How can I make my own MeFi Music clone?
August 21, 2007 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me make a private community-based mp3 blog, very much like, say... MeFi Music.

I have a very small, invite-only group of friends who regularly get together via mailing list to discuss our latest favorite music, shared via remotely hosted SFTP site. It's worked OK for a number of years now, but I'd like to maybe make it into something a little easier to use and more flexible. SFTP can be a pain for a number of reasons, and I like the MeFi Music interface of just being able to upload a song and have it just show up on the page, with a simple little Flash player and a space for people to add info or comments.

I've poked around with various high and low-powered CMS systems, such as Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress, MovableType and others but I'm not sure how much I really need to use in order to make this happen.(I know MeFi is based on ColdFusion which I know very little about, and Matt isn't about to hand out the source anyway.) Ideally, we're talking about restricting access to a select group of logins, allowing all users to upload (and add info to) songs, and have a way for other users to comment on uploaded music. I'm looking for: 1.) which CMS to use, 2.) plugins or extensions to add to get the functionality I'm looking for and 3.) fairly easy for me to install and operate. I know my way around (X)HTML and a little PHP, but I'm not a huge code monkey and I don't have a lot of time to invest in writing stuff by hand.

Any ideas?
posted by 40 Watt to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything about coding and the like, but I've used LiveDigital successfully to upload music I want to share with friends (you can make your uploads "private" and invite people to listen, which seems to fit your criteria of a very small, invite-only group of friends). Check it out and see if it meets your needs.
posted by amyms at 8:50 PM on August 21, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, amyms, that would do the trick but I'm trying to keep it on the down-low as far as hosting and data storage are concerned. I guess I should clarify- This needs to be hosted on our own servers, no third-party sites. Not that we're doing anything illegal, but we'd like to keep it a totally private affair.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:58 PM on August 21, 2007

I've never fiddled with the upload management side, but for thread-based player-plus-comments stuff you can set something up fairly easily with Wordpress and a small flash player. If you look at what I've got set up over here (cue ironic 1995 Under Construction icon), that's basically it: CMS-driven threads on WP with flash player and click through to comments. The basic setup for that in Wordpress is braindead easy -- all the work is in theming/styling with just a touch of php hacker if you want to get fancy.

I've been using a couple different free flash players—mefi music uses the player from Jeroen Wijering (and, on review, a pretty old version of it), which is entirely solid and pretty dang configurable besides. Recommended.

If you've worked with WP or done a CMS install before, we're talking cinch territory for all that. If not, maybe a bit bumpier but still pretty non-rocket-science stuff.
posted by cortex at 9:14 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hmm... well, that's a good start, cortex, many thanks. How are you doing the uploading/file management? Through WP's god-awful file manager thingy? I'm pretty handy with WP, so I could probably throw something like that together, but I've yet to find a decent file management plugin that takes care of the uploading and player linking and all that as simply as I'd like.
posted by 40 Watt at 9:22 PM on August 21, 2007

Response by poster: oh, and I really like Jeroen's player... it's nice and simple. All I guess I need now is a way for users to upload an mp3 and have it instantly show up as that player controller without having to go through any sort of crappy file browser interface.
posted by 40 Watt at 9:27 PM on August 21, 2007

podcastgen - it won't give you comments but it's a dead simple way to upload and share mp3s. it's designed for podcasts, so it has rss built in too
posted by noloveforned at 5:48 AM on August 22, 2007

I don't touch WP's file manager stuff; I just upload via ftp or scp to some web space I maintain, and manually tag a given post with the url of the song in a custom field that the player then gets fed via a little php call.

Which works fine for my purposes but is a bit more manual than what you have in mind, I think. That component is honestly something I'd like to hear about when you get it figured out. :)
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on August 22, 2007

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