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Old 02-21-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
bareyb
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Installing pyTivo on the Mac for Beginners

PyTivo is a cool little program that allows you to Transfer media from your computer to your Tivo Box. You can watch all those adorable Home Movies and illegal UFC downloads in the comfort of your familiar Tivo GUI. Great right?

If you would like to try pyTivo (and I definitely think you should), but are new to command-line Unix type stuff, then this is the thread for you. Hopefully this will save you some time and some therapy bills for our local Unix experts.

Note: If you have been having trouble getting it to work, I suggest you simply do it EXACTLY the same way I do it in the guide here. Once you have an understanding of how it works it will be much easier to customize it to your personal taste. This guide assumes you have downloads downloaded to your "downloads" folder in your Dock and that you keep your Applications in the Applications folder. I'm using OSX version 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) so your views may vary depending on what version you have.

There are a couple of different versions of pyTivo available, including the forks by Iluvatar ,Lucasnz, and wmcbrine who are well known contributors on this site. You can read about the different versions at the pyTivo Wiki Page.: http://pytivo.sourceforge.net/wiki/i...rrent_Releases

Familiarize yourself with the Wiki (but don't download anything yet) and when you are ready to start the Tutorial, proceed to Step One:


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Old 02-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Step One: Download the latest version of pyTivo

1. For the purposes of this Tutorial, I used the most recent wmcbrine fork. Click here to go to the download Site: http://repo.or.cz/w/pyTivo/wmcbrine.git

2. Once you are at the Website, you will see a list of recent versions. Go to the top line (see pic) and click on the very end of the line where it says: tar, gz, zip. (I used zip). Your download will begin automatically and (once unzipped) will place a folder with the label "wmcbrine" in your downloads folder in your dock.

3. Open your downloads folder in the finder (see pic) and move the "wmcbrine" folder to your DESKTOP.



Open Downloads Folder in the Finder


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Old 02-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Step Two: Download the correct version of ffmpeg

1.Be sure you are getting the latest ffmpeg build. We used the most recent version from Iluvatar's excellent "ffmpeg Builds for Mac OSX" thread. Click here to go to the download site: http://pytivo.sourceforge.net/forum/...s-x-t1803.html

2. Once you are at the Website, scroll down the page until you see a list of recent versions. Go to the topmost attachment window, and click on the blue "Download" link as pictured below.

3. The download will begin automatically and (once unzipped) you will end up with the little square thing pictured below in your downloads folder. That's ffmpeg. Put it on your desktop too. We will get to that later...





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Old 02-21-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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Step Three: Place Everything in your Applications Folder

1. First change the name of the folder you downloaded (should be on your desktop) from "wmcbrine" (or whatever else is on it) to "pyTivo" (without the quotes).

2. Then open the newly named pyTivo folder and create a new folder in it named "bin".

3. Place ffmpeg (the little gray thing you put on your desktop) into the bin folder you created within the pyTivo folder.

4. Place the newly named pyTivo folder with the bin containing ffmpeg into your Applications Folder.


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Old 02-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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Step Four: Create your pyTivo Configuration File (pyTivo.Conf)

UPDATE: With the latest version of pyTivo, you no longer need to create a pyTivo Configuration file to launch the Web Interface! Be grateful, this eliminates a whole bunch of potential problems... Big THANKS to wmcbrine for the update! Proceed to the next step...
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Step Five: Use the "Terminal" App to launch pyTivo!

Okay. It's time to start up pyTivo for the first time. Once we get that up and running the rest can be done through the Web Interface instead of through the Terminal. This is where it usually falls apart for people because they don't enter the command line correctly. I suggest you simply Copy and Paste the code from this thread directly into the Terminal Window.

1. Open the"Terminal" App on your Mac. It should be in the Applications folder in the subfolder "Utilities".

2. Once that is running and in your Dock you should copy and paste the following into the window:

Code:
cd /Applications/pyTivo 
./pyTivo.py
Note: Copy and paste the code exactly as it is into the window. If you insist on typing it in yourself be aware there is a space between "cd" and "/Applications" in the path. Easy to miss. Don't ask me how I know...There may be other text in the window already, but simply paste in at the end after the square cursor. (see pic below).

3. If you entered the code correctly, you will see the Screen below showing the TiVo Boxes on your Network:


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Old 02-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Step Six: Setting up your Video Share

This is where we show pyTivo where our Movies are so they can be downloaded to our TiVos! We are getting very close now....

