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A Django-based readonly web music library application.

Project description

Exordium is a read-only web-based music library system for Django. Exordium will read mp3 and ogg files from the host filesystem and provide an online interface to browse, download (as zipfiles or otherwise), and stream.

The HTML5 media player jPlayer is used to provide arbitrary streaming of music.

Exordium was built with a very specific set of operational goals and does not attempt to be a generic library suitable for widespread use. There are, in fact, no configuration options beyond those to define the file paths/URLs necessary for basic usage. Patches to add/change functionality will be happily received so long as they don’t interfere with or disable the current functionality by default, but there is no internal development goal to make Exordium a generic solution.

Detailed information about what Exordium expects from your library, and its assumptions and limitations, can be found either in the docs/ directory, Exordium’s Website, or It’s highly recommended to at least glance through these to get a feel for how Exordium will function.

The name “Exordium” comes from the fictional technology of the same name in Alastair Reynolds’ “Revelation Space” novels. It’s not a perfect name for the app, given that the Revelation Space Exordium would make a pretty lousy music library, but at least there’s some element of data storage and retrieval. Exordium the web-based music library, as opposed to its fictional counterpart, is only capable of retrieving music which has been imported to it in the past. I’ll be sure to contact all the major news organizations if I figure out a way to get it to retrieve music stored in the future.


Exordium requires at least Python 3.8 (tested on 3.9), and Django 4.0. It requires the following additional third-party modules:

  • mutagen (built on 1.45)

  • Pillow (built on 9.0)

  • django-tables2 (built on 2.4)

  • django-dynamic-preferences (built on 1.11), which in turn requires:

    • six (built on 1.16.0)

    • persisting-theory (built on 0.2.1)

One unit test module additionally requires django-test-migrations (tested with 1.2.0), but that’s not required to run it.

Getting Exordium

Exordium is available to install on PyPI via pip install django-exordium. PyPI also hosts Python packages for Exordium in both source and Wheel formats, at Source and Wheel downloads of all released versions can also be found at Exordium’s hompeage at

Exordium sourcecode is hosted at GitHub, and sourcecode archives of released versions can be found there at


These instructions assume that you already have a Django project up and running.

  1. Install Exordium via pip install django-exordium

    • If Exordium hasn’t been installed via pip or some other method which automatically installs dependencies, install its dependencies:

      pip install -r requirements.txt
  2. Add exordium, django_tables2, and dynamic_preferences to your INSTALLED_APPS setting like this:

  3. (Optional) For jPlayer streaming to work properly on a “live” install, the Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy HTTP header has to be set properly. (This will generally not be an issue when running Django in “test” mode via runserver.) Django defaults to using same-origin, but unless your static content delivery also uses the same header, launching the streaming window will fail. You can set the header to same-origin-allow-popups inside to make this work, or ensure that your static files set the proper header. (Making sure static files use Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy: same-origin just like Django will do the trick.) Setting the Django default can be done with:

    SECURE_CROSS_ORIGIN_OPENER_POLICY = 'same-origin-allow-popups'

    If your static content isn’t served from the same protocol/hostname/port as Django itself, you will likely have to set either Django or your static files’ value to unsafe-none instead.

  4. Include the exordium URLconf in your project like this:

    path('exordium/', include('exordium.urls')),
  5. Run python migrate dynamic_preferences to create the Dynamic Preferences models, if this wasn’t already configured on your Django install.

  6. Run python migrate exordium to create the Exordium models.

  7. Run python loaddata --app exordium initial_data to load some initial data into the database. (This is not actually strictly speaking necessary - the app will create the necessary data automatically if it’s not found.)

  8. If running this from a “real” webserver, ensure that it’s configured to serve Django static files. Then run python collectstatic to get Exordium’s static files in place. If you didn’t want to set same-origin-allow-popups for Django’s COOP header, make sure that your server sends a Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy: same-origin header along with these static files, or possibly unsafe-none if the static files protocol/hostname/port doesn’t match Django’s.

  9. Either start the development server with python runserver or bring up your existing server. Also ensure that you have a webserver configured to allow access directly to your music library files, and optionally to the zipfile downloads Exordium will create.

  10. Visit the administrative area in Dynamic Preferences > Global preferences and set the values for the following:

    • Exordium Library Base Path: This is what defines where your music library can be found on disk.

    • Exordium Media URL for HTML5: This is the base URL which provides direct access to the files in your library, used by the HTML streaming player. Omit the trailing slash, though things will probably work fine even if it’s in there. Without this set properly, the streaming player will not work properly. Note that if your base URL for Exordium is https, this will have to be https as well, to avoid browser errors.

    • Exordium Media URL for m3u: This is the base URL which provides direct access to the files in your library, used by the m3u Playlist functionality, and also the direct song download links when enumerating tracks. This can be the same as the HTML5 URL. Omit the slash, though things will probably work fine even if it’s in there. Without this set properly, m3u playlists and direct track downloads will not work properly. This URL can be http even if the main site is https.

    • Exordium Zip File Generation Path: Path on the filesystem to store zipfile album downloads. This is the one location in which the user running Django needs write access.

    • Exordium Zip File Retrieval URL: This is the base URL providing web access to that zipfile directory. Note that if your base URL for Exordium is https, this will have to be https as well, to avoid browser errors.

    Without the last two options, Exordium will still function fine, but the album-download button will not be rendered. Exordium will also function without the “Exordium Media URL” options being set properly, though with the caveats mentioned above.

  11. If Zipfile downloads are configured, a process should be put into place to delete the zipfiles after a period of time. I personally use a cronjob to do this:

    0 2 * * * /usr/bin/find /var/audio/exordiumzips -type f -name "*.zip" -mtime +2 -print -exec unzip -v {} \; -exec rm {} \;
  12. Visit the Library Upkeep link from the Exordium main page and click on “Start Process” to begin the initial import into Exordium!

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