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Old 10-16-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
rmerikle
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Folders using PyTivo push function

OK, sorry if this has been covered, but I have searched and have found bits and pieces, but I am just not clear and I can't seem to achieve what I am trying to do. I really think there are probably others out there that are just as confused as myself on Folders and PyTivo so thought this thread would others as well as me.

Here is my situation:
I just upgraded my Tivo with a larger hard drive. I have the PyTivo push working correctly. What I would like is to push a bunch of movies to my Tivo and have them all sit in a folder called "Movies." Is this possible and if so how do I do it? I have tried a multitude of things and can't seem to get it to work so very explicit directions such as step 1, step 2, step 3 would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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My understanding is that you need to have a metadata file for each of your videos, and the seriesID in each of the metadata files needs to be the same. Further, the seriesID you choose has to be from a series that is currently in the tivo guide data.

Search through this forum for metadata, and you'll find a lot of information and tools.

I am just starting to experiment with this myself, so I am interested to hear what the experts have to say.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbernardis View Post
Further, the seriesID you choose has to be from a series that is currently in the tivo guide data.
I think that's true only for Pull transfers, not Push.

Some relevant info in this recent thread:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=434361

I agree with the OP that this is the subject of a lot of confusion, so it would be good if someone in the know could explain the ins and outs of pyTivo folder grouping in one place.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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Yes I saw the above post but I have trouble getting an answer to my questions. My understanding is using the pull function of PyTivo you must have the meta info and it must be a recent show, but I have read numerous posts where this does not seem to hold true for pushing. I am am hoping someone out there can give some clear guidance on what we are able to do with the push function. Ideally telling me how to house a bunch of stuff under one folder.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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I do this with movies all the time. I have several folders on my Tivo. DVDs, Horror, Downloads, etc.

You need PyTivo running as well as a program called MetaGenerator.

First get 2 small avi or other video files that pytivo can transfer. The smaller the better, because you will delete

them off the tivo anyway, so you want them to transfer fast. (as an example I will call them video1.avi and

video2.avi)

create 2 meta files (text files) with the following lines (Replace "Folder Name" with whatever name you want your folders called):


title : Folder Name
SeriesTitle: Folder Name
episodeNumber : 1
isEpisode :true
seriesId : SH999901

Name one of these meta files video1.avi.txt, name the other one video2.avi.txt Put these files in the same

directory as video1.avi and video2.avi

now, fire up PyTivo, and push them to your Tivo. (they must be pushed and not pulled) They should transfer and be placed in a folder with whatever name you entered in place of "Folder Name" The files will ALSO be named "Folder Name"

Now, run MetaGenerator. Create meta files for the real video that you want to transfer over. I save the meta files

in a subdirectory of where my video files are located. If you do this the subdirectory MUST be named ".meta".

Otherwise you can put them in the same directory as your video files. Now you will need to go into each meta file

and do the following

Change the line isEpisode from false to true

Add the lines:

episodeNumber : 1
SeriesId : SH999901

Save the meta file and fire up Pytivo. Push over at least 2 files. They should now be in the same folder as the 2 previous files, named correctly. You can now delete the original 2 files from the folder.

If you want to create a second unique folder, you can edit the original meta files with a new folder name and a new unique SeriesId (such as SH999902) and repeat the process.

The seriesId number is what the Tivo uses to determine what folder the video should go into, so change the SeriesId line in the meta file and you can select which folder where it is saved.

Also, be aware that if the folder comes up with an actual program name, that means the tivo has the same seriesId in its guide as what you selected, so you can delete the files, make up a new one. SH999901 to SH999915 have all been clear for me.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
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This concise information looks invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to present this Norm!
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Yes Norm Thank you a million
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:08 PM   #8
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Awesome! Thanks for the step-by-step. I've been wanting to do this to group all my Kids Movies.

One note - when you're "testing" with your first files, be sure to use the real Folder Name that you want, because the Tivo will associate that folder name with the seriesId even after you delete any test files.

I tested with a dummy folder name to make sure that I could push and the folder was created. Then I deleted the videos from my Tivo, and pushed some real files with my desired folder name, but they showed on the Tivo under the old/test folder name. I then changed the seriesId to SH999902, re-pushed, and the programs were under the new folder name.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Greets everyone..

