Import jQuery

Chavah v2 coming soon, plus a port for the Coptic Christian community

Hey fine Kineti readers.

More and more, I am finding joy and fulfillment not in arguing theology, but in doing actual good work for the Messianic community.

Two, nay three, updates on that front:

Chavah v2 beta is almost done.

Chavah Messianic Radio, the open source, Pandora-like music service; the best Messianic Jewish radio on the web, is getting a big makeover. Version 2 of the software, which ports Chavah from Silverlight to HTML5, is almost done!

In fact, it’s already on the web, just on some super secret URL that only a privileged few know about, heheh.


Chavah v2 rocks because it runs on most every computing device, including Droid, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC. Contrast with Chavah v1 which runs only on Mac and PC.

This is *huge* because I’ve had many users ask for Chavah on their mobile phones: play Messiah’s tunes in their cars, at work, or just while they’re relaxing with their tablets.

Chavah v2 lets that happen.

This is a long time in the making, primarily because the server required a major update to support a straight HTML5 and JSON client, and the client software, Chavah itself, required a complete rewrite: no more Silverlight or Flash, just straight HTML5 goodness. </nerdgasm>

Chavah now supports RSS, tweets links to thumbed-up songs

Chavah is very much a living piece of software: thousands of songs are being streamed per day, users regularly thumb-up music, which teaches Chavah which songs to play to which users. Users regularly request songs which then play to everyone listening. It’s very much a social piece of software.

To this end, I wanted to give some visibility into this living platform. I updated Chavah to publish an RSS feed of song requests, song likes, and other social things that happen on the site:

Chavah’s RSS Feed

Furthermore, knowing the less techy folks don’t know what to do with RSS feeds, I used the IfThisThenThat service to automatically tweet when the Chavah RSS feed updates. End result?


We’re not done yet. Notice the link at the end of the tweet? I updated Chavah’s client software to support hot linking to songs. End result is, clicking that link will play that song on Chavah.

Oh yeah! That’s awesome. I freakin’ love technology.

Chavah for the Coptic Christian Community

Chavah as a software platform for niche music genres is an interesting idea. I’ve thrown around in my head this idea of making a business out of it. For example, I pitch it to FM radio stations and say, “Want people to go to your web site? Here’s software that plays the music your listeners like. It learns based off their musical preferences.”

But this past week, I was contacted by a member of the Coptic Christian community, asking if I could build a version of Chavah for the Coptic Christian Community, one that plays hymns, chants, and sermons from that community.

For the uninitiated, Coptic Christians are an Egyptian group of followers of Jesus. They are an ancient group, the oldest church in Africa, claiming to have been founded by Saint Mark in 42AD. Coptic Christianity was the majority religion in Egypt in the 5th and 6th centuries, ultimately up until the time of the Islamic conquest.

Today, they are a significant minority, often oppressed by the Islamic leadership in Egypt.

So when I was approached to build a version of Chavah for the Coptic Christian community, I considered it a service to the Lord. I told them I’d do it for free.

We wasted no time – we registered a domain name,, and just last night I got the backend services up and running. I hope to have up and running in the next few weeks a Coptic version of Chavah playing hymns, chants, and sermons from that community. I’ll let you fine Kineti readers know when CopticBox goes live.


  1. Pretty cool -- what about the fact that IE 9 doesn't support 1/3rd of the HTML5 spec.. are you using those feature emulators to make it work for older IE browsers(can't remember their name right now)?

    1. Chavah v2 works on IE9.

      For IE8 and earlier, I have a Flash fallback; if the browser doesn't support HTML5 audio with MP3 format, I fallback to Flash.

      iPhone, iPad, Droid all support native HTML5 MP3 audio. The only real surprise has been that Firefox, the latest version, doesn't support MP3 natively (!). Patent concerns, apparently. End result is that Chavah v2 falls back to Flash if you're running Firefox.

      My goal here is to make Chavah work on mobile, PC, and Mac. There's a limit, however. If you're using, say, IE6, I won't bother supporting you. The fact of the matter is, people shouldn't be running browsers that are 15 years old.

  2. Re: CopticBox...How cool is that?! Awesome that you got the opportunity to serve that way.

    1. Yeah! It's awesome. I'm really proud of Chavah, but seeing it spread to areas I had never thought of is really encouraging. And I'm helping brothers in Messiah to boot. It's all good!

  3. Kudos, Judah. I listen to Chavah every Saturday morning as I study and prepare for Shabbat services (not saying I wait until Saturday morning to start studying, but I have found I am better prepared if I spend a few hours studying right before leaving the house to go to synagogue -- gets my mind in the right frame). And Chavah is a great help. I just thumbs down the ones I don't care for and I find I enjoy most of what is posted there.

    Fantastic example of Tikkun Olam right there in a Messianic Jew blessing Egyptians with music technology for avodah (worship)! Sounds like Isaiah 19 starting to happen.

    1. Thanks, Derek! And I'm totally encouraged to know you listen to Chavah. Wooohooo!

      Should be fun seeing the CopticBox software come together.

    2. And wow. Have I not read Isaiah 19 before? I'm blown away by that prophecy. Egypt and Assyria turning to God. Wow.


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