|Original author(s)||Karl Vollmer|
|Stable release||3.5.4 / February 2nd, 2010|
|Operating system||[OS Independent]|
|Type||streaming media / file manager|
Ampache is a free software Web-based Audio file manager / web Media Server. The name is a play on the two words Apache and Amplifier. It was originally written to take advantage of Apache's Mod_mp3 but has since been adapted to use its own streaming method. Ampache's Mascot is a squirrel called Fraz, originally drawn by Kirsten Petersen, later digitized by Ben Shields, and redesigned by Agnès Champavier in 2008.
Ampache was released in 2001. Its original author, Scott Kveton went on to create the OSUOSL at Oregon State University and passed off Developmental lead to Karl Vollmer who has been responsible for it since early 2003.
Ampache's goal is to allow access to a person's music from anywhere in the world. It is written specifically for private / small group implementations, but does allow an admin to enable public registration. Ampache's primary objective is to maintain a simple, secure and fast web front end that will run on almost any hardware and any platform that supports PHP. It is also written to accommodate music collections in excess of 2 Terabytes. The largest known Ampache instance was in excess of 3 Terabytes of music.
Extensions / APIs
Ampache also provides an API for pulling out meta data in the form of XML documents. There are many methods supported in the API in which to access Ampache data. This was originally created for use with Amarok2, but can also be used to create other front-ends to Ampache. Access to the API is controlled by internal Access Control Lists and currently all requests have a 5000 result limit for performance reasons. The following applications are known to have plug-ins that use Ampache's XML API
- Amarok (2.x)
- Coherence (UPNP A/V MediaServer)
- Rhythmbox Plugin
- Terratec Noxon iRadio
- Amdroid (Native Android Application)
- Just Player (Android Application with more features)
- Traxstar (Traxstar Radio Automation based on Ampache (beta))
- Ampache Mobile (WebOS Client)
- AmpachPre (WebOS Client)
- AmpacheX (iPod Touch/iPhone Application)
- iAmpache (iPod Touch/iPhone application)
- Lullaby (Native Android Application - Based on Amdroid's codebase)
- Ampacheberry (Ampache client for the BlackBerry)
- Ampache HTML5 Player (Google Chrome App)
Ampache and Education
Ampache's features make it a powerful instructional and assistive technology for students with language-based learning differences. At Chelsea School, a group of advanced technology students recognized Ampache's potential for providing important accommodations and modifications that serve their learning styles; they built and configured an Ampache server that was put to work to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.
By recording audio editions of instructional-level texts and assignments and adding them to an Ampache catalog, the instructor empowers students to individually and independently listen to a streaming text while following along with the print edition; used in this way, Ampache gives students access to instructional-level texts and curriculum material that may otherwise be inaccessible to them. Ampache thus serves as a compromise between three common accommodations: text-to-speech software, a human reader, and audiobooks.
Ampache's video-streaming features have also been used to enhance teaching and learning at Chelsea School. Rather than watching instructional material as a large group, students streamed the assigned instructional videos independently from their individual workstations; independent viewing reduces distractions while at the same time empowering students to progress at their pace, pause to take notes without explicit prompting, and to repeat segments as necessary to increase comprehension.
Ampache has been featured in numerous online blogs and technical articles. One of the more notable was the O'Reilly book Spidering Hacks which tested the security of online applications. Ampache was found to be immune to standard spidering hacks as described in the O'Reilly article, and it has continued that trend by focusing on security during its development. The Code Philosophy listed on Ampache's wiki specifically lists security as one of those most important considerations during application development.
Systems with Ampache packages
|Version||Release date||Important changes|
|1.01||April 29, 2001||first public release|
|1.07||May 4, 2001||Improved Interface|
|1.10||May 8, 2001||First PHP Only Version of Ampache|
|1.20||July 22, 2001||ID3v1.1 support added along with Genre support|
|2.0||February 5, 2002||Many Feature enhancements per-user statistics added, restarting Apache no longer needed when new songs are added|
|3.0||April 5, 2002||Randall Ehren added to development team, XML-RPC functionality allowing multiple Ampache instances to be linked, mod_mp3 not longer used|
|3.1||December 23, 2003||Complete re-write of Ampache code by Karl Vollmer and Robert Hopson. Modifications to your Apache config are no longer needed for Ampache to run.|
|3.2||August 11, 2004||Downsampling, RSS Feeds and Now Playing added along with numerous improvements to Album art / Meta-data gathering|
|3.3||May 17, 2005||Added GetText support, batch downloading, user registration and WMA,M4A,FLAC support. This was the first version with a native PHP installer.|
|3.3.1||June 21, 2005||First themeable version of ampache, moved away from non-standard installation method (/docs) Implemented URL method for MPD plug-in.|
|3.3.2||October 1, 2006||Optional bandwidth based bitrates for downsampling, Keyword Quick search on all pages, move to new authentication system (Vauth) and new IP based ACL system.|
|3.3.3||January 26, 2007||AJAX actions introduces in a few places, Democratic Play, Integrated Last-FM player, Integrated Flash Player and Added HttpQ support.|
|3.4||May 10, 2008||Complete re-write in PHP5, AJAX'd interface, Active Playlist concept added, XML API, Dynamic Playlists and vastly improve browsing system.|
|3.5||May 5, 2009||Added support for Web 2.0 Style tagging of objects, Video Streaming, IPv6, Additional dynamic playlist options and improve mobile device support|
|3.5.1||June 24, 2009||Corrected the issues with the API and ‘tags’ as well as some endless loops in the audio tag reading code.|
|3.5.2||November 19, 2009||This release fixes a large number of bugs discovered in the API as well as some tag reading issues. It also adds a new album "Unknown (Broken)" for any files who are considered malformed or damaged by Ampache.|
|3.5.3||December 20, 2009||This is a security release, as such it is highly recommended that all users upgrade to this version.|
|3.5.4||February 2, 2010||This release fixes some bugs introduced in the last release as well as some significant improvements / fixes for the localplay methods. Catalog size calculation was also corrected for larger catalogs. It should now work for up to 4TB catalogs. New installations of 3.5.4 will include an additional two default ACLs for API use.|
|3.6||In Development||Completed Tagging support, Improved Dynamic Playlists|