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iTiVo (TiVo -> mac -> iPhone)

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by Yoav, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    I suspect Burn OSX is actually more likely to do the right thing with audio.
    the DVD format in iTivo actually converts your audio to mp2. I don't think iDVD knows anything about AC-3 (dolby digital)... so I don't think it can save all original audio formats.

    However, that's not a guarantee about Burn either. I know Burn relies on ffmpeg to convert things it's not familiar with. And ffmpeg has its own issues.
    (yeah.. nothing is perfect in this world). I suspect if you can get away with 'decrypt' as the format in iTiVo and 'Burn OSX' accepts that, then you will come as close as you can to the original streams...
     
  2. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    I tried the "Decrypt and Copy" to do commercial skip. Didn't work in Burn or in iDVD. Then I used the Quicktime 10 Mbps setting. That worked, but there are lots and lots of jaggies. I went with it because I couldn't deal with downloading the 12 GB file again.
     
  3. philby85

    philby85 New Member

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Makes perfect sense, however I have tried to download 6 shows this morning and they all fail on the first try and succeed on the second, so I can't make it try only the once anymore?

    cheers

    Philby
     
  4. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Hmm. might be a bug with the code.. if it's set to 1 it shouldn't retry.. Let me look into it.

    edit : And indeed you caught a bug! Thanks. Fixing now, I'll compile a new beta.

    second edit: ok new iTiVo beta is up. Tell me if it's still borked.
     
  5. philby85

    philby85 New Member

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    Mar 21, 2009

    Hi Yoav,

    Bug well and truly squashed!! Thanks for the quick work:up:

    cheers

    Phil
     
  6. Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    In iTivo's download Format selector, I would like to see '.tivo' to maintain the file in a format that can be uploaded with all its program info intact. Can iTivo (presently) be made to download the file and that's it -- no decoding or conversion whatever?

    I need to move files off my TiVo so I can upgrade it and then return the recordings to the TiVo. I downloaded a .tivo file using Safari and later (after deleting the original from TiVo) uploaded the .tivo file using pyTiVoX and all the program data were still there (which would not be the case if I had converted to mpeg of some kind and then had to recreate a '.properties' file explaining what it is.)

    Anyway, is there a way to configure/hack/trick iTiVo to make it just download the .tivo files and leave them as-is?
     
  7. NA9D

    NA9D New Member

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    Algonquin, IL
    Why use iTivo then? Instead just use the built in Tivo webserver and download the file that way.
     
  8. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    As NA9D mentioned, there's little point to using itivo if you want to do no conversions. Any web browser can be pointed to https://<tivoip>/ with username 'tivo' password <your MAK>. Just pull the tivo files and you're set. As such, I don't expect iTiVo to support it.

    Now, if you *do* want to process it (for example to remove commercials, or save as a smaller file for future use) but like having all the 'metadata' information, you don't need to recreate the 'properties file'. Just select 'create pytivo metadata' (preferences) and save both the new .mp4 and the .txt file -- then when you use pyTivoX, it will use the .txt file to provide the original metadata.
     
  9. Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    The point is to be able to queue up large numbers of files and have them transfer, unattended, to my Mac while I'm away or sleeping. The alternative is to watch over the process constantly, starting a new download manually each time the previous one completes. Not to mention having to make sure each file in a series is named uniquely so as not to overwrite one that was already downloaded.

    If iTivo could simply download and not convert, it would be a BIG time saver. Not to mention that we could store TiVo recordings on another drive and transfer them back later, when, for example more space was available.

    iTivo already does everything I need and then some. I just need it to do less. How hard can it be to add the ability to download and NOT convert?!?
     
  10. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    If you're using Safari or Firefox, that should queue up the files for you. What happens if you click on one, and then you click on another one?
     
  11. Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    I tried an Automator action to download recordings from my TiVo; Automator tried to download every file at once. I know of no way to limit Automator to one file after another, one at a time.

    Automator's action caused TiVo to stop each previous download as a new one was requested. The built-in TiVo web server would seem to support downloading only one recording at a time.

    Manually starting a connection does the same thing. It starts the download immediately, cancelling the one in progress (inasmuch as the TiVo cannot do more than one at a time).
     
