Dear Lazyweb,

TivoTool stopped working on 10.5, and mail to the author bounces. It's looking for this "CamelBones" library that no longer exists. I installed some newer version of it, but that didn't work either. What are my alternatives for getting video off my Tivo without an analog phase? (If you're going to point me at some forum page on tivocommunity or dealdatabase, please try harder: I can never figure out how to download shit from there.)

Update: So, here's one semi-horrible way:

To get the show ID number:
/Library/Application\ Support/TivoTool/vstream-client tivo://hostname/llist

To download that show as an MPEG2 file:
/Library/Application\ Support/TivoTool/vstream-client tivo://hostname/number -o tmp.ty
/Library/Application\ Support/TivoTool/vsplit -m tmp.ty filename unused

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19 Responses:

  1. ydna says:

    CamelBones is still around, just taking extra long to be made 10.5 compatible. I think seattlesparks has been trying to help out and get it working. But that's no help for TivoTool. I was using TiVoDecode Manager to extract the files from my TiVo, but it was so incredibly slow I just gave up on it. And that was before the 10.5 upgrade and it (TiVoDecode Manger) hasn't been updated in ages either. Sorry, no real help here.

  2. freiheit says:

    I've had success with TiVoDecode Manager. It's pretty much just a GUI wrapper around tivodecode and mencoder (mplayer's transcode utility). (Includes the utils hiding out in the .app directory)

    I know with some people the transfers are terribly slow. In my experience the transfers are speedy enough (less time to transfer than to watch), but the UI itself is kinda sluggish.

    • jwz says:

      It won't talk to my Tivo. What is this "media access key" BS? I don't believe I have any such thing. I did the hack where you turn off crypto on the device's file system.

      • wfaulk says:

        How Can I Find My Media Access Key:

        From your TiVo DVR: Go to TiVo Central, select Messages & Settings, then Account and System Information, and then Media Access Key.

        • jwz says:

          As I suspected, I have no such thing. I have a hacked DirecTivo series 2, running OS 4.0.1-something. None of this tivo.com crap has ever worked on DirecTivos, as far as I know.

      • freiheit says:

        Oh, you didn't mention that you'd hacked the TiVo to turn off the crypto.

        The "media access key" (MAK) is the magic decryption code that all the TiVos on the same account are supposed to use. My TiVos are unhacked, but I'm assuming that if you've turned off the crypto then you don't have a MAK, or at least not any use for the on you do have.

  3. zonereyrie says:

    I'd check out TiVoDecode Manager. The 'official' solutions are Roxio Popcorn 3 or Toast 8.

  4. scullin says:

    The NowPlaying widget is a pretty lightweight way to pull down content.

    • jwz says:

      Well, that doesn't work at all. I guess it goes through tivo.com or something, I dunno. (And why the fuck is it dashboard?)

      • scullin says:

        It's a widget because it started life as a simple "what's on my tivo" tool and downloading and decrypting came along by popular demand. Email reading can't be far behind. But as has been pointed out for other tools, it uses Series 2 functionality.

        DirecTV has started a spam campaign announcing that they will be updating their boxes to Series 2 sometime next year, probably just in time for Tivo Series 4.

  5. allartburns says:

    Not sure what your TiVo hardware is, but I've had pretty good luck with Roxio Toast, which now includes TiVo Desktop and can burn TiVo content to DVD.

    I could hack the fucking box if I wanted to, but I pay for and use Roxio's software for this and many other mac-based DVD burning jobs.

    • jwz says:

      I thought Tivo Desktop just let you feed iTunes to the Tivo and not do anything in the other direction? (In other words, "why would anyone want that.")

      • ac78 says:

        You're right, Tivo Desktop used to be only about feeding music and photos to the Tivo, but with the Series 2 and (and recently) Series 3 HD Tivos and the new versions of Tivo Desktop you can now download most of the content on your Tivo.

        Certainly it won't work to download any of the Amazon Unbox content you might have, not without some extra hacking at least. And all this presumes you have a Series 2 or greater Tivo, series 1 units do not support this natively.

        • jwz says:

          Well, as far as I know, none of the tivo.com stuff has ever worked with DirecTivos, which is what I have (series 2, OS 4.0.)

      • brokengoose says:

        The story I heard was that the group that was responsible for making Tivo Desktop for the Mac work properly was... not so successful, so Tivo and Roxio worked out a deal where Roxio would do it, but they'd only make the results available in Toast. (closest to confirmation I could find was this bit in Wired).

        While digging for URLs to confirm the above, I ran across SeasonPassGetter. I've never used it, but it looks like it'd do what you want.

        • jwz says:

          That also talks about "media access key" so I feel certain it won't work.

          And I don't trust software written by someone whose makes web pages where all of the text is rendered into a single 676x1412 PNG!

  6. xiojason says:

    mfs_ftp makes your TiVo Now Showing programs available for retreival via FTP from the /ty, /ty+, or /tmf virtual directories. Also, you can grab "XML"-formatted metadata the same way from the /xml directory.

    I use it daily on my old S1 DirecTiVo. With my hardware, I found it best to use a tool that lets me limit the download rate from the box. Not doing so puts my poor, decrepit PPC S1 TiVo at risk of rebooting itself because something doesn't respond quickly enough to the watchdog timer.

    Unfortunately, it is hosted at an annoying DealDatabase thread.

    The main app (a set of TCL scripts) with old mfs_* utilities:

    Latest version of the mfs_* utilities and mfs_ftp patches:

    Other Series 2 mfs_ftp info that may or may not be needed:

    I was just now successfully able to download the files attached to that thread using the login "guest" and password "guest" on the DealDatabase forums.