamere himself has also delved into the area in the past, creating the hack Jennie’s Ultimate Roadtrip with his daughter a few years ago. That hack allows you to plug in roadtrip data to surface shows you should attend along the way.

What do you think of Roadtrip Mixtape? Are you aching for a mobile client?