Please make me a music player
Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 9:57 am. #
Here’s what I’d quite like, please…
A music player. It can look as simple as VLC. It doesn’t need any playlist management or anything like that. It needs to play music in MP3 or AAC format, that’s all.
That can play remote files. All my music is on Amazon S3; other peoples’ music might be on their own FTP/SFTP connection.
That can deal with the special issues of playing remote files. So: pre-buffer these files locally as you’re playing them (so you’re not reliant on perfect internet connections) and cache them in a user-defined-sized cache (so regularly-played songs can be played many times without using lots of bandwidth).
That can run on Mac OSX. Because that’s the type of OS that people who do this kind of thing would probably be using.
That can run on Android. So I’ve got all my music accessible on my device – some in a local cache, some not.
There are lots of things out there that are close.
Amazon Cloud Player: except the Android bit won’t work in the UK, and I’m forced to use Amazon infrastructure. (And there’s no actual client for Mac OSX).
MP3tunes: except I’m forced to use MP3tunes infrastructure, and they’re being sued by all manner of people, so do I want to trust my music to it?
On Mac OSX: VLC + Expandrive does the job pretty well (Expandrive makes a remote filesystem appear local). However, there’s no pre-buffering or caching. Perhaps the secret is to write a little local server for VLC to connect to, replacing Expandrive? Or, convince the folks at Expandrive to do the caching bit, at least?
The coming Google Music service: except I’m forced to use Google infrastructure, and there’s likely to be a charge for it one would think.
Have I missed something? Is there a simple solution to what I want? Would someone like to make something (open-source; I might even pay for some work on it)? (Is this one for VLC?)
It turns out you can increase the ‘pre-buffer’ size in VLC, which makes it more tolerant of network issues. I went to VLC preferences, clicked “all” at the bottom left, then went to Input / Codecs –> Access Modules –> File and increased the caching value. I’m using 5000 for each (which theoretically should mean it’s caching five seconds of audio). It seems much more resilient as a result.