Since I was 15 years old, both music, and programming have captivated me. It all actually started out when I needed to put my music on the internet in some way (think 2004, there weren’t a lot of options). So I taught myself how to make websites. Fast forward 10 years, and I’m now writing software and applications professionally, with music essentially on the back burner right now.
And so it begins…
In 2015, I got frustrated at the fact that there weren’t any cross-platform music players out, that incorporated Google’s beautiful Material Design. Having a bit of background in C++, I decided to jump in and get to work on one, using QT5s UI capabilities. I wrote what was the beginning of a great application (completely unbiased here). I knew of the Liri Project at the time (this was December 2015), and they were focused on building cross platform material design applications as well. They saw what I made, and invited me to join them on their mission to beautify desktop apps.
At the time it was called Vinyl Music (get it? Vinyl: material? Vinyl: music?). This is what it looked like early on. We moved the project to the official Liri Github, and rebranded it as Liri Music.
Now, I had been spending my free time doing this. As a man with a family, and a career, it would prevent me, oftentimes, from getting the chance to lay down some serious code. And how I’d work would be in spurts. I’d work on Liri Music for a week or so, then spend months not having time to even look at it. Around March (I think it was), I put out a ‘casting call’; rather, I asked on a Google+ page if there was anybody interested in helping things along on this project, as I, personally didn’t have a lot of time to do it. I ended up working with some really awesome people, who completely fixed a lot of my messy, novice, C++ code, and completed some major tasks.
Then, as was natural, I fell away from the project because of work. I needed to earn money, to pay bills and whatnot. At one point I actually considered attempting a crowdfunding campaign, because I’d truly rather work on this kind of stuff that I’m really passionate about.
Fast forward almost a year, and I wasn’t the only one neglecting the project. Liri Music saw very little development into 2016, and Liri had actually undergone some serious changes, including merging with Papyros and Hawaii OS. I came back on board for a short while, and everything had changed. The QT5 libraries had been updated quite a bit since I had last worked on Liri Music, which meant a fun migration, and the papyros libraries we were using were replaced by fluid. Which meant, actually, a complete rewrite of Liri Music. And I was really into that idea because it would give me a chance to completely replace my old, novice code.
It also gave me the opportunity to improve the UI in a number of ways.
Unfortunately, again, my job was calling me back to reality, and that was the last time I worked on Liri Music. So what did I learn from this?
- Open source development and projects require huge teams to compensate for the limited time each team member can contribute.
- Which requires rock solid management.
- I wish there was a funding program for open source software like this.
At the end of the day, this is not going to be profitable for me, and I’m at a point in life where I have to make sure what I’m doing is profitable. It was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a project, and I wish I could contribute more time to it. At this point, I’d even settle to find someone who’s as passionate about music as I am, and have them take over the project.