Turn your backup server into a jukebox
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This is a weekend project of mine from a while ago. As such, the code quality is not great; test coverage is minimal to none; and I didn't bother to do things like "write down dependencies so that other people could use it". In other words, caveat emptor and all that.

I do mean to come back to this and make it nicer in the future, especially if it's useful for people other than me. In the meantime, pull requests are more than welcome!

What is it?

Websinger turns that Linux server where you back up all of your music into a jukebox.

When I was first thinking about this, I found a number of applications online that let you play music from the server through your browser. However, my need was unique in that it was the server that had the speakers: I wanted to be able to index all of the backed-up media, search it nicely, and allow everyone in the house to collaboratively edit a single playlist of what would play over the speakers.


Websinger currently runs on my Ubuntu server. It might run on yours, too! I run with Ruby 1.9.2 provided by a system-wide rvm installation. If you don't, the Rakefile in particular will probably not work for you.

First, install these non-Ruby prerequisities:

sudo apt-get install apache2 mpg123 libmagic-dev

Clone the Github repository wherever you wish, and resolve the Ruby dependencies with Bundler:

sudo gem install bundler

mkdir -p /var/rails
cd /var/rails
git clone git://github.com/smashwilson/websinger.git
cd websinger
bundle install

Deploy the Rails app however you wish. I use Apache and Passenger.

Next, use the included Rake task to create the websinger user and register the player daemon with upstart:

# You probably want to read lib/tasks/install.rake first!
sudo rake install

Finally, you'll need to start the player daemon:

sudo start websinger-player

Now your server is running, but it has no music yet.

Adding Music

Websinger provides a Rake task for scanning a directory tree to add mp3 files to its database. I have a script that invokes it as follows:


export RAILS_ENV=production
cd /var/rails/websinger
rake websinger:scan[/home/smash/music,true,/home/smash/import-errors.log] --trace

This will import all .mp3 files found under /home/smash/music, reporting verbose progress and logging error messages to import-errors.log. Currently, things that give the scan task trouble include blank IDv3 titles and non-UTF-8 characters within track paths.