about the CD list – part one – introduction and why I did it

Everybody says the same thing when I show them the CD list.

"How did you do that, and why?"

This posting seeks to answer both those questions, if after reading it you still have questions, feel free to add a comment below.

I’ll answer the why first as I imagine not everyone will be interested in the techy details of how.

Why?

I always though it would be quite nice to have a page on my site that lists the music I’m currently listening to, but as I buy new CDs all the time it would be tedious to update.

I then thought it would be cool to have an automated system to keep it up to date but for a long time did nothing about it.

Then I recently realised that thanks to the power of freedb.org and wmsvencd (the application I use to play CDs at home and work) it was possible to do this.

3 days of furious programming later, followed by the odd hour here or there of tweaking and I now have an automated system.

Every time I play a CD on my PC at home or work, within an hour it will appear on this site.

How?

Above covers the why, this attempts to the cover the how.

I’m a Java Programmer by trade and I want to keep my skills current, so I tend to program my Web sites in Java.

This development was no exception.

The realisation that prompted me to do this work was finding out that libcdaudio (that wmsvencd uses) writes a cache of CDs I have played to the file system.

I saw this and realised all I had to was read the information from that cache into a database and I could then display it on my site.

It also has the nice side effect of building up a database of CDs I own (or listen to).

Continued in part two.

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