WMA Support for TiVo Desktop - Beta1

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by pzand, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Jul 30, 2003 #1 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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
     
  2. Jul 31, 2003 #2 of 171
    skippybosco

    skippybosco New Member

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    Jul 31, 2003
    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...
     
  3. Jul 31, 2003 #3 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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?
     
  4. Jul 31, 2003 #4 of 171
    skippybosco

    skippybosco New Member

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    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?
     
  5. Jul 31, 2003 #5 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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...
     
  6. Jul 31, 2003 #6 of 171
    Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I just installed this and it works great!!

    Great job!!

    :up: :up: :up:
     
  7. Jul 31, 2003 #7 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    Jul 27, 2003
    That's great news!
     
  8. Jul 31, 2003 #8 of 171
    Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    So where's the .shn support? (just kidding).
     
  9. Jul 31, 2003 #9 of 171
    TiVoBill

    TiVoBill New Member

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    I tried it out on a Windows XP Professional box and it works great!
     
  10. Aug 1, 2003 #10 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    Jul 27, 2003
    Bill, thanks for trying this out and posting back! Glad it works for you. No issues at all?

    Turtleboy: shn... hehehe... yeah :)
     
  11. Aug 1, 2003 #11 of 171
    VinceA

    VinceA Active Member

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    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.
     
  12. Aug 1, 2003 #12 of 171
    Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    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?
     
  13. Aug 1, 2003 #13 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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.
     
  14. Aug 1, 2003 #14 of 171
    VinceA

    VinceA Active Member

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    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 :))
     
  15. Aug 1, 2003 #15 of 171
    TiVoBill

    TiVoBill New Member

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    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?
     
  16. Aug 1, 2003 #16 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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 :)
     
  17. Aug 1, 2003 #17 of 171
    samkuhn

    samkuhn New Member

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    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.
     
  18. Aug 1, 2003 #18 of 171
    Dargon

    Dargon Member

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    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.
     
  19. Aug 2, 2003 #19 of 171
    pzand

    pzand New Member

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    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).
     
  20. Aug 2, 2003 #20 of 171
    Dennis Wilkinson

    Dennis Wilkinson Active Member

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    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?
     

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