Composer Music Tracking Tool

This video capture shows a station administrator editing an episode, finding songs, and creating a playlist.

Key Technologies

  • JavaScript/jQuery
  • Backbone.js
  • CSS/Sass


Composer is an application that radio stations use to create and manage playlists — both to help stations meet legal requirements regarding the songs they play and to serve listeners, by displaying song, artist, and other information.

I implemented several features to the admin side of this application, including a typeahead search capability; a new interface for classical music stations; and a way to navigate through calendar views.

Composer is built with backbone.js, so the work I did was primarily in backbone views, collections, and underscore templates — as well as css.

The Composer interface helps stations find songs add them to playlists for exporting to the proper licensing bodies.

Classical Music Search

Classical music programming demands a different way to search for songs than what works for popular music. Songs are often selected or organized based on composer, like Mozart, rather than artist; the conductor's name is significant; and data about the ensemble and soloists are often used to find a particular piece. Working in backbone, I created a new view and template for the classical search interface.

When adding classical music, most stations use the Arkiv database. This allows them to search by a range of parameters — such as conductor or composer — not available in other search tools.

Custom Fields

I implemented a form with the option of adding up to three custom rows for data about a given song, and validation in the event a user tries to add more.

Custom fields for a song entry
In this screenshot, the playlist has two songs, Gabriel's Oboe and Simple Gifts. The administrator is searching for Daft Punk is playing in my house, and if they see the version they want, they can click on the correct result below to add it to the playlist.