1.Launch the pyTivo configuration webpage here: http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Co...ainer=Settings

2.That brings up the webpage that will help you complete the setup. Once the "Config" webpage is open you will need to click on the button that says: "Add Section". This will open the "Add Section" window.

3. In the top field of the "Add Section" window that opens, enter whatever you would like the folder to be called on your Tivo. I chose to use "Movies" since that's the name of the folder I'm using. Hit "Save Changes" to save pyTivo. Once it relaunches you are ready for the next step.

4. A new "Movies" section should appear in the left pane of the pyTivo web config tool. Click on that to select it (see pic). A new set of text entry boxes will then appear.

5. Enter the TYPE of share you are creating In the first box down labeled "type" (see pic) you will enter the word "video" (no quotes of course and in lower case)

6. In the next box down labeled "path" you will enter the path to the Movies folder on your Mac. In my case the path is: /Users/bareyb/Movies.



Note: If you are unclear about what the path is you can click on the folder and the path will be shown at the bottom of the window on your Mac (see pic below). Don't use the part that says "Macintosh HD" and simply start with "/Users".



7. Once you have entered the text into those three fields, hit the "SAVE CHANGES" button in the web config tool. When it comes back up, restart pyTivo to make sure all the changes took effect.

8. Next you should put some videos into the Movies folder on your Mac if you haven't already. Put something in there you know works...

9. Lastly, check the bottom of your "Now Playing List" aka "Your Shows" on your Tivo boxes and see if there is a nifty little icon that looks like a Computer with the name "Movies" next to it.



If so, SUCCESS! Right Arrow and the The Videos you placed in the Movies folder on your Mac should be visible. These are now available to TRANSFER to your Tivo Boxes. They transfer faster than real time, so you can watch them as they download! Once they complete the transfer to your Tivo, they will reside on your TiVo Hard Drive along with your other shows. Free to watch or delete at will. You can even use MRV to transfer them from one Tivo to another. How cool is that? If you would like to make your Music folder available to your Tivo too, stay tuned, it's a piece of cake, or should I say py?

You will need to have your Computer and pyTivo up and running for all of this to work of course. If you log out or shut down, there will not be any videos available on your Tivo for Transfer until you relaunch pyTivo again.

Congratulations! You have just installed a basic pyTivo video server on your Mac! There are a couple very easy methods for launching pyTivo automatically and/or running pyTivo in the background that I will get to later. For now if you quit Terminal, you will need to re-enter the code that launches pyTivo again.

To restart pyTivo copy the "launch code" (below) and paste it into the Terminal window again:

Code:
cd /Applications/pyTivo 
./pyTivo.py

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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Adding a Music Share to pyTivo:

Adding your "Music" Folder to your Tivo is even easier than adding your "Movies" folder (hopefully) was.

1. Make sure the pyTivo App is up and running. If you haven't set up pyTivo to run in the background, or downloaded the "pyTivo Launcher.app" yet, you will need to paste in the "launch code" as you did the last time you launched pyTivo.

Copy and paste the code below as you did before and enter it into the Terminal Window.

Code:
cd /Applications/pyTivo 
./pyTivo.py
2. Go to the Web Config page: http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Co...ainer=Settings

3 Click the "Add Section" button as you did when you created your "Movies" share. This opens the "Add a section" box where you will type the word "Music" into the "Section Name" field. Click SAVE and wait for pyTivo to relaunch.

4. You will now have a "Music" share listed on the left pane of pyTivo (see pic). Click on that and you will see some boxes appear to enter some text in.

5. Under "Type" put "music" (lower case)

6. Under "Path" type in the path to the STOCK Music Folder on your Mac which resides in the side bar under your "Movies" and "Pictures" folders

In my case the path is: Users/bareyb/Music Your path will be the same with your own username in place of "bareyb".


5. Click "Save Changes" Wait for pyTivo to restart and click the "restart pyTivo" button. Wait for pyTivo to relauch and you're done.

If all goes well, you should be able to go into your Tivo's "Music, Photos, & Showcases" section (under the "Tivo Central" main menu) and see a Folder there named "Music". Navigate to your iTunes' "Music" folder and all your iTunes songs will be in there ready to play.