  12. May 1, 2009 #432 of 741
    Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Well, to make firefox download them one at a time, you need to open

    about:config

    And set network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server to 1. (obviously set it back to the old value when you're done). Or use a tool like 'wget' to issue one command to download the entire contents of your tivo.

    I'm honestly not of the opinion that the 'avoid decrypting and bypass all the code that looks into the movie' is a useful option for iTiVo. I'm certainly willing to be convinced otherwise, but right now I think adding code for 'download but don't decode' seems like it's asking for more problems than it's worth. I *am* curious if your 'work path' involves 'download from tivo, upload to tivo via pytivo' why the 'decrypt' format with the pytivo metadata isn't good enough...
     
  13. May 1, 2009 #433 of 741
    Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    Page, AZ USA
    Of course, I'd still have to manually initiate hundreds of downloads. Not quite the same as a click, shift-click in the iTiVo queue.

    Inasmuch as I only came upon pytivoX yesterday, I'm not familiar with the 'decrypt' format with the pytivo metadata mode. I do fear that every decode/encode operation will degrade the video quality though.

    Since the only use I wish to make of the .tivo files is to later upload them back to TiVo, it seemed like keeping them as native as possible was best. Can I achieve the same results -- being able to re-upload with all program meta data intact, and no loss of quality -- using pytivo metadata? If so, I guess I'll look into that and try it out. I just know I don't want to have to manually start each and every download by hand and babysit the download process. That's the kind of job just crying out for automation. And iTivo *seemed* like the perfect solution, if only it could be made to just downloaded .tivo files.

    I have no idea what the inner workings of iTiVo look like, but it seems like it should not be all that difficult to skip the decode step and just write the native .tivo file to disk. But I defer to your judgement as to whether it would be more trouble than it's worth.

    As for me, I think it would be a handy function to be able to off-load TiVo recordings and store them on a Mac when space ran low and, for example, some marathon you wanted was coming up. It would be like having greatly expanded storage for your DVR. Who wouldn't like that?

    Maybe I can cobble together a shell script and use curl to download all the .tivo files.
     
  14. May 1, 2009 #434 of 741
    Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Decrypt does no encoding. It simply removes the annoying DRM that makes the mpeg-2 file useless on a mac (.tivo is basically an mpeg-2 file, metadata, and an 'encryption' using the MAK as a key). So you end up with the perfect original data from your tivo. The big difference is that the mpeg-2 doesn't have the metadata (solved by having a secondary .txt file that iTiVo will write for you if you ask for it), and the fact that your computer can actually DO stuff with the mpeg-2 file (like play it in VLC).

    I believe that as long as you keep the .txt metadata file that iTiVo writes out, then when you send it back to the tivo it will be just as it was before (the big difference will be that you can also view it on your mac -- a feature you don't care about). quality and filesize will be exactly the same.


    Changing the code is pretty easy. However, without changing the code, using 'decrypt' achieves what you want, without having an intermediate 'wtf' file on your computer. I also don't really view iTiVo as a 'backup your tivo' program, so it's not really a feature I care to support -- if I hear enough people asking for it, I'll probably change my mind.

    I hear you. Try using 'decrypt'. Or if truly your only concern is 'expanding the storage for your DVR' why not just do that? An external hard drive is incredibly cheap nowadays. Your DVR will actually HAVE more storage, and you won't need to play some sort of 'shuffle' game to move movies around all the time. You can just store all of them on your DVR all the time.

    You can. I don't know if wget is still causing corruptions, but if it's fixed, you can just run something like:
    Code:
    wget -r --verbose --no-check-certificate --user=tivo --password=<MAK> 'https://<TivoIP>/'
    
    Every show that CAN be downloaded will be under <TivoIP>/downloads/. Test one before doing this because at least for a while there was some issue with wget corruption on files downloaded from tivo (which curl didn't have issues with -- but curl can't recurse). The filenames will be long and silly, but since you just plan on pushing them back to the tivo later, I don't think you care about the filenames?
     
  15. May 1, 2009 #435 of 741
    Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    I've tried this and the .txt files are empty, zero bytes. The metadata are in the xml file though. Makes me wonder what's supposed to be in the txt files...

    Good to know. I'm trying this now.

    Instead I'll have multiple files for each recording instead of just one.

