Archive for March 18th, 2007

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Play TiVoToGo files in Linux!

I don’t know how I didn’t run across the tivodecode project on SourceForge before now. Somehow it completely slipped by me. But I finally tracked it down this week, and have been playing with it since. And it all boils down to this: tivodecode is good stuff.

tivodecode’s install was surprisingly simple. I nabbed the latest source code from the download page, extracted it out to a temp folder, ran “make” in that folder, then copied the resulting tivodecode executable into a directory in my path. Per the README, I then created ~/.tivodecode_mak and copied our TiVo’s Media Access Key into that file.

For a test, I tried converting an episode of Countdown With Keith Olbermann, using the following command:

tivodecode -o olberman_20070315.mpg /media/tivo/Countdown\ With\ Keith\ Olbermann\ \(Recorded\ Thu\ Mar\ 15\ 2007\ 05\ 00PM\ MSNBC\).TiVo

This is fairly straight-forward: this command decodes the TiVo file to outfile olberman_20070315.mpg. Give this a bit of time to run (I started it in the background and then moved on to other stuff, so I can’t say for certain how long it takes), and then do as you wish with the resulting mpg file.

tivodecode defaults its output to stdout. This seemed kinda silly to me for a second, but then I realized just how awesome it is. Instead of writing out to a file, one can go straight to a media player. For example:

tivodecode /media/tivo/Countdown\ With\ Keith\
Olbermann\ \(Recorded\ Thu\ Mar\ 15\ 2007\ 05\ 00PM\ MSNBC\).TiVo | mplayer - 

Assuming that one has mplayer installed and has a codec that can handle MPEG2 video, the end result of this command is instant playback of the .TiVo file. Talk about sweetness! There is one downside to the above method: one can’t skip through commercials. If that’s important to you, then save the output to a file first.

All in all, tivodecode is a critical application for anyone who has a TiVo and Linux installed as their main desktop OS.

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

March 2007
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