Case Study: Music Community Utilizing Drupal

Case Study: Music Community Utilizing Drupal

Madeloud Screenshot is a music community based website that offers several social networking features for Indie Artists and Fans. The site serves two primary purposes - to promote and sell independent musicians’ music and merchandise, as well as encourage Indie Fans to listen to, review, and to buy the artists’ music and merchandise. LevelTen Interactive worked with MadeLoud's stakeholders to document the design and functional requirements necessary to develop this new site. We interviewed key stakeholders, discovered and evaluated feature sets, analyzed competing websites, and researched multiple content management systems for a framework best suited for our client.

Goals and Challenges

Prior to the re-launch, the website used a proprietary content management system that was difficult to maintain, offered little documentation and support and would have been expensive to continuously develop due to lack of pre-developed modules and an organized framework. One of the critical goals for the new site was to research and find a content management framework that best suited our client’s needs and offered documentation and support. After three months of research and planning, it was obvious Drupal was the best platform for the project. Another goal and difficult challenge was to implement an ecommerce system to support single purchases from multiple vendors. Open-source e-commerce engines do not typically come standard with this functionality. We hoped to solve this issue utilizing Drupal’s native e-commerce module with heavy custom development.


Throughout the re-design of the new MadeLoud website, we used iterative development cycles and took advantage of many contributed modules. Many modules were either slightly or heavily modified and custom modules were created where needed. As we continue to develop with Drupal, we are more impressed with its performance, robustness and organization. This is a near enterprise class application that has proven to be very lightweight. The greatest effort was focused in two areas: 1. Creating a mini-site context for artists and fans 2. Modifying the ecommerce module to support multiple vendors To enable the mini-site style a singleton pattern was implemented that used multiple tactics to determine the owner of a page and alter the theme to put a page into the context of its owner. Primarily the Drupal path alias was analyzed to look for an artist|fan/[username] pattern. For nodes not following this pattern, the node author was used. All other module paths such as comments, private message, e-commerce admin, events admin, etc, were parsed according to the module’s path configuration. Drupal’s menus standard of using elements hierarchies to provide path context along with the Path Auto module not only made this method possible but also fairly straightforward. Enabling a multi vendor e-commerce engine was mostly dealt with by creating a single vendor transaction table and supporting modules. For the new user transaction logic we were able to keep much of the exiting work flow. The result was a buyer and administrative user experience that kept much of the existing transactional processing and a new seller work flow that followed a controlled version of the admin interface.

Results has currently been released into phase one beta and will soon be released and marketed to the general public. As we continue to test usability and core components of the site, we will continuously enhance site features including AJAX navigation components to reduce the number of page refreshes. Overall, we are very pleased with the outcome. Below are some of the modules we used to create I’m sure many more will be added as we begin phase 2, 3 and 4.

Drupal Modules Used

  • Core Modules
    • Aggregator
    • Forum
    • Blog
    • Contact
    • Menu
    • Statistics
  • Abuse
  • Ad
  • Administration Menu
  • Audio (Customized)
  • CCK
  • Date
  • Ecommerce (Customized)
  • Embed Field
    • Embedded Video
  • Event (Customized)
  • Find Path
  • Five Star
  • Global Redirect
  • Image API
  • Image Cache
  • Image Crop
  • JQuery Interface
  • JQuery Update
  • Javascript Tools
  • Node Words / Metatags
  • Page Title
  • Pathauto (custom hooks)
  • Private Message
  • Service Links
  • Signup
  • Tagadelic
  • Talk
  • Thickbox
  • Token (custom hooks)
  • User Relations
    • Private Message
    • Mailer
  • User Comment
  • Views
  • Voting API
  • XML Sitemap
  • About 20 Custom Modules

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