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buildspace n&w week 1: the beginnings of Stereocaster

Ideating, building, and getting off localhost

I'm spending my nights and weekends for the next six weeks building Stereocaster, a way for you to see what your social network is listening to.

If you’re unfamiliar, nights & weekends is a huge, asynchronous build-a-thon that ends in a competition for $100,000 and a final IRL event. This season has over 4,000 people developing apps, making music, writing novels, and more.

One of the main aspects of n&w is to ship and iterate quickly, which means that I posted my idea to Twitter and got off localhost within the span of one week.

Stereocaster started with this idea posted to Twitter.

In the spirit of building in public, I’m sharing progress updates and things I’ve learned while building Stereocaster.

The original idea

The idea behind Stereocaster originated from an interest in the Farcaster ecosystem and surfacing music and podcasts. I’ve been using apps on the protocol for a while and was really interested in developing my own.

Music and podcast discovery is something I've always been super interested in, and I felt like there was a lot of opportunity to combine social networks with audio sharing.

Lessons from building

Funnily enough, my experience so far with building Stereocaster has given me a new appreciation for the goals of the Farcaster protocol and a better understanding of how permissionless and decentralized protocols actually benefit developers. I was able to pull casts (Farcaster’s equivalent of a tweet) easily and do whatever I wanted with them. On the other hand, I also used the Spotify API for my version 1 and saw that functionality was more limited.

So, what did I get done this week?

I got Stereocaster off localhost! You can check out v1 here:

v1 of Stereocaster

My v1 is still fairly rough, but I wanted to experiment with bringing the experience of actually listening to audio into a social feed of audio links. Right now, that’s translated to being able to scroll through casts with Spotify links and open a Spotify player within Stereocaster to listen to a preview of the audio.

The backend isn’t automated yet (more on that below), so I created the current feed using the Searchcaster API to pull 200 casts with Spotify links and displayed them manually.

Progress on the backend: I connected to a mainnet Hub.

Farcaster is in the early stages of transitioning the protocol so all cast data is stored on different “Hubs” that anyone can run. The end goal of Stereocaster is to pull real-time data from the Hubs to display on the website, so as an intermediate step, I managed to connect to a Hub and see real-time casts.

I connected with some other n&w builders, gave and received feedback, and thought about next steps for Stereocaster.

I have a list of feature ideas, some outstanding issues to address, and a lot of excitement to keep building Stereocaster!

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#nights & weekends season 3#farcaster