Just wanted to also post a link to a pyTivo forum thread that might also be useful in this discussion:

pyTivo Discussion Forum:
- metadata questions: .meta folders/default.txt/push grouping

Now for my latest question that I hope some of you can help answer!

When I push to the forced folder that I have created for kid movies, the Tivo keeps some of the metadata (description, title, etc) but not others (rating, movieYear, etc) ... additionally, unlike the root folder of the NPL that is sorted alphabetically, the items in the subfolder are sorted by the date recorded-- which in this case is the date that I pushed the file(s) to the Tivo.

Are there any tricks, tips, or something simple I'm overlooking to have the kid movies I push to a subfolder sort alphabetically?

I have considered trying to find out how to force a recorded-on-date and forcing my own "sort" by that timestamp, but if there was some easy way to get it to sort alphabetically, that'd be GREAT.....

thanks in advance,
..dane
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dane_walther View Post
When I push to the forced folder that I have created for kid movies, the Tivo keeps some of the metadata (description, title, etc) but not others (rating, movieYear, etc)
Right. Push uses a completely different system for metadata, and we don't know all the relevant keywords yet. (Some items might not even be available.) It's much harder to discover the push tags -- for pull, you can just look at the XML from the TiVo; for push, you have to intercept network traffic, and TiVo Desktop uses very few of the tags, so for (e.g.) star ratings, you'd have to capture messages from Amazon VOD or something. (Do they even show up with star ratings? It's been a while since I DLed one.)

Quote:
additionally, unlike the root folder of the NPL that is sorted alphabetically, the items in the subfolder are sorted by the date recorded
This is true for any folder on the TiVo (not just those created by pyTivo). It won't change the sort order. The only way to sort the contents alphabetically is to turn off grouping.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
Right. Push uses a completely different system for metadata, and we don't know all the relevant keywords yet. (Some items might not even be available.) It's much harder to discover the push tags -- for pull, you can just look at the XML from the TiVo; for push, you have to intercept network traffic, and TiVo Desktop uses very few of the tags, so for (e.g.) star ratings, you'd have to capture messages from Amazon VOD or something. (Do they even show up with star ratings? It's been a while since I DLed one.)

This is true for any folder on the TiVo (not just those created by pyTivo). It won't change the sort order. The only way to sort the contents alphabetically is to turn off grouping.
Thanks for the reply, wm...

I take it from your post that there is currently also no way of setting the 'recorded-on' date using push?

As an aside, it's interesting to me that even after pushing a forced grouping mechanism, you can't then go use pull to get content over to the Tivo using the episodeId that was previously pushed.... that would solve a bunch of problems.

From the promptness (and conciseness) of your reply, I assume a lot of work has already been done on attempting at subfolder sorting ....

thanks,
..dane
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dane_walther View Post
I take it from your post that there is currently also no way of setting the 'recorded-on' date using push?
There used to be, for pull... that's something I need to fix. There wasn't, for push; but as I look at it now, it could be done quite easily. So, I'll do that.

Quote:
From the promptness (and conciseness) of your reply, I assume a lot of work has already been done on attempting at subfolder sorting
No, no work. There's nothing to do there; not for the TiVo-side folders. Take a look at a folder created by a Season Pass, or a Wishlist -- it's the same way. Notice that the line at the bottom of the screen that describes sort order disappears when you go into a folder.

Now, if you were talking about folders within pyTivo shares, you can force those to alpha sort, via the "force_alpha = True" setting. In fact that was pyTivo's original behavior. But what the TiVo requests is the same as what it does internally -- it always uses date sort for folders, and doesn't offer the option to change it.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:34 AM   #13
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Does pytivo use the metadata file [filename].tivo.txt for .Tivo files? I'm using Push to recategorize movies recorded on my Tivo into a folder. The metadata for the seriesID folder works for non-Tivo files pushed, but when pushing a .Tivo file pytivo seems to use the original embedded metadata, not the metadata from the .txt file, even for the Description. Is that your understanding of the internals?

