Install profiles for various art/music setups

zirafa's picture

What's an install profile and why is it important?

An install profile is a way of pre-configuring drupal right out of the box for a specific purpose or community. You can think of it as a template for a new drupal site. After you install drupal, the site will be pre-configured and customized out of the box (i.e. it will install and configure modules for you). The whole idea is to help you get from point A to B much faster. So if you are a band or musician looking to use drupal, you don't have to worry about figuring out how to download, install, and configure each module from scratch. You pick the install profile closest to your needs, and wham! Instant, functional site, with virtually no setup. Of course you will still have to know how to configure and customize Drupal to fit your specific needs if you want to make changes, but it sure will save a ton of time during installation and setup.

This is important for art and music communities - especially those that are non-technical - because it provides rapid deployment of very useful Drupal sites and minimize the headaches associated with installation.

Install profiles for art and music sites

Now that the installer has been committed to core, it's time to start thinking about making various install profiles and what would go into them. Here are some possible ideas for different profiles (please add to this list!):

  • Artist Portfolio or Band/Musician Site


    1. those that want a portfolio site to display their work
    2. those that wish to build or connect with communities to support their work
  • Podcast & Audioblogger Platform


    1. to create a personal podcast, radio, or audioblog site
    2. to create a community podcasting site
  • Community Art or Music site


    1. showcase large groups of artists' work without building individual sites for each artist
    2. create a large database of artists profiles, contact info, and examples of their work
    3. allow the database of artists to interact with one another and connect the database to other websites

    Examples and model sites: myspace, terminus1525

  • Collaborative Remix Site


    1. allow artists and musicians to remix each other's work or collaboratively work on projects together

    Example and model sites: RemixReading, Freesound, CCMixter
    These types of sites facilitate online collaboration and sharing of artwork. Sharing licenses are typically handled with a Creative Commons license.

Additionally, I documented a step-by-step recipe a while ago for creating a media site in Drupal 4.6.

In general, I believe the next steps to take for each profile are:

  1. decide the purpose, focus, target audience for each profile
  2. general site configuration settings (permissions, roles)
  3. useful modules to include (and configurations for each)
  4. choose a good theme!
  5. actually create an install profile

This is just my suggested approach. I'm interested to see what others think are good strategies for creating and documenting good profiles. It's an exciting future for Drupal!



What's an install profile

mrtunes's picture

What's an install profile and how is it important to a Drupal music site?

Hi mrtunes, You've brought

zirafa's picture

Hi mrtunes,

You've brought up a good point. I sort of jumped the step about explaining what install profiles are. I've modified the original post to explain it a bit better.


All about install profiles

zirafa's picture

[edit] I moved this text explaining what install profiles are into the original post.

Ah Ok, so sort of like a

mrtunes's picture

Ah Ok, so sort of like a slipstreaming windows xp installation :)
Hearing your explanation I realized that I tried one before, and it was made by you! It was the Civicspace Music profile. Two critiques I had about it were: 1. the civicspace theme is very good but the whole american politics theme is kind of distracting for someone who didnt know very much about themes to start to go to work on(i know you didnt make those themes).

and 2: I got confused with all these modules showing up and figuring out how the big picture works. As a drupal beginner it's important to first get the primary links stuff through your head first before you're inundated with modules. That being said, now that i've gotten around the basics of drupal after a few months I would actually make better use of install profiles, especially the ones you outline above look very interesting to me - Remix site etc. can't wait to see how you'd assemble one of those.

Ah old Civicspace

zirafa's picture

Ah old Civicspace music profile :) That was written a very long time ago, and doesn't really do much. Since then we've made a ton of progress with the video, audio, image, and playlist modules. Media management is getting much easier, and will only continue to get better!

I really agree with what you say about the modules suddenly showing up and being confusing. In general, how is a newbie supposed to know what is going on? Should they know or care what the install profile does or how it works? A user still has to go through the learning curve of how to navigate the Drupal admin interface, UI, and know how to configure things. While the installer doesn't solve these problems, it brings us one step closer. Yet I'm sure no matter how good the inteface or UI, there will always be people who don't wish to learn and hopefully those people will pay money to hire the rest of us ;)

Well even after a few months

mrtunes's picture

Well even after a few months of drupaling around, it's still safe to call me an absolute newbie. The illusion for me at the time of installing civicspace for media though was i prayed that it would speed up my learning curve, when in reality it prolonged it (but only by a week lol).

