Dear Lazyweb :-)
Barely having enough time to draw breath at the moment, I thought I'd abuse the Planet again for some help. My brother Paul is the volunteer technical manager of his local community radio station in Christchurch, New Zealand. Radio Ferrymead specialises in playing golden-oldies from the original vinyl 33's, 45's and even 78's using the original equipment, and also houses the local Museum of Sound and Radio. Paul is the hardware guy in the family, so most of his time is spent rigging aerials, maintaining the transmitter, replacing turntable needles, fixing the vintage mixing desks and trying to coax antique radio gear back to life, but he also has to look after the station's music library software and there lies the problem.
The station has a library of over 55,000 records and 368,000 tracks organised using a rather quirky classification system and Windows 95 era software. New records are catalogued in the system, then the DJ's query the software to find the location of the records they want to play and laboriously write the details out by hand. The software was custom written and maintained by one of the volunteers at the society who left a while back in a huff and refuses to release the source code, documentation or even the binary file format used for the database, leaving them with near useless software that could fail at any time and unable to liberate their own data. Such are the perils of closed source software.
Enter the software guy in the family :-) Thanks to the O-for-Awsome Okteta, I've slowly been able to reverse engineer most of the binary file format and extract the main track and album details, although some of the details still escape me. The things people used to do to save storage space. Ugh. Anyway, now we are this far we need to come up with some replacement software that replicates the quirky cataloging system as closely as possible: unsurprisingly they don't want to have to re-catalogue the entire collection. Ideally I would just write a custom Qt or Kexi/Access type app to do so, but I really don't have the time so I'm looking for some open source software that will fill their needs for now but also provide options to help them better manage the station in the future.
The main features required are:
Future features I'd like to see:
So while a fairly basic music database might suffice for now, it needs to have room to grow. I'm not looking for full station automation software or an all-digital station, that's too complex and not what they are about. Most of the stuff I've looked at so far is designed for CD or MP3 collections and is just not flexible or robust enough. Tellico looks like an option and has Discogs integration already, but is it available on Windows? So lazyweb, any other suggestions?