NOTE: If you are using a Series 4 TiVo with the new GUI the screens will look different but the Apps will be there.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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Setting Up "PUSH" and "PULL" in pyTivo

This is REALLY cool... Besides being able to PUSH video TO your Tivo from your computer, you can now PULL Movies FROM your TiVo and save them to your Hard Drive. Nice! Let's do it...

1. Open the Web Config Page and click on "Global Server Settings" in the left pane.

2. Enter the username you use to log-in at Tivo.com (usually your email address) in the tivo_username box (ignore underscore in "tivo_username", that's just Unix-ese for "TiVo Username". It should look something like this: tutorial@example.com

3. Enter the password you use at Tivo.com in the "tivo_password box. Something like this: passwordexample123

4. Enter the 10 digit MAK address from the "Account & System Information" Menu under the heading "Media Access Key" on your Tivo. It's the same for all of your Tivos so you only need to get it once.

5. Save your changes and restart pyTivo. When pyTivo comes back up you should see the screen below with all the info you entered from your TiVo Account, and the path to your Movies Folder.



Go back out to the pyTivo Homepage (http://localhost:9032/) and you should see the screen below:



Click the link to any of your TiVos, and you can PULL shows off any of them and save them to your Hard Drive where you can store them or convert them for other devices. It's always nice to have a few shows on your laptop for power outages.



Click the "Movies" link under the "Push" menu and it brings up a list of shows in your Movie Folder, ready to push to any Tivo box on your Network. Who knew all this cool stuff was under the Hood!



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Old 02-21-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Bonus Step: Setting up pyTivo to Run in the Background Automatically

Iluvatar came up with a nifty little script that will allow pyTivo to start up automatically and run in the background when you log in. Pretty cool eh? To make the magic happen all you have to do is:

1. Open the Application "TextEdit" from the Applications folder on your Mac

2. Make sure that you save your new pyTivo.conf file in "Plain Text format". Open TextEdit's Preferences and set the new Document checkbox to "Plain Text" format.

3. In a new blank document paste in the following:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>Label</key>
	<string>pyTivo</string>
	<key>ProgramArguments</key>
	<array>
		<string>python</string>
		<string>/Applications/pyTivo/pyTivo.py</string>
	</array>
	<key>RunAtLoad</key>
	<true/>
</dict>
</plist>
4. Save the document with the title "pyTivo.plist" to your DESKTOP, making sure to UNCHECK the "Add .txt" checkbox in the "Save" window (see pic).



5. IMPORTANT: Make sure that the file does not end in .txt or .rtf (or really anything other than .plist).

To make sure please select/highlight the pyTivo.plist you created and use the "Get Info" command from the menus or simply type in: "Command-I". This will bring up the "Get Info" screen where you can see what the file name really is. Sometimes Macs will have extensions turned OFF by default. If so, there may be an extension appended to the file and you won't see it in the finder. You MUST uncheck the "Hide Extensions" checkbox to see any extensions so you can remove them.

Note: If you need to open your "pyTivo.plist" document with TextEdit again, you will not be able to double click the file since we removed the extension, but you can still open it from within TextEdit using the Menu<Open command if you need to get back in there for any reason.

Example of completed pyTivo.plist file:




2. Navigate to the Launch Agents Folder, in my case it would be: (/Users/bareyb/Library/LaunchAgents) and place the pyTivo.plist file from your desktop into the Launch Agents folder.



After that, pyTivo should launch in the background and leave the Terminal free. If you want to turn it off just remove the file from the Launch Agents folder. If you'd like to further hone your command-line skilz check out the quote below. Iluvatar put some scripts in there that will have Terminal place the files for you... Big thanks to Iluvatar for putting it all together.

Note: If you would prefer not to have pyTivo running full time in the background, there is a cool little "Launcher" App described in the next section that will Launch pyTivo with a couple of clicks.


Quote:
If you have trouble finding your user library folder just use this exact command in Terminal (assuming you saved pyTivo.plist file to your desktop):

Code:
mv ~/Desktop/pyTivo.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
To delete the file use:

Code:
rm ~/Library/LaunchAgents/pyTivo.plist
Remember by using this you will have no indication that pyTivo is running other than by being able to see your shares in the TiVo NPL or opening http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Co...iner=Settings/ which is your pyTivo WebAdmin interface.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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Bonus Step #2: Fofer's pyTivo Launcher.app.

If you would prefer not to have pyTivo running full time in the background and would rather use it "on demand". Well. Ahem... There's an App for that.

