TiVo Desktop for Mac fixes etc.

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by Clint O, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Clint O

    Clint O New Member

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    Aug 9, 2005
    So, I went through TiVo customer support for my Series3 woes trying to play my AAC files. I noticed that none of my .m4a files showed up in the menus on my TiVo. So, the final suggestion was to find a way to convert my stuff over to mp3 en masse. Bleah, kill me now.

    I started to search online and found some helpful things to get me started. Unfortunately this is a little out of date, though: [stupid community forum rules made me delete this URL]

    It got me the idea to try decompling the Java to see what was going on under the hood. However, version 1.95a has the patch suggested here anyway. BUT, it did give me the clue that it was looking for the LAME decoder and perhaps if I put it in the right place it would work. So, I created a link from where it was looking for lame to the installation location. The two choices were /usr/local/bin/lame and "/Library/Application Support/TiVo/lame". I chose the latter since all of the extra applications on the Mac are now installed under /opt.

    However, after doing this, things still didn't work. In fact the audio squealed and hissed and other such nonsense. I looked at the processes running on my Mac and found it was indeed running lame with the following switches:

    lame -x -r --quiet --bitwidth 16 -s 44.1 -m j -b 192 - -

    I proceeded to write a new "lame" which threw out those switches and proceeded to convert the audio the way I thought it may need to be done.

    I spent a lot of time just playing around with lame just to understand how it worked and what kind of input and switch combinations would produce a valid mp3 file. It was very difficult to experiment because the TiVo often refused to contact the Mac software for more music. Lots of reboots to test changes.

    Ultimately I couldn't get a wrapper around "lame" working. I noticed that SoundConvert was actually calling lame, so I decided to try swapping that knowing that it was being called with the original music file. I used mplayer to produce my own WAV translation and call lame to create the mp3 (see attached).

    I'd like to writeup a blurb somewhere which describes stuff in greater detail. I think the Java code provided was a bit complicated and this simple Perl script does the trick. The transcoding overhead is negligible on my 17" Macbook Pro.

    Thanks,

    -Clint
     

    Attached Files:

  2. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Apr 19, 2004
    East Moline, IL
    Would AAC to AC3 conversion be less lossy? Or is that not a concern?
     
  3. Clint O

    Clint O New Member

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    Aug 9, 2005
    Yeah, I don't know of a direct path from AAC to mp3, and I doubt that a relatively lossless path exists. There is clearly a loss of fidelity here that is inescapable. It would be (much) better if the TiVo could play AAC directly. I have to say that it's not obvious that the sound quality is inferior to the AAC file.

    Thanks,

    -Clint
     
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    11,692
    808
    Aug 2, 2003
    I don't think the music player will support anything but MP3, even though the TiVo will play AC3 (and AAC, for Series 3+!) in other contexts.

    Clint O, have you looked at pyTivo? It will do on-the-fly conversion of AAC to MP3. However, it doesn't yet support the iTunes library data; it only works at the folder level.
     
  5. Clint O

    Clint O New Member

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    Aug 9, 2005
    I looked a little at pyTivo. It looks interesting. It essentially is similar to the TiVo Desktop application. I'm pretty certain that any music conversion is going to go through a similar transcoding to what I did. What would really sell me on pyTivo is more control about how to stream content on and off the TiVo. I plunked down the extra $$ to get the Windows version so I could upload content. I noticed the transcoding is actually a fairly slow process and I was a little disappointed, but it does work.

    Thanks,

    -Clint
     
  6. hargreae

    hargreae New Member

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    Feb 23, 2005
    Can anyone explain to me what to do with the attached file on my MacBook Pro? Do I need to put it in a specific location or what?
     
  7. seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    Jan 11, 2006
    Nope. Just run it. It will launch and move the files to the correct location. After you are done, To use it launch system settings. It will be listed under the "other"
     

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