Even before I’ve delved too far into my new PHP/MySQL book I’ve got ideas as to how I want to architect the next version of ICYG. I’ll leave the Python song-picking scripts intact for the time being, and will work on creating a database backend that’s populated with info from songs as they’re played. That backend will first be used to power a new PHP version of the ICYG website, hosted (along with the database) on this web host. It’ll be nice to get the website off my home server, even though the stream will have to continue to be generated there.

The other advantage of moving to a DB-based system will be the ability to add interactive features to the station. The first would be what I’ve always wanted – some sort of voting system for club members that would give each track weight. Many systems call that “karma”; I think I’d call it “mojo”. 😉 I also want to implement a buzz-bin type feature, probably based on the newness of the song (taking into account both when it was uploaded and its date tag).

Ross‘s upload of iTunes AAC files made me realize one of the reasons I’ve used Vorbis for so long is that it’s got decent quality, a completely open format, and enough application support for me to be able to extensively use it for ICYG and computer-based listening. I notice its super gapless support everytime I listen to an MP3 encoding of an album with seamless track changes. 😉 I don’t see much of a point in natively supporting codecs/containers other than MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC. They cover the bases — lossy vs. lossless, varying hardware support, excellent software support — well enough. Transcoding stuff into Vorbis or MP3 to take advantage of ICYG’s tag-parsing features shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

Something I’ll do in the short term is add support for CD Universe links that’s similar to my support for Amazon links. I’ve used them occasionally, but my interest is peaked since I just signed up as an affiliate. CDU seems to have better availability on more obscure titles.

I’m not ready to re-add support for member-created shows yet, but one thing I’ll probably do is schedule “member spotlight” hours where an hour or two is drawn from a single member’s submissions. Don, Scott, Brian, Ross, and I all have enough uploaded to support this.