Fofer over at TCF created a handy little Applescript App that will automatically launch pyTivo when you double click it. To shut pyTivo back down, you simply go into the pyTivo Web Configuration Page (which opens automatically when you launch the App) and click the "Shut Down pyTivo" Button.

1. To Download the pyTivo Launcher App. click the "pyTivo Launcher.app.zip file link in the attachment window below.

2. Get it out of your downloads folder (it probably just bounced) and put it in the pyTivo Folder you put in your Applications folder earlier. It should look like the pic below... If it doesn't and looks like a fifty gallon drum with a trim waist, then you probably need to unzip it. Normally they unzip automatically...



3. Double-Click the pyTivoLauncher.App whenever you want to launch pyTivo. That's it! No command line to remember or paste in. It does it all for you. When you're done use pyTivo's built-in Web Interface to shut it down.

pyTivo Web Interface: http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Co...ainer=Settings
Attached Files
File Type: zip pyTivo Launcher.app.zip (33.5 KB, 93 views)
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:36 PM   #12
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Congratulations! You have completed the pyTivo Tutorial! I hope this guide made it a little easier. If you have any questions or run into any roadblocks feel free to post. Enjoy!



Updated info and Side Notes:

1. If you decide to update your version of pyTiVo to a newer version, you can use the same .conf file that you created previously so you won't have to copy all your information all over again. Just be sure you download the latest version of ffmeg too so you will get the latest features.

2. If you have a Series 4 TiVo, you can add a setting to the Global Server Settings that will allow you to download H.264 Movies natively without pyTiVo having to convert it. It's extremely FAST for downloads. Took me about 20 seconds to download an hour and half movie.

All you have to do is paste in the command: "ts = on" under the server settings on your .conf file. Or conversely you can do it in the Web Gui by "Add Section" name it "ts" and set it to "on". It will look like the pic below when you're done.


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File Type: png Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 11.18.41 PM.png (17.4 KB, 211 views)
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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Bonus Step #2: Fofer's pyTivo Launcher.app.

If you would prefer not to have pyTivo running full time in the background and would rather use it "on demand".
Why? That's a rather poor idea - certainly not a best practice. PyTivo is a server, and properly servers should run 24/7.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:19 PM   #14
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Why? That's a rather poor idea - certainly not a best practice. PyTivo is a server, and properly servers should run 24/7.
Some people will probably only use it on rare occasion though, and I can see the logic of wanting to start it up only when necessary /shrug. Different strokes...
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Iluvatar came up with a nifty little script that will allow pyTivo to start up automatically and run in the background when you log in.
This is also not the best idea. PyTivo (and other servers) shoud never require a login. I am not intimately familiar with OS X, and I know it does not employ a System V init, but it does employ a similar init function, and it is from there pyTivo (and other such servers) should run. Hamstringing a server like pyTivo by requiring a user login on the server side is a really bad idea.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #16
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Why? That's a rather poor idea - certainly not a best practice. PyTivo is a server, and properly servers should run 24/7.
Huh? I'd disagree. My primary computer is a MacBook Pro, that I carry with me everywhere. I have all my media on it, and I travel frequently. And I use AppleTV quite a bit more than my TiVo these days.

Once in a blue moon, when I am at home, in front of my bigscreen TV, I'll want to use PyTiVo to transfer a video over to my TiVo. And so I'll launch PyTiVo (or PyTiVoX) to get the job done.

Surely you're not suggesting I need to "properly" leave the PyTiVo "server" running 24/7 on my laptop?
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:38 PM   #17
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Agreed and that's how I plan to run it. Some people will probably only use it on rare occasion though
How frequently it is deployed is really not the issue. How randomly is perhaps more salient, but even that is really not the point. PyTivo is not a user application. Its functionality in no way depends upon or should require a console, and it should be available transparently whenever any user has need of it. Now of course one can implement things any way they like, but implementing pyTiVo, vidmgr, etc. as console applications is just not really a good idea. At best it is clumsy, error-prone, and almost surely inconvenient.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #18
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Why in the world should I saddle my laptop with the task of running the PyTiVo server 24/7 when at most I use it for manually transferring a couple of shows every few months?
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:56 PM   #19
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This is also not the best idea. PyTivo (and other servers) shoud never require a login. I am not intimately familiar with OS X, and I know it does not employ a System V init, but it does employ a similar init function, and it is from there pyTivo (and other such servers) should run. Hamstringing a server like pyTivo by requiring a user login on the server side is a really bad idea.
You do realize we don't have dedicated servers for this right? How would you keep it up all the time without that? Either way, if you have a better way. I'm sure people would love to hear it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #20
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Huh? I'd disagree. My primary computer is a MacBook Pro, that I carry with me everywhere.
So don't use your McaBook pro for a server. Using any workstation - certainly a laptop - as a server platform is anohter rather poor idea. Best practice is to deploy a headless system, and the most economical is an old P4 or some such. 'No need to have more than $150 tied up in the server, excluding possibly a RAID array.