    Actually, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I tried to not clutter my original post with my motivation but, apparently, I need to relate that now.

    The TiVo in question has two 120 GB drives. They're getting a bit long in the tooth. Time to replace them before they fail due to just plain old age. Given that PATA drive are becoming scarce, I'd hoped to replace the two drives with a single 1 TB SATA drive (using an appropriate bridge). Given that it's a Series 2, an external expander drive is not an option.

    The problem is that none of the available Mac tools will allow me to copy the two old drives to one new one AND preserve recordings.

    I've started transferring some recordings to other TiVos but I'd much rather transfer them to a single location -- like my Mac. I just need temporary storage until I get the S2 upgraded to 1 TB. I have other TiVo boxes that will need similar help in the future, so I'm looking for a way around the can't-copy-recordings-from-two-drives-to-one problem. I'm going to have to do this again with other DVRs.

    The plan is to copy all the recordings elsewhere, do a backup | restore, using current Mac tools, to transfer all settings and such from the two current drives to one new drive and then transfer all the recordings back to the expanded DVR. It's imperative that metadata be preserved. If decrypt plus the xml metadata file will do that, then I have my solution.

    Starting out, I knew only that .tivo files preserved the metadata, so I looked for a way to automate download of .tivo files.


    I've downloaded and installed wget. Right now, it may be unnecessary, inasmuch as decrypt with xml metadata will (apparently) do what I need.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  16. May 1, 2009 #436 of 741
    Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    So, you need the .txt metadata file, not the .xml file (pytivo only accepts the txt files). It shouldn't be empty though. if your mac is a PPC mac, then you'll need to use the beta (there was a bug extracting the metadata on ppc machines that is fixed in the beta).

    As to your original motivation, I *assume* none of your shows are marked copyright, as this plan just won't work :).

    but yeah, wget certainly seems to be what you want to use (assuming it's not still broken). It will be faster than 'skipping' tivodecode, since iTiVo still does a bunch of other crap when downloading that wget won't have to bother with. Alternatively, I'm sure there are many web crawler programs for the mac that come with a gui. You really don't care that it's a tivo file. You're simply trying to download the entire website...

    Or, if you REALLY want to use iTiVo, here's the easiest hack:
    • Download the attached zip file, and open it, to find a script named tivo-decoder.pl
    • Copy the script (using Terminal.app) to /Applications/iTiVo.app/Contents/Resources/
    • start iTiVo
    • open preferences, select 'decrypt' as the format, then go to Advanced and select .tivo as the filename extension (instead of .mpg)
    • Initiate a download and make sure it's doing what you want

    (script basically replaces calls to 'tivodecode' with calls to 'cat')

    MAJOR DISCLAIMER
    Hack is not supported. Hack will break if you upgrade iTiVo. Hack may not do what you want. Be sure to re-install iTiVo if you ever do plan on using it the way it's supposed to be used.. the above hack will break it for all normal uses.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. May 1, 2009 #437 of 741
    Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    I cannot speak for others, but I have had HD failures that caused a loss of all the recordings on the affected DVR. If iTiVo is not a backup program, then how about a new program, using a subset of iTiVo's features to do just that -- back up one's TiVo?

    Count me as the first one asking for it.
     
  18. May 1, 2009 #438 of 741
    Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    As mentioned in the previous post, any webcrawler that archives a website will do what you asked for. So I suspect the tool is already out there...

    Also, I provided in the long response a way for you to hack iTiVo to get what you wanted out of it... So.. ermm.... isn't that what you want?
     
  19. May 1, 2009 #439 of 741
    Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    It's an Intel Mac Pro. And I have 14 such empty files (that's how many recordings iTiVo managed to download overnight.)

    FYI, when I cancelled the downloads in progress in iTiVo, the tivodecode process crashed. Would you care for a crash report?

    Huh? These are shows recorded from network TV, of course they're copyrighted. What about the plan (which plan?) won't work? If you're making a joke, I'm not getting it.



    Thanks muchly.
     
  20. May 1, 2009 #440 of 741
    Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

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    Provided such tools can be configured to limit themselves to one connection at a time, maybe. It's still not like having a program that can be scheduled to automatically connect and download... Shouldn't a good back-up program be automatic?

    Yes, it is. I'll try it out and see if it works.
     

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