If I can request another Install Profile I'd like to suggest a "Private Collaboration Site". I guess it would be based on the remix setup, but it's for collaborating on tunes in private and also would be great if you're film scoring and you want to communicate with the directors a lot. So a private collaboration site mixes audio blogging with normal blogging using lots of comment options.

band organizing site

dww's picture

maybe my needs are so specialized that this wouldn't be popular, but the reason i first started using drupal was for an interactive site to organize my (very large) band: we're a brazilian percussion ensemble with about 50 people who sometimes come to stuff, and just scheduling rehearsals, figuring out what gigs we have enough people for, having a way to coordinate logistics, etc, etc, is a huge problem in its own right. my site makes heavy use of a very customized signup.module (which, whenever i have a spare moment, i'm planning to fold as many of the changes back into the real signup.module, now that i maintain it), event, locations, flexinode (it's still all 4.6), along with book, polls, and (more recently) image... i also run project on there so band members can report bugs/features of the site itself. of course, it's also our public face, and as time goes on, we'll put more effort into building a fan community around it, but for now, the primary users are the band itself. even that is immensely valuable, and saves me many hours a week...

sadly, i'm unbelievably over-commited in drupal-land these days. :( i barely have any time to do all the goodness to the signup.module i have in mind, much less take on the task of writing and maintaining an "organize-your-band" drupal install profile. but, i'd be willing to help, and wanted to at least add the idea to the mix. ;)

this thread sounds great... i'm looking forward to seeing the results.

good points...

zirafa's picture

Hey Derek!

Yeah, I completely forgot about how chaotic it is to even organize a band! I've been in a few bands were the hardest part was figuring out where and when the next practice/show was...sometimes even knocking at the wrong door for rehearsal. A lot of bands tend to use a mishmash of free website hosting, yahoo groups mailing list, or just keep hitting "Reply to All" on their email. There certainly has to be a better way to do things....

Hopefully we can incorporate these band organizing tools within the "band profile" for a website. We can look at how political sites organize and borrow some ideas. I think my hope would be for the band website would serve both as a way for a band to connect and find new fans as well as help organize internally and split the work needed to keep the band going...


Where have I been all this time??

gusaus's picture

Hey y'all - I've been a Drupal user/hackjob developer for over a year now and have looking to help facilitate/provide a music-centric distro. I've built many html versions of the types sites you've mentioned above and ideally would like to provide custom drupal installs for all present and future clients (as well as for my own needs). I have no doubt that there would be a huge demand for these types of installs if they were cost-effective, and easy to maintain. The more custom solutions we can put into the world will make it not only easier for the content producers/providers, but also the filters/tastemakers, and consumers.

Here are my thoughts on what could be added to the above list:

Venue site
* Primarily sold/resold to end users in this space
* Venue owners
* Booking agents
* Event promoters

* Featured artists/previews
* Venue specific podcasts/streaming radio
* Blog - user submitted reviews, photos, etc.
* Advertising/Cross Promotions/Sales
* Calendar

A few examples:
House of Blues
The Attic
Great American Music Hall
Cafe Du Nord
Triple Door
World Cafe Live
Joe’s Pub

Hyperlocal Music Network/Public broadcasting style site
Sort of mashup between a network like NPR or BBC and a hyperlocal citizen-journalism/media site.

Sample uses:
* Provide a showcase for the best music and art in and around (whatever city/region we’re talking about).
* Discovery via a wide array of tastemaker recommendations
* Find other filters and recommendation systems
* Become engaged and participate in online communities

Some features:
* Tastemaker channels
* Individual artist pages
* Social networking
* Event Calendar and ticketing
* Podcasts/streaming radio
* Video/photography
* Advertising/Cross Promotions/Sales
* Mailing list management/rss subscription

A few examples:
Texas Gigs

As far as companies that provide effective plug and play solutions, these are some of the better ones that I've found:
Hostbaby is a hosted cms solution for artists.
Public interactive is a hosted cms solution for public brodcasting.
Ellington is a hosted cms solution for news and entertainment sites.

I'd love to do whatever I can to help produce/provide these easy plug and play, music-centric solutions. Would also be very interested in discussing various ways of funding the development.

Thanks Zirafa for putting together this group!

Gus Austin

Gus Austin


Max Bell's picture

Briefly: while it is still awaiting approval, I created a kind of meta-group for discussing the development of Drupal installation profiles and would like to invite anyone interested to throw in their two-bits on the subject. In essence, I'm hoping to get people either developing profiles or who would like to together to discuss the subject in a broad sense, and exchange ideas with other people working on different and unrelated projects, for the sake of creating a broader awareness of what's being developed and in an effort to "pre-herd" some of the cats that will inevitably wander in during the process.

gusaus's picture

While there is is still a lot that needs to be learned and sorted out, "Installation profile projects now hosted on". Please chime in if you're interested in contributing to these types of projects and/or you're still trying to to figure out what this all is about.

Gus Austin
Director of Chaos and Confusion
PepperAlley Productions
What am I trying to do with Drupal?

Gus Austin

project started on googlecode

thomas23's picture

But the project's home shows

  • no real activity
  • a rudementary profile is commited for D5.2

Does anyone know more or alternatives, especially for D6?



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