TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-30-2003, 09:19 PM   #1
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
WMA Support for TiVo Desktop - Beta1

Hey all,

I have written a plugin for TiVo Desktop that allows the publishing of WMA files to your TiVo. Figured I'd share

If you have the HMO, a few (or a lot of) WMA files and are brave enough to run beta software, please try this out and post know your results.

To install:

Step 1: Make sure that TiVo Desktop is not running. Verify that you don't have a little TiVo icon in your task bar.

Step 2: Download the Windows Media Runtime from here and install it. Even though you have the latest version of the Windows Media Player installed and can play WMA files fine, you will probably still need this. Don't ask... this is not my file, it's Microsoft's. I've merely copied it to provide you with a convenient link.

Step 3: Download the installer for the plugin from here. Unzip it into a temporary folder somewhere and run setup.exe. Make sure that, when asked for where you want to install this, you point it to the folder where you installed TiVo Desktop. It doesn't matter if you install for yourself or for everyone.

Startup TiVo Desktop, and publish your WMA files. Run to your TiVo and see if it works!

Please note: I have tested this on XP and Windows 2000, against a variety of WMA files, but there may very well be things that I didn't expect or dependencies that will cause this not to work. As a matter of fact, I will be very surprised if this works for everyone.

Finally: This is beta software. It has bugs. It may not even work at all for you. It may cause things to happen that you didn't even think were possible. By installing this, you assume full responsibility.

ENJOY!

Peter
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 12:11 AM   #2
skippybosco
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2
Question so how does it work?

Since the Tivo does not support decoding a WMA file, does this plug in convert the WMA to MPEG on the fly? If this is the case, what kinds of speeds are you seeing for conversion?

This is awesome!! I've been looking for just this thing (getting AVI's or Divx would be a nice thing as well along with being able to pull programs from the Tivo down to the PC (maybe even converting to WMA or AVI (Divx?) to save space...
skippybosco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 12:23 AM   #3
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Yup, that's exactly what it does.
Speed wise, it doesn't really matter as long as it's faster than real time. TiVo will begin playing before the conversion is done.

I take it it works for you, then?
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 09:04 AM   #4
skippybosco
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2
no HMO just yet

not yet, I haven't gotten HMO... you picked a great time to come out with this with the upcoming 30 day free trial about to happen.. I'll give this a shot on August 4 when it starts..

Since you pretty much have the hard work done, have you thought about adding support for Divx or AVI?
skippybosco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 09:09 AM   #5
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
At this point, the software that runs in the TiVo allows for MP3 audio and JPEG pictures only. No video.

So no Divx or Avi...
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 06:26 PM   #6
Turtleboy
Registered User
 
Turtleboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 47,724
TC CLUB MEMBER
I just installed this and it works great!!

Great job!!


Turtleboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 09:03 PM   #7
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
That's great news!
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 09:19 PM   #8
Turtleboy
Registered User
 
Turtleboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 47,724
TC CLUB MEMBER
So where's the .shn support? (just kidding).
Turtleboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2003, 11:38 PM   #9
TiVoBill
Registered User
 
TiVoBill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,389
Note

I tried it out on a Windows XP Professional box and it works great!
TiVoBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 12:41 AM   #10
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Bill, thanks for trying this out and posting back! Glad it works for you. No issues at all?

Turtleboy: shn... hehehe... yeah
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 07:39 AM   #11
VinceA
Registered User
 
VinceA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bayonne, NJ
Posts: 1,086
I started using it last night on my WinXP Pro system and it's working great. Pretty soon I'll get rid of my parallel MP3 directory structure which I created since HMO didn't support WMAs.
VinceA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 11:07 AM   #12
Turtleboy
Registered User
 
Turtleboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 47,724
TC CLUB MEMBER
Now, while I was joking about .shn, I do have a question. And let me preface it by saying that I know absolutely nothing about programming, and what's easy and what's difficult, and how any of these things work.

Is it possible to enable it to play .shn files? Is it more difficult than WMA?
Turtleboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 11:41 AM   #13
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Vince: A whole parallel library, just for HMO???? Just out of curiosity, what package did you use to convert it all?