Quote:
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I have all my media on it, and I travel frequently. And I use AppleTV quite a bit more than my TiVo these days.
Which is not relevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
Once in a blue moon, when I am at home, in front of my bigscreen TV, I'll want to use PyTiVo to transfer a video over to my TiVo. And so I'll launch PyTiVo (or PyTiVoX) to get the job done.
The more "blue moonish" the use, the more useful a headless server. It sits waiting for whomever, wherever to make a request.

Quote:
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Surely you're not suggesting I need to "properly" leave the PyTiVo "server" running 24/7 on my laptop?
No, I'm saying a laptop is a poor choice of platform on which to run any server. Workstations in general are a poor choice for server platforms, but laptops are particulalry so. My home servers are offline at most once or twice a year, usually due to extended power outages. The entire rest of the time, they provide DHCP, DNS, IMAP & SMTP, DDNS, NTP, VPN, rsync, HVAC, SMB, NFS, web, pyTivo, Galleon, and vidmgr services to every workstation and TiVo on the network, with no logins on the server side, no keyboards, no mice, and no monitor. As long as the server stations have power, those sevices are available. Of course, they also all log any important activity or errors to log files, in case there is a problem.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #21
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Why in the world should I saddle my laptop with the task of running the PyTiVo server 24/7 when at most I use it for manually transferring a couple of shows every few months?
That's backwards. Why would you put an application that should not be on a laptop on your laptop? Secondly, it is not "saddling it" with anything. Workstation or not, services like pyTivo use essentially no resources (other than a small amount of memory) when not providing the service.

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #22
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This is also not the best idea. PyTivo (and other servers) shoud never require a login. I am not intimately familiar with OS X, and I know it does not employ a System V init, but it does employ a similar init function, and it is from there pyTivo (and other such servers) should run. Hamstringing a server like pyTivo by requiring a user login on the server side is a really bad idea.
This is just the way I described it to bareyb and seemed appropriate for his target audience (I didn't want to be held responsible for people mucking up their system library folder). On the wiki it also describes how to launch with on system startup. More advanced users can do what they want with it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #23
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You do realize we don't have dedicated servers for this right?
Then you shouldn't really consider running a server. Again, you can do whatever you want, but the best practice is to get a machine for this purpose, not try to shoehorn an inappropriate application and hardware mixture. It makes for poor use of the workstation and poor performance / capabilities of the server. A laptop in particular has far too little of what the server requires (massive storage and ready expandability) and far too much of that for which the server has no use (keyboard, pointing device, monitor, fast CPU and GPU).

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How would you keep it up all the time without that?
That's how.

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Either way, if you have a better way. I'm sure people would love to hear it.
I think most people probably have an old PC lying around they aren't using. If not, one can be had off Craigslist for $45 - $150. Load the OS, load the servers, and sit it over in a corner or in a storage closet out of the way. Let it do its thing, without tying up an expensive workstation. When the need arises for more storage, add more drives to the chassis, or add an external RAID chassis.

Last edited by lrhorer : 02-21-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #24
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So don't use your McaBook pro for a server. Using any workstation - certainly a laptop - as a server platform is anohter rather poor idea. Best practice is to deploy a headless system, and the most economical is an old P4 or some such. 'No need to have more than $150 tied up in the server, excluding possibly a RAID array.


Which is not relevant.
Of COURSE it's relevant. I don't want server hardware, headless or not, running in my home. I don't need it. Suggesting that I do, so that a few times a year I can send a video file to my TiVo... is just asinine.

I don't want the extra expense, clutter, nor administration of a server. I have no need whatsoever for it. My setup and my backup drives work just fine for me. All internet services I use are in the cloud.

I like being able to launch PyTiVo when I need it, and quit it when don't. I like having all my video files in one local directory, under my control. It's simple and satisfies all my needs. I'll just call it an application and not a server, does that sit with you better?

