Thought Leadership
  • Product design & build

Mediablaze Labs Presents: Project Veto

Paul Button
20th April 2016

We have a lot of talent here at Mediablaze, and although our clients always come first, we like to have some fun ourselves! That’s why we set up Mediablaze Labs. Here, we present to you Project 1.0…

There's a saying that says ‘music is the friend of labour for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker.’

And it’s true, we find that having music on in the office lightens the mood and helps us to be creative. Sometimes, though, it has the tendency to rub some people up the wrong way.

Problems usually arise when the music taste of who ever is ‘in charge’ of the playlist on any given day clashes with others in the office, because (in my opinion) there's nothing worse than being forced to listen to Metallica when trying to do, well, pretty much anything. Case in point:


Never ones to complain about a problem without doing something to fix it, developer Chris Till and Digital Designer Ed King put their heads together and came up with the idea for Veto.

A few months and a couple of hiccups later, here it is.

Veto is connected to Spotify and allows each user 1 track skip per day. When a Mediablazer decides to 'veto' a track, they touch their RFID card (unique to them) on the reader and press the button.

Veto was built using an Arduino prototype board, RFID reader and giant arcade style button.

When a user touches the RFID card on the reader the software checks their ‘skip allowance’ against its database to confirm whether or not they’ve used their Veto for that day yet.

If they haven’t, the red button will light and allow them to skip the track. If they've already used it, a red LED will inform the user they have used their skip for the day.

When a user skips a track, the details of that track, along with the user are saved to a database in the cloud. Over time, this data will be used to learn the music tastes of people in the office and auto-generate playlists.


Here’s the sciencey bit:

"Veto was built using an Arduino prototype board, RFID reader and giant arcade style button. The software was written in Node.js and runs on a Mac laptop that’s connected to the Arduino. This was a necessary step due to Spotify removing their public API, so we resorted to using the Applescript API to interface with Spotify."


And the future? Super-dev Chris says, “The next step is to remove the laptop and replace it with a Raspberry Pi to create a stand-alone unit.”

Cool, huh? We thought so. A hearty pat on the back to Ed and Chris and everyone who’s been involved in Project VETO. Next stop, VETO 2.0…

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