TB: WMA was actually relatively easy, since Microsoft provides you with all the tools you need to handle WMA files. Having never heard of .shn, I looked around a little bit a found only bits and pieces, with no real library to interact with these files.

In any case, it would be a whole new plugin. Can't just flip the switch and have it play .shn

But... if anybody wants to take a stab at it and use my code as a base, please shoot me a PM.
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 11:56 AM   #14
VinceA
Registered User
 
VinceA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bayonne, NJ
Posts: 1,086
I did a mass one time conversion with the Plus! Audio Converter:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus/dme/Music.asp

I also bought an MP3 option pack from someone (forget which one at the moment) for $10 so I could encode them from WMA to MP3. I prefer to use WMAs since they're smaller which is a priority when you're using a digital music player in your pocket (64MB goes a lot further with WMAs than MP3s) but HMO demanded the use MP3. I used the James River program for a 30 day trial but didn't buy it for some reason (which I forget now also). So, your addin fit the bill well (free is nice )
VinceA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 11:56 AM   #15
TiVoBill
Registered User
 
TiVoBill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,389
Quote:
Originally posted by pzand
Bill, thanks for trying this out and posting back! Glad it works for you. No issues at all?
Well I only tried it on a few albums (I don't have a lot of music in WMA format) but it seemed to work great. The only issue that I ran into was I forgot to stop TiVo Server before I installed it (I know.. it was Step 1 in the instructions ) and so when I selected my WMA files, they didn't show up on the DVR. Once I read the instructions, everything worked great. Is there any way for the installer to check to see if TiVo Server is running and put up a warning or something?

Last edited by TiVoBill : 08-01-2003 at 12:04 PM.
TiVoBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 12:09 PM   #16
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Yeah, the installer probably could/should figure that out.
Since the plugin itself is only 150kB or so, I was horrified to see that the installer was almost 4MB when Visual Studio was done building it! I didn't want to add any more overhead...

Perhaps I need to make a whole new installer instead of using Windows Setup
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 03:17 PM   #17
samkuhn
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 112
Any chance you could rig up a FLAC converter?
Here are the links to the developer info:
http://flac.sourceforge.net/download.html
http://flac.sourceforge.net/developers.html

It would be great to have the lossless formats supported in simple fashion for HMO.
samkuhn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2003, 06:29 PM   #18
Dargon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL, USA
Posts: 35
pzand, did you use DirectShow to to the conversion to MP3?

I've written some code that queries Windows for all the formats for which it has codecs, and the associated file extensions. I wrote it for handling images, but querying for audio formats is very similar. If you do use DirectShow, we could combine our code and have our Tivo's playing any audio format that Windows Media Player understands. I just did a quick check using graphedt, and we would even be able to pull the audio out of video files (AVI, MPG, etc.).

I was thinking about doing that on my own anyway, but I don't see any reason to reinvent what you've done.

Have you looked at serving images at all? I'm already good at converting image formats known to Windows (and one that isn't) to JPG.
Dargon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2003, 01:52 PM   #19
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Dragon,

I started going down the directshow route because I like the way it'll pretty much decompress anything into raw PCM, which you can easilly make into mp3. However, after messing around with finding a reliable way to get the data (used the sample grabber, wrote my own sink filter, etc) I gave up on that thought. Besides, you'll need to tell the TiVoDesktop which formats you're supporting BEFORE you know which ones the graphbuilder will render correctly

Anyway... I ended up just using the media format SDK. It's pretty easy to instantiate a WMSyncReader to read the WMA, pick an output that supports a decent uncompressed format, and feed it into lame to make MP3.

Note that the conversion happens on the fly, so that Tivo will start playing the file while it's still converting. You can't just convert the whole file and THEN feed it to Tivo (although that would be REAL easy with a DShow graph).
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2003, 03:19 PM   #20
Dennis Wilkinson
Registered User
 
Dennis Wilkinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: East Freetown, MA
Posts: 2,064
Interesting. I took a look at the SDK -- it would be trivial to write media converter plug-ins to convert all the still image and audio file formats that QuickTime supports (and there's a ton of them) into something the TiVo could use, but only on Windows. Go figure.

