Palooza: the shared playlist service co-created by a Hunter senior

Finally we can stop fighting over the aux-cord

Imagine you’re hosting a party. You’ve been planning this party for weeks. You’ve got everything ready and prepared. You’ve saved enough cash and got a few buds to pitch in to get a ton of drinks and snacks. You talked to your neighbors and they reluctantly – but finally – agreed to bear with all the noise the night of the party and not call the police. You made a Facebook group for the party, and almost everyone you sent an invite to replied with a “Yes” – and yes, even that cutie you’ve been eyeing for a while. You’ve made a playlist that you think is going to fuel the party into the early morning.

It is the day of the party, and everything is going wonderfully.

Except your playlist. You think it’s rad, but it’s really bringing the party down. It sucks.

A friend tugs at your shoulder, “Why don’t you let me choose the music?”

“Or me?” asks another.

More and more people join with similar remarks. You know they all have very different tastes in music. You really wish there’s an app that can include everyone’s input.

There is. It’s called Palooza. Available on both Apple iOS and Android, as well as a browser platform, the program allows you to set up a Palooza – a public or private playlist. Anyone who logs onto the app or website and sees the Palooza you created (a private Palooza generates a four-digit pin that you can give your friends to sign into) would be able to add songs that they want from Spotify databases. (To be a host on a mobile app, you need to have a Spotify Premium account.) That way, anyone would be satisfied with the playlist. After all, they helped create it.

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Palooza was created and founded by University of Virginia’s Jeff M. Cannon (CEO) and Hunter College’s Abdul N. Rad (COO). Jeff Cannon is the chief software architect of the app, and studied computer engineering at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. He has created Palooza’s programming from start to finish, and has developed the mobile app for Android and iOS all on his own. Palooza has already won second place in the University of Virginia – Darden School of Business Venture & Prototype Fair, and has been chosen as a finalist at the UVA E-Cup.

Abdul Rad is currently a senior double majoring in Political Science and Studio Art, as well as a Leon G. Cooperman Pre-Business Fellow and a Chair on the Hunter College Senate. Despite having so much on his plate, he is the business head of Palooza, and handles the marketing and design aspects of the app.

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When asked about how the idea for Palooza came to be, he replied, “Jeff actually came up with the idea a year ago when he was grading with his TAs. He and his TAs set up a computer to accept song requests from multiple people. He had a lot of fun using it even though it was a really raw interface which only a developer could really use. He saw the opportunity to bring the functionality to the everyday person instead of just techies.”

Jeff and Abdul are still developing app features to make it a smoother experience. Apart from creating and promoting Palooza in the future, Jeff is planning to start working in the technology sector upon graduating this semester with a summa cum laude. Abdul is starting graduate school at the University of Oxford this fall, studying political economy and comparative government in the Department of Politics & International Relations. He says, “Grad school won’t be taking over all the time, so I can focus on a European presence.”

You can follow Palooza on Facebook here.

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