[mythtv] podcast question

Kawayanan kawayanan at gmail.com
Sun Jul 6 20:33:09 UTC 2008

First of all, please bear with me.  I'm new around here.  As a rarity
however, what I want is within my ability to fix.  I just want input before
I go off and do something stupid.

I have searched the mailing lists for both mythtv-users and mythtv-dev.  I
have seen some things discussed, but not much concluded.  I just wanted to
run things by everyone to get feedback before I start doing something dumb
or useless.

I want to download and play podcasts.  Nothing to fancy, just downloads, not
streaming audio or video.  I am fully aware that MythStream should be able
to do this.  I must admit however that I tried to figure out how to get it
to do what I wanted and quickly gave up.  I'm reasonably good with
computers, and I know if I can't do it quickly, there is no way I can expect
my wife to deal with it.  I'm sure MythStream is very powerful, and clearly
does lots of useful stuff, but I just want a simple automated download.
Meaning I give it a URL, tell it how often to check, and that's it.  It
seemed much easier to set up something else.  Anyway, that's what I did.  I
used bashpodder (very small and simple bash script - its only ~20 lines of
code - http://lincgeek.org/bashpodder/).  The first podcasts I played with
were audio (mp3's).  I simply put the script in a directory called
"podcasts" in the MythMusic storage directory.  I set a cron job to run
bashpodder every night.  Done and simple.  My newly downloaded podcasts are
recognized and played by MythMusic (after rescanning).  I assume that the
same thing can easily be done for video podcasts (just run bashpodder in the
MythVideo storage area).

Anyway, here are my thoughts and questions:

1)  Is there a command line way of telling MythMusic (and MythVideo) to scan
for new files?  After the podcasts are automatically downloaded, I have to
rescan my collection for them to show up.  It would be nice to be able to
have the cron job rescan the library for me after new files were added.

2)  I view my music collection by directory (my music collection was already
set up nicely that way).  I made a "podcast" directory within the MythMusic
storage area, so they are also easy to find.  Bashpodder dumps new podcasts
in directories based on the day they are downloaded.  First, I am planning
on editing bashpodder to drop new files in directories based on what podcast
they came from.  That would work better with my audio library setup.
Second, I am thinking of editing bashpodder to keep only a set number of
files per podcast.  By this, I mean that if I tell it to keep only 4 files
for a certain podcast, it will delete the oldest file when it downloads a
fifth (kind of like I do in MythTV for some series - keep at most 3 episodes
and delete the oldest if there are more, etc.).  Any thoughts on these
plans?  I can shell script and perl script well enough, so all this is
doable for me.  I just want to know if anyone knew any reasons this would be
a dumb idea.  I might rewrite the whole thing in perl, because thats what I
know best.

3)  In an ideal world, I would make it so that one could add new podcasts to
be downloaded from within MythTV.  I don't mind using vi to edit a URL list,
but it might be nice for others if it was within MythTV.  What I was
thinking was one setup page that allowed you to add (or remove) podcasts by
editing the URL, subdirectory you want the file in, and the maximum number
of "episodes" you would want to keep.  I looked briefly at the plugin
documentation.  It looks like everything is in C (which I don't know much
in).  I figured that what I was thinking was pretty simple, and I could
probably figure out the plugin setup if I set out to do it.  Would this seem
reasonable to people as a plugin?  Would it be worth making the plugin, or
just leave it command line for my own use?  Would calling a perl or shell
script in a plugin (or setting a cron job) be bad form or against any mythTV

Thanks for your time and comments.

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