TivoToGo -> PDA, mission accomplished!

Yesterday morning while I was stuck at home sick, I decided to try to accomplish something novel. Well, perhaps not novel, but cool. Well, maybe not cool, but useful. Well, not actually useful, but…

I accomplished something anyway.

Recently Tivo has updated their service with the so-called TivoToGo feature, which allows you to copy programs from your Tivo to your PC for playback. In doing so, it inserts a tiny bit of Digital Rights stuff that makes you have to type a password before you can play it back on your PC. This is to prevent widespread sharing of these files. Or, so the story goes.

As has been noted elsewhere, it is relatively easy to strip that bit of cruft off of your stream and save it as a perfectly ordinary MPEG-2 data stream, which you are then free to mangle in anyway that you see fit.

So, yesterday, that’s just what I did. I transferred an hour long classic Star Trek episode from my Tivo to my PC, performed the EvilLabs magic from the link above, and then used Microsoft Media Encoder to convert it into a 131 megabyte WMV file. I then copied this to a 256M CompactFlash card, and popped it into my PDA. Voila! Instant Star Trek, suitable for watching in line at the bank or supermarket.

Not content with this, I decided to create a version that could be streamed, rather than downloaded. I used ffmpeg to convert the MPEG2 into an MPEG1 video stream, and then used the freeware PocketTV program to watch the video streamed over the wireless, after setting it up as described on their page, and it worked just fine. Since MPEG-1 is kind of a crufty format, the video quality wasn’t nearly as good as the same bitrate, but it did work.

Ah, such an achievement.

Slashdotted! Okay, maybe not quite…

Daily TrafficWhile after about five yesterday I was trying to sleep off my miserable cold+headache, I noticed that I got an increase of traffic from this podcasting article. How much of a boost? Well, it’s visible on my daily visits graph, which I reproduce to the right. If you are one of the 200+ who visited my website as the result of the article, I hope you’ll be back and that you’ll subscribe to the podcast.