To get around that and have the .tivo files be foldered on push, I now use tivodecode to first convert the .tivo files to .mpeg, then have pytivo push the mpeg (with the metadata file) and then it correctly oes into the series folder.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:11 AM   #14
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For .TiVo files, the internal metadata takes precedence over the .txt files. I did this for pushes because it's what happens anyway on pulls (where tivodecode is not used), so this way it's consistent for a given file. On a pull, the .TiVo header overrides everything; it's the TiVo box itself that does that. (The only way around it would be to pass the file through tivodecode during pulls as well as pushes.)

Otherwise the .txt file takes precedence (over MP4 internal tags, EyeTV tags, and .properties files).
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:34 AM   #15
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I take it from your post that there is currently also no way of setting the 'recorded-on' date using push?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
There used to be, for pull... that's something I need to fix. There wasn't, for push; but as I look at it now, it could be done quite easily. So, I'll do that.

No, no work. There's nothing to do there; not for the TiVo-side folders. Take a look at a folder created by a Season Pass, or a Wishlist -- it's the same way. Notice that the line at the bottom of the screen that describes sort order disappears when you go into a folder.

Now, if you were talking about folders within pyTivo shares, you can force those to alpha sort, via the "force_alpha = True" setting. In fact that was pyTivo's original behavior. But what the TiVo requests is the same as what it does internally -- it always uses date sort for folders, and doesn't offer the option to change it.
If forcing the recorded-on date worked, then manual sorting could be done. Even within a single year, there are plenty of timestamps available! I assume it sorts down to the yyyy:mm:dd:hh:mm:ss recorded, but even if only yyyy:mm:dd, there are still lots of timestamps available for forcing a sort order.

pyTivo shares sort alphabetically, I've noticed that yes. But I am pushing to TIvo so that I don't have to maintain the files on a central server (the computer doesn't stay on all the time, etc). I have a MUCH larger HDD on my Tivo than my computer anyway. And I only have an 802.11b wireless router, so I can't "watch while streaming" anyway. Takes a good few hours to push a file, even without transcoding.

I still have the original 3-19 distribution of pyTivo. I have read something breifly about something called a GIT snapshot-- I assume if you patch the recorded-on date with Pushing, then I'll need to learn how to do that. I also assume it's a whole lot more work to create a new distribution than a GIT snapshot... No worries though-- I seem to recall seeing a thread over on the pyTivo forum where someone detailed the steps on how to do a GIT snapshot update. Keep us posted on the recorded-on date via Push and I'll test it out when it's patched and report back here (or pyTivo forum, or both)..

THanks SOOOO much!
..dane
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:21 PM   #16
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I ran a few tests.. used an existing seriesId (Futurama!) since I knew using Pull (3.19 RC1 distribution) worked with passing the "time" metadata parameter, and I needed a folder to work with..

I created about a dozen copies of a 2-second video file and created unique metadata .txt files for each of them, and set their dates among 1977, 1980, 2010, 2020, and 2112 (yes, Rush fan also). In my Tivo I browsed to the folder these items were stored, and began queuing them up for "pull"ing in a random order, and went back to the NPL/Futurama folder to watch the progress.

Sure enough, everything came through sorted properly by the dates I set.

wmcbrine-- I don't know python, but I've dabbled in various languages over the past 20 years.. I'd like to maybe develop a simple string-processing equation that develops a "date" value for the string. I'd like to then request a new paramter be added to the pyTivo configuration settings to "assign alphabetizing recorded-on date when recorded-on date not specified and when a seriesId is specified" or something of the sort that will automatically generate the proper recorded-on datecode based on the title string, but only for those items that are grouped (e.g. a seriesId value is assigned). I'm not sure if this would be better suited as a plugin or a new feature, but taking the time to add the feature in the long run would benefit a whole lot of people and save me a bunch of time having to put individual calculated datecodes in the dozens of movies I want to push to customized forced folders.. I can email you to take the discussion off-line if you'd like.

your thoughts?
..dane
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #17
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(yes, I changed my username)

Thought I would chime in here with an email I just sent to wmcbrine:

Quote:
Hi there again..

