SoundVibe Music - Music on the cloud!

Project Requirements Briefing

Being a digital music provider SoundVibe was seeking for a solution to distribute music in venues like restaurants, cafe and hotels but without distributing the actual music files, since this would jeopardise the service itself and more importantly it's illegal to distribute raw music files. Even if internet streaming would be a sensible workaround the pure internet connections, especially of the Greek islands would be a major disadvantage for the service.

Other functionalities that the service should feature are:

  1. Multiple playlists per venue
  2. When a song is finishing should start fading-out and the next one should start fading-in. 
  3. The users of the service should be able to shuffle the playlists
  4. The users of the service should be able to "mute permanently" the songs that they may don't like
  5. The playlists of each venue should be easily updated either through the internet either manually using an "Import Music" functionality.
  6. The service must be available for all operating systems and devices.
  7. Finally, the service must be subscription based supporting monthly and quarterly subscriptions as well as trial periods.

Solution Overview

In order to answer the requirements of the project the approach of an installable application (SoundVibe player) supported by a music obfuscator (SoundVibe exporter), a web-based administration panel (SoundVibe Admin Panel) and a set of web services (SoundVibe Cloud) was selected. 

The main idea!

The main idea behind this approach was to create a music player that will be able to play special music files that no other music player will be able to play. The music files will reside to the client's computer but they will be useless unless they are used by SoundVibe. After contacting the authorities responsible for intellectual property and digital rights management, we took the green light to proceed.

This led us to the next problem. How to create these special music files taking into consideration that they must be produced from existing mp3 files and that we have to handle around 40.000 music files. All the standard encryption techniques failed loudly, because all of them are intended to be used for small chunks of data. Encrypting a whole mp3 file in a timely fashion was not possible especially if we take into consideration that the file must be decrypted on the fly at the clients computer which may be a small netbook with limited processing power. The solution to this problem was to develop an obfuscation technique that retains the essential information of an MP3 but in the same makes the file unreadable from other music players.

 

SoundVibe Player

Overview

SoundVibe Player is a specialized music player that can be installed on any Windows or Mac OS computer and is based on the Adobe Air technology.

SoundVibe Player is installed on the client's computer and features a sophisticated music playback engine that is able to de-obfuscate on-the-fly the music files that are produced by the SoundVibe exporter.

Moreover the SoundVibe player succesfully manages the licensing of the service and the frequent update of music playlists.

 

 

Key Features

  • Automatic lockdown on license expiration
  • Playback scheduler for unattended operation 
  • Parameterized fade-in/fade-out on track change
  • All the standard playback controls (mute, volume up & down, next, stop, play, pause)
  • Custom playlists
  • Music update through Internet
  • Music update through USB stick
  • Parameterized idle time for built-in screensaver

 

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SoundVibe Exporter »

SoundVibe exporter is an Adobe Air application that reads an iTunes library and produces special music files and XML playlist files that can be imported to SoundVibe Player.

The music files produced by SoundVibe exporter are obfuscated mp3 files that can be played only by SoundVibe player.

Through the web-based SoundVibe Administration Panel, the administrators and music experts of SoundVibe manage the contact details and licensing information of their clients and customize the music of each SoundVibe installation.

« SoundVibe Admin Panel

SoundVibe Cloud »

The SoundVibe Cloud is a set of web services used by the SoundVibe Player and are configured by the SoundVibe Administration Panel. Typical tasks that are performed by the SoundVibe Cloud services are:

  • License Key validation
  • Music definitions update 
  • Exchange of obfuscation parameters
  • Download of music files to the clients computer
 
 
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