Sheesh.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:17 PM   #25
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My god, I've fallen into a time warp.

The names have changed, but this a mainframer's/personal computer owner's discussion from 1979.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:56 PM   #26
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Decided to move this over there and out of the pyTivoX thread...


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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
transparent PNG logo:

Yes. Much better...



Hey Fof.... Before I upload the new version with the logo... You know what would be REALLY cool for your App?

Is there any way you could make it open the pyTivo configuration webpage after it launches?

You have to launch that page to Shut Down pyTivo anyway, (our little pyTivo Launcher App stays in the dock until PyTivo shuts down), so why not? I think it would add an additional layer of awesomeness. Can it be done?

Original Applescript:

Code:
do shell script "cd /Applications/pyTivo 
./pyTivo.py"
Direct URL to the Config webpage: http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Co...ainer=Settings

Code:
http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Command=Settings&Container=Settings

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:57 PM   #27
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Of COURSE it's relevant.
No, not really. What you do outside of the situation under discussion has little to do with this discussion. My favorite passtimes are flying RC helicopters and SCUBA diving. They both require travel, and have just as much to do with this discussion as the fact you travel and what you do when you travel, which is to say nothing. What you do away from the house is not particularly relevant to what you do when you are in the house, or what is done in your house while you are away. (Although, because I have a server running pyTivo, I often do initiate the transfer of videos using pyTivo when I am away from the house, and so do my friends and family when they are coming over to visit.)

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I don't want server hardware, headless or not, running in my home. I don't need it. Suggesting that I do, so that a few times a year I can send a video file to my TiVo... is just asinine.
Again, that's backwards. By needlessly and deliberately making it somewhat more difficult to use the application, you have artifically limited your use of the application. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. The presence of a server allows for a great many more features than just TiVo software. Do you or anyone else "need" it? No, but then, no one "needs" a TiVo, or a TV, or a laptop, or a computer, or a car, for that matter. The sugestion is not, "You need a server so you can run pyTivo", but rather, "PyTivo is just one more good reason to run a server." That and the fact running a server - any server - under a user login as if it were an application is not the best idea in the world.

My servers control my HVAC system, saving me several thousand dollars a year, and allow me web access to the HVAC system from anywhere in the world. The servers allow secure VPN access to my sister's house (60 miles away from me), allowing me to support and maintain the systems in her house (including her TiVo) without having to drive 120 miles every time she has a computer or video problem. They provide IMAP service, allowing me to easily maintain a single set of mail folders from multiple ISPs on any computer, anywhere in the world. They provide accurate timekeeping for every device on my LAN. They assign IP addresses (or at least reserve them) for every device on the LAN. All of the workstations in the house (all 9 of them, including a laptop) pull their files from the file server, so that I can manage my financial information and taxes from any workstation in the house. 'Ditto for database applications like Cookbook Wizard. All of the equipment manuals for dozens of different devices are available on evry workstation. They provide audio and video files to any workstation in the house, including of course my Tivos, but also including Linux and Windows workstations in the theater, the guest room, and even my alarm clock. They provide caller ID from incoming and outgoing phone calls on any workstation where I might choose to view the information, including the TiVos if I were so inclined. (I am most decidely not so inclined.) They keep my DNS entries updated in the DNS servers, which is why you can access the URLs above to see some of the applications I have running in the house. They maintain and control the UPS systems that keep not only the servers running, but also keep the LAN and the phones up during a power outage. They provide backup functions not only for the file server, but also for a number of workstations in the house and at my sister's house. I have my own secure section of the file server which only I can access, my roommate has hers, and each of her daughters has one of their own, all available anywhere in the house, at up to 9 different workstations simultaneously.

Do you personally have any desire for any of these specific applications? Perhaps not, but they are but the top snowflake on a very large iceberg of what is possible and practical after deploying a server, and many of the applications may not only be handy, they may save a great deal of money. Note also the presence of servers in my household long predates the very existence of pyTivo.

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I don't want the extra expense
The expense is minuscule. Other than the cost of the hard drives, I spend a lot more on ink. More to the point, the server can frequently save small to large amounts of money. See above.

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
clutter
Depending on your needs, the box may not need to be more than a fraction of the size of your laptop. A $50 diskless PC no larger than a paperback book may be sufficient, depending on the individual's needs. Of course, in my case, I have a pair of 18T RAID6 volumes, and 18T arrays can't fit in one's back pocket...

