Rifflicks.com, story of a musical side project

Benjamin Dauton
3 min readOct 14, 2014

As a long time guitar player (almost 15 years now), I’m always looking for new things to learn. I can learn new songs if someone teaches me them or I can also go on YouTube and search for a song.

The problem with the first solution is that it’s hard to meet other guitar players when you haven’t a lot of time everyday. I’m pretty okay with the second solution but you need to know what to learn before actually learn it… In addition, videos are often too long to watch.

So, I thought there must be something to do…

The idea

The simple idea I had is to offer a service where people could watch short videos and learn new things in a minute. Videos could be hosted on YouTube and people could share their own short clips directly on the platform. Cool idea huh?

What about « Rifflicks » as a contraction of « riff » and « licks » for the name?

Rifflicks logo

Meanwhile at Enalean…

Every work day, I design and code cool stuffs at Enalean (I work on Tuleap, a piece of software that helps you building other software). We are always looking for the latest greatest technologies or development frameworks so we started to use AngularJS for front-end developments (we have written a blog post on why we choose this framework).

As a geek and as a perfectionist, I started at home to try and learn things with AngularJS. Why not killing two birds with one stone by developing Rifflicks using AngularJS? My side project could be a real project and I could share learned things at Enalean.

Long day, short nights…

…This is how the mock-ups and the first lines of code have been written. All the design part have been made using Sketch 3 in two or three nights.

Yeah, I use a MacBook Air. Some people call me a hipster, I tell them that I prefer to use a laptop that actually work…

On the technical side, it took me 3 months to code Rifflicks, with an average frequency of 10 hours a week (I started exactly on 2014 may 26th ; can’t say when the last line will be written, in fact it depends on you). I will detail in another post how I technically developed Rifflicks, but I can say I have rewritten almost every lines of code twice. It’s a normal process when you develop a product while learning the technology, isn’t it?

Here’s the baby!

Homepage of www.rifflicks.com
Popular videos
It’s time to learn

What’s next (to the moon)?

— Mandatory music reference (AC/DC Powerage, 1978)

Uncle Sam needs your videos

Currently, I have recorded more than 50 videos, just to validate the concept. The idea next is that everybody records & shares short videos. It would be too bad if nobody wants to participate ☹.

Next cool features

User account, Chrome & Firefox extensions, iPhone app, favorite list, daily reminders… There are so many things to do! But everything in its own time. I will see if it’s worth it.

If you want more information about Rifflicks and have a quick look here: www.rifflicks.com, @rifflicks or facebook.com/rifflicks.

Benjamin Dauton

Rock’n’roll & muscle car lover. Dad life is the best.