View Full Version : RFP: turn squeezecenter into broadcast-quality interface for large music library

2008-01-27, 18:37

I am the Operations Director at a radio station in NYC. We are a music-oriented station, playing 90%+ of our content off of CDs. We have decided to turn our 14,000+ CD library (and eventually, our similarly-sized LP collection) into a hard disc based system.

I have not found a suitable off-the-shelf product to help us accomplish this. All of the existing solutions that I know of involve compromises that we do not want to make. Thus, I've determined that a custom solution will likely be necessary. And being a squeezebox user at home, it seems that with proper modification and adaptation, the squeezecenter software might be a suitable, if not perfect solution.

Here are the basics of what I'm looking for:

1. A system that can handle the quantity of music I mentioned above. I can handle the hardware aspects, in terms of a proper network RAID drive. But the software must be able to handle such a large database (300,000+ songs), and be extremely responsive. We would hope to use lossless audio.

2. Proper metadata integration: we want something beyond album covers. Specifically, I imagine having a full PDF scan of every liner note (we could handle this part), and have the PDF text fully searchable as well. This would be part of the database in some manner, and be integrated with the server software.

3. Broadcast-quality playback and reliability, using off-the-shelf computer audio hardware. This includes GPI functionality, allowing remote starts from standard broadcast consoles.

I know this is a HUGE task! We do have a budget for this. I would love to speak to any programmers that would be interested in at least part of this project - I imagine this to be a collaborative effort with someone with knowledge of information systems/library management. We can do the physical work of ripping CDs and scanning liner notes.

Please reply to this with your contact information, or send me a private message.


Bixby (aka David Tallacksen)

2008-01-27, 21:24
If you were to begin a software project like this, why would you want to start with, or even involve SlimServer?

SlimServer's main task is to play music on a Squeezebox. And it does that very well. It means that in the studio you'd be stuck playing to a Squeezebox or to a software emulator running on a computer. If that's not acceptable, then you throw out a significant part of the software and figure out a way to make it work with different hardware.

SlimServer's second claim to fame is probably its versatility in cataloging and playing varied compression formats. If you plan on lossless storage of audio data, from CDs that you own and rip yourself, then you'll likely have exactly one file format in your library.

The cataloging of printed material would be the biggest leap, as there's nothing more than the ability now to view a single image for an album. You'd be starting almost from scratch there, as the database system has zero facilities to catalog anything beyond that. If you're actually serious about converting all printed text associated with an album into searchable PDFs, though, you'll probably spend as much or more in labor just to scan and proofread the material than you will in writing the software package from scratch.

Maybe someone else has a different opinion, but I don't think you could choose a poorer starting point.