March 15, 2017

Project Highlight: My Birthday Playlist

My Birthday Playlist collects the #1 Billboard hits from your birthday every year since you were born. It populates a timeline of all the songs and allows you to export your playlist to Spotify.

We developed this little web application as a holiday project after returning to the studio the first week of January. The idea was to develop something that fostered a sense of nostalgia, something that would encapsulate your life in a simple playlist.

My Birthday Playlist


It seems simple, but logistically, creating My Birthday Playlist proved more complicated than we had anticipated. First, Billboard doesn’t offer an API, so we had to use a service called Apifier to crawl their site. This provided the data set we needed, but it wasn’t formatted in a usable way. We wrote a Ruby script that took in a file, parsed it, and put it into a meaningful format, which was then put through a JS script that grouped the tracks by year. So, we had the data (finally), but then we had to work through it.

The lifeblood of the app was the ability to integrate the playlist with Spotify. We created a Javascript function that looks through each song and queries against Spotify’s API. Because Spotify’s API is amazing, it was easy to set up the authentication feature.

My Birthday Playlist results


We designed a minimalistic interface that would be not only simple to use, but also focus its energy on the content. With simple text and functionality, we used the bright colors as the significant visual element of the site. We created an original experience through the type, livening up a relatively straightforward input field.

The visual aesthetic, influenced by Spotify’s use of bright colors and gradients, emphasizes the Spotify playlist integration.