I have a huge collection of files (movies, music, etc) on an external SSD. I wanted to build some kind of local website at the root of that SSD, which could let me create a custom playlist with whatever I decide to filter my files with.

Let's say I want to make a trip-hop playlist, I could filter files with the tag "triphop", then click on a button (presumably, launching some kind of script I would also have to write, but one thing at a time) that would create a playlist file I could open with VLC (again, examples here).

But before I create this script, I would have to create some kind of database that would contain every file, their respective paths, tags (such as "music", "triphop"), etc. I would also consider creating some kind of a "post" page for each file, with either album art or thumbnail of the file, date of creation, etc., well all the info I would ever want to store and display.

I understand that for this, after a few hours of web searching, it seems that a SQLite DB would be most adequate (locally stored file, no need for a server per se), and I'm also leaning towards a local install of WordPress for the handling of posts and tags, but there might be other/better suited/easier options for this. After all, this would be hosted on the SSD, and not meant to be used online (i.e. not on the internet). This would also mean that the machine to which I plug my SSD (let's say, during movie night at a friend's) wouldn't necessarily have PHP installed, or other third-party software. This project would have to be self-contained on the SSD, possibly lightly (so that there is still room left for the files it's meant to store).

I'm wondering what would be the best-suited option, in your respective opinions, for my little evening project?

I'm not afraid of the time it would take to undertake this kind of project, but since I don't want it to last forever, I'm kind of looking for a little help to be efficient and not waste time on unviable options.

What I've tried: Just a reminder, as said above, I've looked into SQLite and local installs of WP, but still not sure it would be self-contained in the end (e.g., using MAMP to run the WP, which wouldn't be installed on other computers than mine).

  • Generally for music/audio there are servers like Navidrome, Plex, Jellyfin that enable you to create playlists and play music. Some of them handle video too. You can edit the files metadata using various tools like Beets, MusicBee, MusicBrainz Picard, etc. So an option is to have your files on your external drive and use one of these servers or tools?
    – Z Z
    Jan 6, 2023 at 11:20
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    – Izzy
    Jan 7, 2023 at 20:38

3 Answers 3


Portability could be between

  1. different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac
  2. different machines using same (popular) OS

You could use static site generator like 11ty with custom data source parsing you audio files id3 tags, but I suppose it would be not as fast as querying SQLite DB.

Website could be opened by directly browsing .html files or by creating local webserver.

For portability you would need portable node.exe and npm installed node_modules directory. You could include linux node binary if you wanted portability for linux too.

Or you could make script in other language and save it's source or compiled binary to external drive.

Running portable LAMP with Wordpress would be overkill IMHO.


For a database you could use a local single TiddlyWiki at the root of the drive.

It is a fully self contained Wiki database engine with HTML and JavaScript based logic in a single file you can open in any modern web browser.

It has a fully featured tag based organization system, allowing complex filtering and categorization. It can link to local or remote files and even inline preview for web friendly formats in browser.

If you roll up your sleeves, you can even script it to output playlists.


You cannot do that.

You can use the SSD as the place where you store the .bak file and you can ideally attach that DB from one PC to another. The problem is that you cannot store the SQLite database engine (the SQLite software) on the SSD. It's true that it's portable and you can execute the .exe from the SSD but then you will not have the WordPress interface.

Instead I would go, as @ZZ said in the comment, with Plex or Synology Audio Station.

  1. Plex: keep the playlist on your PC or on your Synology NAS. When you go to your friend home open your Plex account form a browser and voilà, you have your playlists.
  2. Synology Audio Station: If you buy a second hand Synology NAS you can use the Audio Station built in software to do the same as per Plex. Go to your friends home, navigate to your NAS through a browser and play your playlists.
  3. Network Drive: plugin your SSD behind your router (most of the router today have a USB port) and make that SSD available on the network. Link that to Plex or any Plex alternative and same as the previous point play your playlists form a browser.
  • There are many portable programs to edit database files locally, SQlite , MySQL or any other database formats. You can also run a local webserver with Wordpress or any other CMS connecting to a variety of supported database back-ends. Jan 11, 2023 at 22:49
  • Yes @DuarteFarrajotaRamos but you cannot do that on a USB stick Jan 11, 2023 at 23:51
  • Why not? Pretty sure that you can Jan 12, 2023 at 0:05

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