DancerJukebox - controlling MPD from Dancer

I've been using Music Player Daemon to play my music for a long time, it really suits my needs. It runs on a machine under my stairs and outputs music through various outputs (two soundcards, one hooked up to the amp and one to my headphones transmitter, and also Shoutcast streaming so I can listen from work), and can be controlled by a variety of clients, which need only speak a simple text-based protocol.

Some time ago I wrote a jukebox-style music queueing webapp using Catalyst, which worked pretty well, but I did not enjoy coding or maintaining it.

After having become familiar with Dancer, I decided it was time to re-write it using Dancer, so I sat down one evening and began. To speak to MPD, I'm using Audio::MPD, and I wanted to make it easy to get a connection, so I wrote up the code as a simple plugin, Dancer::Plugin::MPD, which I released to CPAN.

This lead to code as simple as, for example:

get '/skipnext' => sub { mpd->next; redirect '/'; };
get '/control/play/:id' => sub { mpd->play(params->{id}); redirect '/'; };

Simple and easy.

This time round, I was happy enough with the code to release it, so you'll find DancerJukebox on GitHub. The previous version was developed in a private Subversion repository, and I was never happy enough with it to release it. Whilst I found Catalyst powerful, I found myself having to work "the Catalyst way", and didn't really enjoy it; re-writing it using Dancer was actually fun.

I also added a very basic "admin" section to be used from my Android phone, allowing me to skip the playing song and remove requests from the queue in case anyone requests anything silly that I don’t want played, but didn't actually use it. It only took a couple of minutes to add that feature, though! At some point, I'll tweak that to make use of Dancer::Plugin::MobileDevice (see previous advent calendar post on this) to automatically go to a basic layout, rather than implementing that myself.


This article has been written by David Precious for the Perl Dancer Advent Calendar 2010.