Oof, that's a lot to ask in one post, which explains why nobody has responded yet 😞
Have you tried getting a base plugin made, to open a music player in something like a bootbox.dialog?
In the example image they have of the widget, they add an example of a blog post. I was wondering the best way to go about adding something. Surely it's not all done manually in HTML?
I was thinking of showing all of the recent topics from a category so users can see the latest information at a glance from the homepage. Preferably I'd like to add it as a widget to the custom homepage, but there is no widget. The closest is recent topics, but they don't let you specify a category for which the posts come from like the posts and pulls it in globally. Sorry I'm new to nodebb, any thoughts or ideas?
That is static HTML. If you are looking for a plugin that displays topics as a blog post, you may be interested in nodebb-plugin-featured-topics-extended. Example here. https://forums.stonebound.net/