My Web-Based MP3 Player System
by Billy Biggs <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 19 Feb 2004
I have always used xmms for
playing MP3s, although I have also tried
rhythmbox and really liked
it. However, neither had the ideal UI for me. I like the idea of
some modern PVR systems and web interface MP3 players, but many require
either a database or ID3 tags on my entire collection. So I decided
to design my own system. My goals were as follows:
- I have a strict filename scheme for my MP3s and do not use ID3
tags. The system should be based on filenames for tracks and
directory names for albums.
- I do not care about playlists. I just want to play albums as if I
had put the CD in my CD player.
- My collection is over 70 gigabytes stored across three discs.
I need to have my album list sorted independent of location.
- I want to easily rename tracks or albums, move files or add new
albums without having to update a lot of state.
The system I designed was simple and took only a few hours to
implement. I am extremely happy with it. Here is how it works:
- A daemon written in perl plays the MP3s and is controlled entirely
by the filesystem. For example, touch /mp3/control/stop
instructs the script to stop, and touch /mp3/control/skip
instructs it to go to the next track. You give the script a
directory and it plays that directory as an album.
- Two php scripts. One for the album list, one for the controller.
They do the appropriate touch'ing of files to control
- An album list. This is simply the output of
find /mp3 -type d. Each album is a directory.
NFS handles the multiple-disc/machine abstraction. The album list
is sorted by a php script, and takes care of "The "-prefixed
artist names nicely.
- The web server is running on a spare machine which now has an
alias of mp3 (http://mp3/). It touches and reads
the files it needs over NFS, so the player can run independent
of the web interface.
- The controller page. The track
information is all gathered from files output by the perl script
for which track and album it is currently playing.
- The album list. Clicking on an
album starts playing it. Perfect.
The source code for my system is here
- mp3player-0.1.tar.gz, 20 Feb 2004