In 2007, myself, Chase Courtney, Jimmy Lancaster, and Jimmy Cancienne, grouped together for CMPS 285. 285 is known as the ‘little-411′, where students fresh from 280 get a chance to be creative and really show their skill. Skill is, of course, a relative term… Back then we knew nothing. JOptionPanes, AWT, Swing… What were we thinking? Visual Studios was new to us, and C# was a big scary monster; what should we do?
It was my first run as ‘Team Lead.’ After some collaboration with Chase Courtney, who was contemplating coding an inventory management system for personal use, we morphed his idea into ‘PRIDE’. The purpose of PRIDE was simple; read a musical CD’s information (Track #, Song Name, Artist, Album, Length) from the CD, organize the information, and store the information, along with comments, in an SQL-based database. This involved a few steps: The sector data from the CD is uniform in format, but it’s still just arbitrary data to us. We needed some way of taking the data and getting the practical information. Through research we concluded that any given (official) music CD can be represented by a MUSICID. More research revealed a ‘Gracenote’-like service that could take a MUSICID and return the CD’s information. The problem remained however, getting the sector data from the CD and converting it into a MUSICID. Thankfully, a team of programmers from CodeProject.com had already completed a very similar project.
With a little look-see at their code we were able to fashion our own interface. The database section was researched for far too long, with little to no results. However, thanks to the excellent lab-goers of 125, namely Mikey, Steve, and Shane, I was taught enough SQL and database concepts in 30 minutes to enable me to hack together a makeshift MS Access database in around 90 minutes. It is by far some of the quickest and ugliest coding I have ever done, and I pray to the coding Gods to have mercy on my digital soul… I will not do it again, promise. As far as our original goal was concerned, we did ok… The comments feature was never added, and the ‘Add to Database’ feature had some duplication bugs.
Above all of this, the question was raised, “What is this really good for? It isn’t iTunes…” Well, I’ve got a story to answer that. During 285 I was employed by 90.9 FM KSLU, the college radio station. Though I mainly worked with hardware and the website, I began to play with some production equipment and mix music. It was fun and rewarding, but frustrating at times. With an entire playlist of music to serve, you can image that the station had a lot of music, mainly in the form of CD’s. In fact, the Music Director would get around seven CD’s a day. Some were given away, but many were just shelved… And boy was it a BIG shelf! Anyway, when mixing music for a show or whatever it sometimes became difficult to remember where you put a given CD. While PRIDE doesn’t rip the songs (intentional), or even recognize MP3/M4A/OGG/etc, it will record where the CD is located. Very handy, non?
All in all, 285 was really fun. It was low stress, and as a team we performed average. If I could change one thing about it, I would change the way I handled the team. For the better part of 3 months I allowed a team member to research on his own, and that was a mistake. Even those who are loners need to be in the fold; it is really easy for them to get distracted when left to their own devices.
I’m really proud of our project’s ‘Sell Factor’. This has nothing to do from profiting from PRIDE, not monetarily anyway. I set out on a side project while working on PRIDE. My goal was to sell PRIDE to the class like it was the second coming of Jesus! Build it up big, be funny, by marketable, do something different. Three videos were produced, outlining PRIDE’s fictitious success with a number of individuals. Each video had a theme, and a different angle. Overall, huge success!
Here are the files. If, for whatever reason, you use the code (in whole or in part) all I ask is that you give proper credit to Team PRIDE (by individual names), as well as the original developer’s from CodeProject.com (where applicable). Enjoy!
Videos (In Order of Production)
- Testimonies : (HQ Download)
- Scenarios : (HQ Download)
- Promotional : (HQ Download)