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October 13, 2008 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Please help me turn a Windows XP machine into a public listening station to show off our library's music CD collection. Kinda long, sorry

Public librarian here. I have an XP machine that will serve as a dedicated standalone station to play snippets of songs from our CD collection (the goal being to increase checkouts of our music CDs, and increase the "cool" factor of our library in general). I'll be ripping a song or two off a given CD from the collection, which will then be displayed in a playlist on a desktop audio player for patrons to listen to. The top of the listening station will only have a mouse for picking songs, headphones for listening, and a monitor to see the player (the rest of the system will live inside the stand, locked up).

For the purposes of this question, let's assume that the listening station must live on the XP desktop (we can't buy a different machine, or just have a CD player for people to pop our CDs into to listen to, for example).

Here are the main challenges:

1) Whatever audio player I use (WMP, iTunes, etc.) must be able to be very customizable. I want to be able to pare the user's options down to just playing songs from playlists, and I'd like to be able to customize the names of the columns (I know how to choose which columns I want to display, but I want to add a column for library call number, for example). If possible, I want to hide every other button or option. Setting Start/End points in songs a la iTunes is also a must.

2) I need to be able to lock the player such that no changes to playlists, settings, etc. can take place (choosing a track, play/pause, rewind/ff, and volume are the only choices). Also, the player window should not be able to be closed or resized. I can lock the rest of the desktop/menus via admin privileges, if that matters.

3) It would be cool to be able to have the player automatically fetch the album art for the currently playing track, and we can connect the machine to the internet to do this. However, this is only an added attraction, and we can forgo this step if necessary.

I'm fine with downloading players, plug-ins, hacks, etc. to allow me to do this, as long as it's legal and legit. Really I just need to make the desktop unchangeable and idiot-proof in the ways I describe above.

Which player, and how to pimp it just so?
posted by Rykey to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd go with building something around the Yahoo Media Player
posted by rhizome at 12:40 PM on October 13, 2008


That is cool, rhizome. I'm assuming I could just use my machine's directory as the URL in the code like so (example from their help page):
a song
...where "example.mp3" is a file in the user's root directory?
posted by Rykey at 1:19 PM on October 13, 2008


Oops! AskMe read the HTML code as, uh, HTML code (go figure).
I meant to say, I'm assuming I could just use my machine's directory as the URL in the code like so (example from their help page):
(a href="example.mp3")a song (/a)
...where "example.mp3" is a file in the user's root directory?
Sorry, can't remember the HTML for "don't read this code as code."
posted by Rykey at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2008


OK, after consulting with a bunch of people, I think the VLC Media Player is the way to go.
posted by Rykey at 8:51 AM on October 23, 2008


Indeed, the VLC is awesome. I set it up in Windows, which is the buggiest of their releases, but after a couple tweaks it's working great. Yay!
posted by Rykey at 6:50 AM on November 13, 2008


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