Assuming that the time metadata format can support year 0001 through 9999, I've got a crude mechanism in place. Not yet in "equation" format, but just a test-proof to see how feasible it is. It's not a perfect solution, but for many who are using Push to force specific folders for things like Disney Movies, etc, it goes a long way to "alphabetizing" the items in the pushed folder.

If you don't want to incorporate this into your pytivo fork, I understand. I can still use this spreadsheet myself (and most likely convert it to javascript and put it online) for my own purposes. If you are interested and would rather wait until after a javascript port (for easier porting to python), that's fine too--just let me know.

limitations: since we don't know what strings are going to be thrown at us, and we only have the number of seconds between 1/1/0000 (EDIT: should be 1/1/0001) and 12/31/9999, we can only process a finite number of characters. With leaving a FEW unassigned values for future use, we can create a "timestamp" based on the first 7 characters of a string (e.g. metadata tag "title"). This isn't great if someone is transferring something called "Futurama Episode 26" of course, but they could always rename it "#26 - Futurama" or use other mechanisms (like the original air date) instead.

I've attached an excel spreadsheet as well as a .GIF snapshot of the spreadsheet in case you can't open the .xls file. I'll post it online as well.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

thanks,
..dane
I am attaching those .GIF and .XLS files here as well. Anyone is welcome to use them... Note these will do NO good until the push feature's "time" tag is working. It would work just fine for "pull" transfers if you're using one of the pytivo versions with working "time" tag for pull. (3.19-RC1 passes "time" with pull, but wmcbrine indicated that it is broken in the current GIT snapshot.) And of course it's quite manual at the moment.. but you can replace one of the "test strings" in the spreadsheet and the calculated time value will spit out on the right column..

Note also that A-names have a "more future" date than Z-names, since Tivo sorts folder items in decreasing time (newest episode at top).

Let's keep this ball rolling!

cheers,
..dane

ps.- I will also mention that I've not actually tested this; I don't know if Tivo supports year 0001 and year 9999 for instance. I'm at work and threw this together real quick-like, and don't have my Tivo here to test with.. I'm just HOPEFUL it will work.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #18
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Update..

1970 (unix epoch) is the "earliest" date Tivo supports. Otherwise it just seems to set the datetime as the current datetime.

Currently trying to find the top end. It correctly places a 2250 date at the top of the list, but doesn't for the year 2375. trying to narrow it down.. Looks like we'll have a LOT less alphabetizing options..

..dane
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:09 PM   #19
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2300 isn't supported either. All the kids just got home, so I'm done for a while (until after they're in bed)..

..dane
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #20
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Looks like it will support up until 1-May-2216 but not 1-June-2216.

That gives us a range of 1-Jan-1970 to 1-May-2216, or 246 years, 4 months, or roughly 7,768,368,000 unique seconds (datetime-values), to work with. Using the spreadsheet I attached earlier (which needs to be updated for reduced date support), that allows generic sorting out through the first four characters. Not as nice as 7 character sorting, but certainly better than none!

I am curious is anyone is interested in this tool being made into an online javascropt tool, or wmcbrine, if you're interested in incorporating this into pytivo. I would at least like for the 'time' feature to be implemented for pushing though so I can use this at least myself for generic sorting of pushed material.

thanks,
..dane

EDIT: whoops-- misread the number of commas.. we can go out to SIX characters with 7.5 billion seconds.. yay! better than four!

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Old 10-31-2009, 09:54 PM   #21
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I am working on the time thing, just a little short on time myself lately. Soon.

I am not interested in implementing the fake alphabetical sort hack in pyTivo, sorry. It's very clever though.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:41 PM   #22
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I am working on the time thing, just a little short on time myself lately. Soon.

I am not interested in implementing the fake alphabetical sort hack in pyTivo, sorry. It's very clever though.
THanks for the reply..

No worries about not including the fake sorting mechanism-- I don't know how pytivo plugins are made, but could this be made as a plugin? If so I'd be interested in that approach also, if someone could point me to learn how to make a plugin...

thanks,
..dane
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:27 AM   #23
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Just noticed you commit'd a GIT update over the weekend with the time tag update. If all goes well I'll be updating tonight to try it out. Certainly will be in the next day or three, but hopefully tonight. Thanks so much for working on this!

