MenloHacks @ Menlo School

Recently, my friends and I decided to attend MenloHacks, which took place at Menlo School in Atherton. We built an app called MusiTapp, which is designed to prevent distraction when doing your homework and an improved way to control your media.

It works by using the accelerometer to detect knocks on the table, just like our other app, Tapioca. We set one tap on the table to toggle play and pause, two taps to go one track forward, and three taps to back a track. This was hard to implement because we needed to figure out a way for multiple knocks to register. Whenever we knocked once, the phone would automatically play or pause and not listen anymore.

To combat this issue, we set up a timer to detect the time intervals between the knocks that would reset every time an action was completed. After we got past this roadblock, our next step was to fine tune sensitivity, so we set up different number parameters for how hard we knocked on the table.

Another feature we are proud of was being able to extract the song’s metadata and then have Android TTS convert that into speech and read it out loud.

We packaged all of this code into our Android App, which we designed according to material design.

We created two buttons, one to stop the service and one to start it. The help button takes you to a separate screen with instructions. To make it easier for the user, we also added a persistent notification so they can see if its running and return to the app with ease.


At the hackathon, we won the award for best beginner hack. We got a $2000 dollar Maker School scholarship and one year of Wolfram Alpha Pro. The devpost is here Menlohacks II Devpost.

We hope to add features such as IBM Watson text to speech as well as volume control. Also, we want to publish this app on the Play Store for everyone to be able to download it.

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