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Bamboo Media Server

Bamboo is a self-hosted personal media server written in Rust that I've been working on for the past two years with my friend Ersei. It aims to replace existing media servers like Jellyfin and Plex by decoupling the front-end, API, and content as much as possible, allowing for richer client applications and a wider range of content and content types.

Most of what makes Bamboo's architecture different is its ability to generalize over types and sources of content while providing common primitives for richer metadata.

For example, Jellyfin provides a few distinct types of media that it can serve: Movies, Music, Shows, Books, Photos, and Music Videos. Jellyfin's API is deeply tied to its web front-end, so the content you can host on Jellyfin is limited to what the Jellyfin web client is capable of displaying. This works okay for classic media server content like Movies and TV, but even something slightly beyond its expectations, like a YouTube video or Twitch stream, must be made to conform to the formats that Jellyfin expects.

Bamboo solves this problem by defining generic types that are common to all media, such as the Title, a UUID, and a list of URLs it can be accessed at, and allowing specific types of media to expand upon with additional data and fields. This way, clients can be as specific or general as they desire based on their required functionality. A media search application may not need to care about anything beyond the title, while a Podcast application should only accept media that is of the Podcast data type.

Of course, being written in Rust, Bamboo utilizes Rust's type system to define strict API specifications. Invariants, optional or mandatory fields, and data types are explicitly encoded using structs, enums, and serde for serialization and deserialization, removing any ambiguity in the specification. This is important for an application as dynamic as Bamboo, as the vast range of content that it's capable of serving is intentionally vague and thus incorrect assumptions by the server or its clients can make for inconsistent, incorrect, or buggy code.

The public repository for the project can be found at git.nickzana.dev/bamboo/bamboo.