Anyone heard any rumblings about supporting the SDK (or at least providing its features) on the Mac?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Dennis Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2003, 05:04 PM   #21
Ledgehead
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Austin, TX.
Posts: 4
This plugin did not work on my Tivo. That's odd, because it seems to be working for several others. When I navigate the published folder structure to a folder that I know contains WMA files, the Tivo seems to pause for about 10 seconds or so and then gives me the following error:... Oh Damn. When I went back to repro the error for this posting, it worked for me.
Ledgehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2003, 05:09 PM   #22
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Hehehe... it's that always the case?

It sounds like you had either the TiVoDesktop or the TiVoServer running while you did the install. Both have to be restarted for the plugin to get loaded. Hope it's stable now!
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2003, 07:56 PM   #23
VinceA
Registered User
 
VinceA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bayonne, NJ
Posts: 1,086
I've had some odd results in my testing. My TiVo will show the first screen full of folders from a published directory (it's a share from a SNAP server in my bedroom) but when I arrow down past there I get a whole lot of blank lines (which seem to represent the other directories). Real odd stuff...
VinceA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2003, 11:39 AM   #24
Ledgehead
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Austin, TX.
Posts: 4
Blank lines when scrolling through music

I have also noticed the blank lines when scrolling through my music archives. But it's not just on folder...I have also seen it when I'm scrolling through many songs in one folder. If I pause and wait a few seconds then the names of the folders/songs are filled in. But this did not happen before installing the plugin. It's a small nuisance but worth the benefit of playing WMA's. I just don't see how the plugin can affect this. It should only affect the audio stream performance.

Regards,
Eric
Ledgehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2003, 12:14 PM   #25
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Would either of you be able uninstall the plugin and see if you can reproduce this behavior? I've seen the same thing happen on the program guide where TiVo just seems slow to pull things up.

However, there is a chance that the plugin is asked to provide a title for a song where that song doesn't have "title" tag. That may result in a blank entry. The plugin is not involved, however, in providing the names of folders...

Unrelated: Have any of you seen any weirdness at the *end* of a song?

Peter
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2003, 12:37 PM   #26
Ledgehead
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Austin, TX.
Posts: 4
I have stopped the Tivo Desktop Publisher, uninstalled the WMA plugin and restarted the publisher. I then repro'd the problem on folders only. So it appears that although I haven't seen this before....it's a performance problem with the Tivo Desktop Publisher, not the plugin.

While doing this repro, I even had a couple of timeout errors. There seems to be an intermittent problem with latency between the Tivo and the Publisher.

Now that I know it's not the Plugin, I'll reinstall it....gotta have my WMA's.

I'm employed by Microsoft....it's an employee loyalty thing and a disk space thing!



Cheers,
Eric
Ledgehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2003, 10:56 PM   #27
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Eric,

Thank you for figuring this out. Makes me happy that this also happens without my plugin loaded.... well... sort of... you know what I mean

Peter
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2003, 11:05 PM   #28
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
If TiVoBill is still listening in...

I can't seem to find any contact information in the Desktop Plug-in SDK and I believe I have found an omission that is sorely needed by some plugins.

Who do I talk to?

Thanks,

Peter
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2003, 02:35 PM   #29
Parkmad
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 58
I tried it but I get an error. The music can be published to the server and I can see all the songs through the Tivo. However, when I push play, that's when I get an error about a problem with the server.
Should I try to reinstall?
I will also try some different files. I was trying songs that I downloaded off of buymusic.com (so far not a worthwhile experience) and maybe the security on the songs is affecting my ability to play on Tivo.
Parkmad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2003, 02:42 PM   #30
pzand
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 53
Parkmad,

Sorry to hear that... I think you're on the right track, though. I never even thought about it, but I don't think the plugin works on files with DRM. I gotta try that

Thanks!

Peter
pzand is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:16 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |