Starting a new project

Starting a new project

A different kind of project than I’m used to.

Blips has been completed for sometime now yet with existing changes I still want to make but I needed a break from that app. I had been working on Blips for roughly a year and a half by the time we launched it and put out our first update. I was at the point of exhaustion even when thinking about working on it, so I took a break and didn’t work on anything. Knowing me though I eventually was needing a project to work on, that’s just how I am. I genuinely love working through problems, solving complex issues, designing experiences, and being innovative. This must be why I’m a software developer.

While I was driving one day I noticed that my music had stopped playing, I ran out of music. This is my fault because when I got my iPhone 5 I never transferred the music from my iPod onto it or didn’t make sure I had the iPod on me. Regardless of those two facts, the truth remains the same: I don’t have enough room on my iPhone to store all my music, have a nice selection of apps, and develop new apps. What I’ve come up with to remedy my situation is slightly backwards thinking but it also presents me with a unique opportunity to develop a service I might not have thought of otherwise.

Early drawing of CloudMusic

I wanted to create a service or a tool rather that lets you store your music in a central location, have be secure, easy to use, and work on any device(the streaming portion, not the CMS which I wanted to be desktop only). What I am calling CloudMusic is just that, or at least it will be. It’s essentially a self-maintained iTunes in the cloud, it actually uses iTunes’ servers to gather some extra metadata when you upload music files. I’ve only just begun the process of building CloudMusic out and have a long journey ahead but I have the same feelings that I had when I started writing Blips, back then it was called Video-a-day or VAD for short, which is joy and wonder and excitement.

I’m taking a lot of risks with this project but that’s what makes it so exciting. It’s not a project for others, while it sure could be at some point, but it’s for me and will solve a real problem in my life. I’m writing the client in Dart, the server in Python using Flask+Tornado which is the same server technology the Blips server is built on, and it will run on a Raspberry Pi. I want to also incorporate a physical aspect to it beyond simply running the server on an embedded system in my car. I’m thinking of showing basic information on a heads up display using an LCD that connects to the Pi’s GPIO pins, they are inexpensive and will let me see what’s playing without having to look at my phone, or I might use the display to tell me when the server is up and running and some stats about what’s going on under the hood.

I’ll keep producing updates on this blog as I make progress with the project, which is why I started the blog in the first place. Until then I must get back to work.

© Andrew Apperley 2021. All rights reserved.