Friday, November 10, 2006

Pete Tong lives on my IPOD

Sometimes gadgets are irritating, they do almost everything you want. - I can record Pete Tong on my Media Center, but had to think about how to put him on my IPOD...

This, with some help from some excellent utilities on the internet, is how I turned my Media Center 2005 PC into private podcast feed of recorded TV shows just for my IPOD:

Firstly, this works for anything you've recorded on Media Center, so if you really want the audio from EastEnders on your IPOD, it's possible.-- it should also work for video, but more on that below:

This is how I got Pete Tong to download to my IPOD as a private podcast - it's not his regular podcast from the web, - it's a recording of his Friday show on Radio 1 from MCE:

  • Schedule the recording / series you want. - My DVB Tuner can pick up Radio as well in UK
  • Write a little script that MOVES the recording out the way of media center (if you want to watch it as well, you could Copy it instead:

move "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Tv\Pete*.*" "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Audio"

(I followed Brian Frost's excellent howto here to configure it. )

(one of his links is broken, try for AutoDVRConvert)

I set up:

  • The filtergraph to produce MP3 format files at 128kbps from the MS-DVR file - try video if you have a video iPod - it should work too?
  • Input Path: "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Audio"
  • Output Path: "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Audio"
  • Start AutoConverter
  • Stuff C:\Program Files\AutoDVRConvert\autodvrconvert.exe in startup
  • Test it works - your magic shows should move folder, and over time (quite a while) be converted to MP3's as well - I also set autodelete on the .ms-dvr file as I dont need it.

Finally, I wrote another nasty VB app (AutoRSS) to generate an Itunes compatible rss feed of the files it finds in your folder (it supports multiple folders and feeds, so just add more folders, you must just make sure that each different recording (or series) that you want to have it's own feed, must have it's own folder:

  • - contains the AutoRSS.exe, and source code for vb6
  • Dump AutoRss.exe, and AutoRss.ini somewhere useful, and edit AutoRss.ini, to reflect your settings:


FeedTitle="Pete Tong"

FeedDescription="Pete Tong's Essential Selection"


FileMask="C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Audio\*.mp3"

FeedFile="C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Recorded Audio\feed.xml"


To explain the fields:

  • FeedTitle - appears as the podcast title in ITunes Feed
  • Description - ditto, description
  • FileMask - Files types to include in the feed (only supports one type at a time, and the full path)
  • FeedType - the encoding type ITunes should expect this to be
  • FeedFile - Where the feed file is physically on the machine (you must run a web server on it -IIS works fine on MCE - if you use Webguide you already have it running)
  • DownloadURL - Where ITunes can get the files from on the machine.
  • I run this successfully on my media Center, again as a scheduled task, which runs AutoRss.exe just before I get up in the morning - this updates the feed(s) with the latest shows, and my other PC (with Itunes) can then update the IPOD.
    To add other feeds, create a new section [Feedx] where x is the next number in sequence.

The vb app is very simple, and has little error checking and the XML is just a string, not a full xml object- quick and dirty.

enjoy 8-)

Legal note: Remember that re-encoding broadcast or other copyrighted content owned by other people and distributing it on the internet is illegal - you shouldn't publish this feed to others via the internet - as far as I can tell it's okay to convert content you have the right to record for personal use, to use on your own MP3 player, provided the resulting feed and files are not downloadable by others on the net.