Digital Cupboard – GMVault

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Offline


Digital cupboard is a South African company operating in the music industry on various levels. They offer technical and database services to the industry. Over the last 5 years they have been engaged in digitizing large catalogues of tapes that are owned by Gallo Records, the largest independent record company in Africa.

Digital Cupboard use FileMaker as their database application and were looking for ways to access the database from Android devices. On discovering LiveCode for FileMaker they came across a piece of software that not only achieved their main goal but added a host of features they never expected.

They could now build Apps directly for IOS, Android and Mac, which greatly expanded their client’s ability to access their data. A huge bonus is the ability to work offline and later sync with the database, as their warehouse doesn’t have internet access. In addition, due to some extremely clever programming they can present a huge catalogue of 25000+ songs to their users on demand without overloading their local storage capacity.

The App: GMVault

Gallo Music have over 25 000 tapes containing over 125 000 songs which our team is currently converting to digital formats. Gallo presented us with an Excel sheet which contained the following details

  • Catalogue Number: [this is a unique number which can only belong to one tape.]
  • Artist Name:
  • Album Title:
  • Shelf Number: [This is the physical location of the tape in the warehouse.]

These data were imported to start the process. Digital Cupboard then added the following fields which is information on the tape boxes.

  • Year of Release:
  • Song Titles:
  • Producer:
  • Engineer:

In addition, there are a series of check fields that follow the process of the tapes through their journey from warehouse to studio and back again. Users need to navigate through the records using various search and find functions.

Tapes are captured daily. The workflow is the following:

  1. Tape is checked out off a shelf and placed in a box. This action is recorded
  2. The box is sent to a tape capture station off site, there are 5 such stations.
  3. The tapes are processed, and additional information is added to the database
  4. The digitized music is added to the database
  5. The tape is returned. All actions are tracked through the process.

It is important to note that South Africa is currently undergoing power constraints and sometimes it is not possible to connect to the internet. The ability of the App to work offline is invaluable.

Project Challenges

Initially the area of most concern was how to deal with the incredibly large amount of information and musical data in an App. The app databases can be over 120 gigabytes in size. Most of the space is occupied with MP3 music files.

The ingenious solution from LiveCode to that problem was the implementation of the deferred container concept. This has enabled Digital Cupbaord to build large databases without worrying about how to implement on devices with limited local storage.

A second worry was using the AV player which is implemented strangely in FileMaker. Again, the team at LiveCode came up with a solution that far exceeded expectations.The most pleasing part was how the Mac App can use the AV capabilities of the computer.

The most impressive thing for me is how the addition of LiveCode extends our ability to service users. It really allowed me to get the most out of my 5 user FileMaker license.

Ian Osrin – Digital Cupboard

Project Results

Converting file from FileMaker to Apps is really a fairly simple process. Although some level of computer skill is needed, the support I received from the team enabled me to get over the most crucial humps.

Today, it is critical to offer my clients access to their data using a variety of devices. It is safe to say that the Apps whether on Mac, Android or IOS devices work as expected. I have no issues introduced by LiveCode.

In South Africa we have a series of technological challenges and the ability to carry on working when the power is off or connectivity is down, has proved a complete lifesaver.”

Ian Osrin – Digital Cupboard

Unleash your FileMaker App

Robin MillerDigital Cupboard