pour l'amour de la musique

My newest obsession has to be Ampache. Shortly after I upgraded my hosting plan to "unlimited" I decided to use the storage to back-up my digital life (in case of fire/flood/toddler toilette experiments/etc). Since then, I have uploaded approx. 40 GB of media, most of which is home videos and music. I must admit I don't have a very impressive music library compared to many-a-cohort. Still, I always wondered if I could easily manage this lot with a web utility so I didn't always have to carry my external hard-drive around or copy my library whenever I get a new computer. I also like the idea of having it centralized since I'm not too good at keeping up on redundancy with media coming into possession using one of two laptops, home and work desktops, friends, and so on.

Introducing Ampache. Ampache has a lot of functionality that I am not able to exploit, designed for a server that you have total control over, which is not the case with my shared hosting service. However, I have successfully uploaded the PHP based installer, created a database, and configured it...and I'm not that smart so it has to be easy! The only problem that I haven't yet solved is increasing the maximum time my server will allow an Ampache PHP script to run. The default is set to 30 s, which is really not enough to catalog my entire library. My current work-around is to break the library up into many catalogs.

Nevertheless, I am happy with the user interface which allows me to either download a playlist .m3u file which then lets a media player (I use VLC) to stream from the web-server, or there is also a local flashplayer (xspf). I would prefer to use the xspf player since it is one click playback and has a nice interface which displays album art, however, lots of my music is in .ogg format which won't play. So I'm working on converting to .mp3s.

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