..dane
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #24
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Is there any chance we can get all this just built-in to PyTivo, like it is in Tivo Desktop?

That is, can I just pick a folder on the PyTivo Web UI, and say transfer, and then have it end up in that same folder name on the Tivo?

The issues are:
1) The metadata thing is a lot of work for a lot of shows, and seems like this could (and should) just be automated
2) Currently I have to pick a show at a time to transfer from pyTivo and wait for it to finish before picking the next show. It's painful to have to attend to it this much, especially if you have a series of like 10-20 shows that you want in a single folder.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by AbMagFab View Post
Is there any chance we can get all this just built-in to PyTivo, like it is in Tivo Desktop?

That is, can I just pick a folder on the PyTivo Web UI, and say transfer, and then have it end up in that same folder name on the Tivo?

The issues are:
1) The metadata thing is a lot of work for a lot of shows, and seems like this could (and should) just be automated
2) Currently I have to pick a show at a time to transfer from pyTivo and wait for it to finish before picking the next show. It's painful to have to attend to it this much, especially if you have a series of like 10-20 shows that you want in a single folder.

Thanks!
I'm pretty sure pyTivo queues up push requests - at least the most recent versions do.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:59 PM   #26
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Yes pyTivo definitely queues the pushes. You can either check multiple boxes to push, or submit the push page several times, and they'll go in order to the Tivo. You don't have to "attend to it" yourself.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:50 AM   #27
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Yes pyTivo definitely queues the pushes. You can either check multiple boxes to push, or submit the push page several times, and they'll go in order to the Tivo. You don't have to "attend to it" yourself.
Right, I just upgraded from the 3/09 version to the current GIT build.

So the only remaining issues are:
1) The multi-push doesn't maintain the folder
2) All pushes don't maintain recorded date, even on a .Tivo file, which is really annoying for TV series

Any thoughts on these?
Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:42 AM   #28
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Right, I just upgraded from the 3/09 version to the current GIT build.

So the only remaining issues are:
1) The multi-push doesn't maintain the folder
2) All pushes don't maintain recorded date, even on a .Tivo file, which is really annoying for TV series

Any thoughts on these?
Thanks!
1) Yes, it doesn't maintain the PC folder (it's a Tivo thing). To create folders of your own name on the Tivo, re-read post #5 of this thread, it explains how you have to use the metadata SeriesID which Tivo uses to categorize the folders. Once you establish your SeriesID and name, you can put a file "default.txt" with that metadata in your PC folder and it'll be used for each push from that folder.
2) Yes, for pushes, they show as the date that they were pushed, not the recorded date, or the modified date of the file. Again apparently due to Tivo, not controllable by pyTivo.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:22 PM   #29
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1) Yes, it doesn't maintain the PC folder (it's a Tivo thing). To create folders of your own name on the Tivo, re-read post #5 of this thread, it explains how you have to use the metadata SeriesID which Tivo uses to categorize the folders. Once you establish your SeriesID and name, you can put a file "default.txt" with that metadata in your PC folder and it'll be used for each push from that folder.
2) Yes, for pushes, they show as the date that they were pushed, not the recorded date, or the modified date of the file. Again apparently due to Tivo, not controllable by pyTivo.
Except Tivo Desktop does both of these things, and presumably they're all using the same protocol, right?

Can you explain post #5 a little more? You say one file, but post #5 says a file for each program. Also, I have no idea where to get "metagenerator", as the only one I found is mac-only.

Also, why do the transfer first - what's being added to the meta file as part of the transfer? Can't someone just post a default one for editing?
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Last edited by AbMagFab : 11-24-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:05 PM   #30
orangeboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbMagFab View Post
...Also, I have no idea where to get "metagenerator", as the only one I found is mac-only...
Slick metadata generator based on specific filename layout (eg. Some.Showname.S01E01.avi): pyTivoMetaThis
Or here's a GUI metadata generator: MetaGenerator Version 2

I use the first one in batch. The second one is easier because of filename freedom.
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