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BBB alarm clock project

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Hi everyone, I received a BeagleBone Black a few weeks ago and have some questions about it.


I'm trying to make a alarm clock, where the user can set various times to set off alarms. The alarms will be added to a priority queue, and a audio file will be played for each entry at the corresponding time. I also need access to the internet so I can get alarm times from a webpage or file. Later on I would also like to add some buttons and a LCD. 


This is my first project with a device such as a BBB. I know C and a bit of C++. I also installed Ubuntu on a separate laptop and learned a few terminal commands. 


My problem is that i'm not sure how to code an accurate clock and set up the alarms. Is it possible to do this at user space where the coding will be a bit easier? Or do I look into bare-metal programming?


I played a bit with crontab, but it seems strange to me. I added 2 commands. I play an audio file at a certain time, and open xclock in the next minute. The audio only plays when i have a * for minute. And the clock application never opens.


Any advice and/or guidance would be appreciated!


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