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An application specific static site generator which creates a static site for hosting and playing mp3 files
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README.md

Rainfall

A pleasant way to self host mp3s as a static site.

This is the static site generator setup that powers songs.travisbriggs.com.

It is written with lots of help from this fabulous article

It uses Python, Flask, Flask-FlatPages and Frozen-Flask.

IMPORTANT NOTE: By default, this application is setup to store metadata about songs but not the songs themselves. Please back up your songs somewhere else

Getting Started

First, install Python 3 and create a virtualenv to store the libraries needed by Rainfall. Next, install the requirements using pip:

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

To run the app and preview what your site looks like, use the flask run command. You will optionally want to set FLASK_DEBUG to 1 (true) if you plan on making changes to the templates or Python code:

$ FLASK_DEBUG=1 FLASK_APP=sitebuilder.py flask run

This command will print out a http://localhost:5000 URL that you can use to preview your site. By default your site will look a bit strange, it will be empty and have no songs in it. You can edit templates/index.html to change the header text and link (or anything else about the template; this is your site).

Adding songs

You will need a song, and something to say about the song.

Put the song in static/mp3/<slug>.mp3, where <slug> is the URL slug you want your song to show up at. For example:

static/mp3/somewhere-over-the-rainbow.mp3

Now create a Markdown file (this is the same format that Reddit and Github use) in the songs/ directory, with the same base filename as your song (slug) but with a .md extension. For example:

songs/somewhere-over-the-rainbow.md

If you reload your localhost:5000 page, you should see your song and be able to play it. When you click the song, you will be taken to http://localhost:5000/somewhere-over-the-rainbow where you will see your song's detailed listen page with its description.

Contents of the markdown file

The markdown file contains what is called "front matter" at the top, which is just metadata about the song such as it's title. Underneath that is the description of the song, which can contain any markdown syntax or HTML.

Here is an example of a finished markdown file. You can use it as a template for your own songs. The duration is in milliseconds. The tags are used to show related songs on the song's listen page

Building your site

So far, we've been previewing our site locally using flask run. This works well for viewing our changes, or if we happen to have a Python server lying around, but to be honest, we probably won't be updating this site more than once a day at absolute maximum. Let's unleash the real power of Rainfall and generate a static site.

A static site means that the mp3s, all the HTML pages, and the Javascript and CSS have all been pre-rendered and exist as static files. The main advantage of this is that we can then host the files extremely cheaply, and they will show up extremely fast (no Python server slowing things down).

To build the site, simply run:

$ python sitebuilder.py build

This will create a build subdirectory that contains the final rendered website. Whenever you make changes to the site generator (the files that you checked out from git), run that command again to render a new version of your site.

Uploading the site to Netlify

Netlify is a service that hosts static content, behind a CDN, with a custom domain name and LetsEncrypt SSL certificate, for free.

You can install Netlify's CLI and then deploy your site using:

$ netlify deploy

The command line tool will walk you through the steps to authenticate your account and finish the deploy. From there, you can use the Netlify webapp to rename your site, attach a custom domain, and provision an HTTPS certificate.

Questions?

If you have any questions, you can contact the author of this repository, Travis Briggs, at audiodude@gmail.com

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