Retailers: How to Music

Oct. 29, 2022 [technology] [proprietary] [guides]

Your department store seeks to set a unique atmosphere while shoppers browse about. What do you play for them? Classical? Jazz? Maybe your establishment is themed. A bait & tackle shop might opt for some country. Perhaps some classic rock at the auto parts store. But reality is not so. Unfortunately, retailers now seem to take satisfaction in assailing their shoppers with Spotispy.

The following must be their guidebook on playing background music for customers in $CURRENT_YEAR:

  1. The wall & ceiling speakers built into the establishment are not good enough. Instead, select a personal assistant with a single 5 watt mono speaker for a delightfully tinny sound.

  2. Don’t use your own library. Just blast any channel from Spotispy. If you can’t decide, then allow your employees to supply their excellent personal tastes. Make sure that it’s a non-subscriber account so that ads wail every few minutes at +50% volume.

  3. Position the personal assistant adjacent to the registers so that normal human conversation becomes incomprehensible.

  4. Ensure that the device is immediately on the outer range of your wireless network so that the buffer (Yay, streaming!) empties every few seconds causing choppy playback.

  5. If that doesn’t work, you can always fall back to broadcast radio using the dusty boom box found in the stock room.

That is not to say I think there is a right way to do it either. In an ideal world, shopping would not be something that has to be an “experience”. Dead silence is fine. Just go in, get your things and get out. But if you do own an establishment, it might be worth looking into something lighter weight like MOC.

Music On Console is an ncurses console audio player that supplies a fully featured music & playlist server without necessitating the complexities involved in MPD. Simply point it to a directory containing your desired music and let it handle the rest. Some common key bindings that you will probably find useful include:

Key Command
a Add highlighted song/folder to playlist
C Clear playlist
n Play next song
b Go back one song
S Toggle shuffle
R Toggle repeat
</> Increase/decrease volume
Space Pause
q Quit player, leaving audio server running in background
Q Quit player and server