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nor administration of a server.
The last time I touched either of my servers for administration purposes was when I upgraded the arrays from 10T to 18T. That was well over a year ago. Before that, it was an OS upgrade, a little more than 2 years ago. Of course, I have added a service from time to time, but that doesn't count.

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I have no need whatsoever for it.
You also have no need for a car if you have a bicycle, or even if you just walk. Having a car, however, is not only more convenient, it also allows you to do many more things that shoe leather just can't accomplish. Making a conscious decision to forego those accomplishments is not the same as saying one could not and would not make use of them if one had a car. Making an uninformed decision that foregoes those accomplishments based upon not knowing the potential is yet another thing.

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My setup and my backup drives work just fine for me. All internet services I use are in the cloud.
I don't use much in the way of internet services, comparatively speaking. I could be fatuous and say, "I have no need whatsoever for it." Instead, I simply use the services I require and investigate the rest, making whatever use of the services I choose when I choose. Doing so requires servers, though, since you seem not to have noticed. I can pay someone else for the use of their servers (and I do), or I can save money while providing a more tailored application set by providing my own where appropriate.

The cloud is not only too insecure for my purposes, it also would be hideously expensive (from a home user's perspective) to manage dozens of Terabytes of data in the cloud, not to mention terribly slow and tedious.

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
I like being able to launch PyTiVo when I need it, and quit it when don't.
Which is no doubt why you don't use it much. I never launch it, and I never quit it. It is ready for anyone (who is authorized), anywhere in the world to use any time of day or night. If you want to make it more difficult for yourself, fine, but that doesn't mean it is easier or that none of the other capabilities of a server could ever appeal to you. It definitely does not make it a best practice.

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
I like having all my video files in one local directory
Where you cannot access them from anywhere else, and where you yourself must perform any manipulations that could otherwise be performed automatically. You also must have an awfully tiny number of them, but that's your choice to make.

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
under my control.
Are you suggesting the server or any files on it would not be under your control?

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
It's simple
Well, it's not complex either way, but the server solution is simpler. You have to intervene (every time) with your solution. That is not simpler than a solution which requires no intervention.

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Originally Posted by Fofer View Post
I'll just call it an application and not a server, does that sit with you better?
No, because it is not an application. That is a major point. It is a client-server system, which is completely different. The clients in this case reside either on a workstation (for web access) or on a Tivo. The client-server architecture is a highly flexible and powerful one capable of many things not even remotely possible with a stand-alone application. The closest thing to an application in this mix is what resides on the TiVo, and we aren't talking about the TiVo NPL.

Once again, you can do whatever you choose with your equipment, but this deployment does not make effective use of time and resources and artifically limits the capabilities of the system to no positive effect. For your own purposes, it is whatever you wish to make of it, but as a recommendation for other users viewing this thread, it is far suboptimal.

Last edited by lrhorer : 02-22-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #28
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bareyb View Post
Is there any way you could make it open the pyTivo configuration webpage after it launches?

You have to launch that page to Shut Down pyTivo anyway, (our little pyTivo Launcher App stays in the dock until PyTivo shuts down), so why not? I think it would add an additional layer of awesomeness. Can it be done?
Yup! Here ya go. (At least, I set it up to open the page in Safari. It also opens up Terminal now, so you can see what pyTiVo is doing.)

Code:
tell application "Terminal"
	do script "cd /Applications/pyTivo 
./pyTivo.py"
end tell

delay 1

tell application "Safari" to open location "http://localhost:9032/TiVoConnect?Command=Settings&Container=Settings"
This is great. Makes it super easy to launch pyTiVo (the few times I use it a year,) and then quit it when I'm done. I'm sure many others will appreciate it too!

Thanks for your work on this, bareyb.
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Last edited by Fofer : 02-22-2012 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:02 PM   #30
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My god, I've fallen into a time warp.

The names have changed, but this a mainframer's/personal computer owner's discussion from 1979.
Not quite, although there are certainly simiularities. The difference is a mainframe in that day served more as a computing platform than a file repository, while the PC was viewed as more of a file repository with limited computing abilities. That's reversed, now, and many servers don't require much in the CPU department comparatively speaking, while their storage capabilities often soar through the roof, especially when talking about a home environment. The development of client-server applications was also very much in its infancy, and mainframes usually made use of dumb terminals, not high powered workstations.

You do know the IBM PC was not introduced until 1981, though?
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