Big Heavy World’s Music Access Challenge

Big Heavy World’s Music Access Challenge

Big Heavy World, a non-profit organization, faced an interesting situation. The organization had a large collection of local music, but due to library guidelines, files could only be accessed by one person at a time. This restriction essentially locked the music away from the public because they didn’t have the technology at the time to distribute it widely.

A potential solution arose through Code for America, a program connecting tech professionals with charitable organizations in need of website updates and similar services. Nate Haskins volunteered his time through the organization, but the music access problem was too large to tackle within the program’s usual constraints.

However, an opportunity emerged in the form of a major local hackathon with substantial corporate sponsors. Big Heavy World could submit their music dataset to the event as a potential project. Nate learned about this opportunity only two days before the event but devised a plan. If Big Heavy World submitted their dataset, he could participate in the 24-hour hackathon and complete the project.

Big Heavy World agreed. Nate spent 19 hours straight building a library checkout system for the music files, ensuring it complied with the library guidelines for single-user access. The project won third place in the hackathon, securing enough prize money to cover the development. The software has since brought joy to music lovers in the region, giving them access to a treasure trove of local sounds that celebrate the unique spirit of their community. The hackathon was judged by a team of experts from companies including Google and WolframAlpha.