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Play This Song to Ring in the New Year Perfectly

Frank Ocean’s “Nights” is the front-runner, but the musical options are vast thanks to a developer duo in Waterloo

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

We’re approaching the end of our darkest timeline, otherwise known as 2017, but there is one parting gift from this year: the “If you play ...” or “Start off the new year right ...” meme. It began as a simple tip or proposal on Twitter. Play this song to ring in the new year, and if you start it at the right time, you’ll get the perfect auditory moment at exactly midnight.

The concept originated on Reddit, according to Know Your Meme. On December 13, user tomboytom advocated for Frank Ocean’s “Nights” as a stroke-of-midnight tune. The post was upvoted, and after that, two tweets managed to make the choose-your-adventure meme go viral: One supporting tomboytom’s original post, the other telling people to play Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” at 11:59:08. From there, the internet did what it is wont to do.

Even Paris Hilton has a suggestion!

In addition to clever twists (see above) on the meme, two Waterloo-based software developers decided to make a single-serve website so you can create your own perfect beat drop at midnight on New Year’s. Ulkar and her husband Azhdar (who asked that their last names be withheld “just because of the nature of the internet”) launched Enter2018Right, a site that allows you to enter any song you want and, if you keep the page (or tab) open, it will automatically play that song at the requisite hour in order for the perfect midnight moment. (I have obviously chosen “Africa” by Toto. To each their own!)

Ulkar and Azhdar decided, like true developers, there was a smarter way to cue up the perfect musical drop for midnight: “We thought, ‘Well that’s gotta be hard to time [perfectly], there should be something to automate this!’” They started the project on December 23 (using the YouTube API to pull songs and writing a script that starts tunes at the right time), and by December 24, it was live. There’s more to come, though: “We added some special effects for those users who will be online right as the clock strikes 12!” Ulkar says.

They are savvy enough to give the internet what it wants, and to know how to ring in the new year right: “We plan to enter 2018 with Beyoncé saying ‘World stop, carry on!’” from Nicki Minaj’s “Feeling Myself.” That is, as long as the couple’s night isn’t interrupted. “Our New Year’s Eve is still up in the air because I’m actually nine months pregnant right now and might enter 2018 in the hospital!” Hopefully the delivery room will have Wi-Fi so this creative couple can welcome the new year—and their newborn—with their musical moment of choice.