[mythtv-users] MythArchive: native archives

Tom Metro tmetro+mythtv-users at gmail.com
Mon Dec 25 03:01:16 UTC 2006

The documentation for MythArchive under "To create a native archive 
backup" says:

   Choose what size DVD you are going to use and whether you want to just
   create the file system or create an ISO image for later burning or
   actually burn the ISO image to a blank DVD. Press 'Next'.

There are a few confusing things here.
  -This seems to imply that writing to a DVD or creating an ISO is 
required, even for native archives.
  -The sentence above suggests the choices are "file system", "ISO 
image", or "burn...to a blank DVD." What "file system" is being created? 
That seems to be a typo, with "write to a destination path" being the 

I gave it a spin. I chose the "Create Native Archive" menu option, and 
although I was presented with options to burn to a DVD (which I 
deselected) and create an ISO image (which I left selected),
according to the log (and an inspection of the file system) it never 
created an ISO image. What it did do was copy the each selected video 
file to the <temporary-dir>/work/<showname> directory, generate a PNG 
thumbnail, and an XML file for the metadata. Nothing was created in the 
specified archive directory. No errors were reported in the log.

What I gather from this is that writing to a DVD or creating an ISO is 
optional, and by default it just exports the video files, meta data, and 
generates thumbnails.

Is it a bug that these files never got written to the archive location, 
or does the design assume that only ISO images should get written there? 
The feature list for "the raw archive format" says it "can archive to 
any directory on your file system..." but it doesn't mention how or 
where you specify the path. This wording implies it is something you 
specify for each export session.

I tried it a second time and happened to hit the right keys at the right 
time and discovered that the "Select Destination" widget actually cycles 
through various options. I hadn't recognized symbol - what appears to be 
a checkbox with "><" inside - as I haven't seen it used elsewhere in the 
Myth UI. To me it looked like a checkbox that was marked as something 
that couldn't be changed, and I assumed the option was fixed due to the 
path I had taken through the wizard. (On a related note, the MythArchive 
UI doesn't seem to respond to mouse interaction, and (most) text boxes 
ignore keyboard input, unlike the rest of the Myth UI.)

Once I found that, I was able to select a destination path, and indeed 
the files were copied to that location. It'd be nice if the default 
destination path was the one specified in the MythArchive settings.

Is it a bug that no ISO was created and no error appeared in the log? 
(MythArchive was installed from a package (Ubuntu Feisty), and should 
have all the necessary dependencies. I know mkisofs is there.)

I repeated this again, selecting "Single Layer DVD" as the destination, 
and having "Make ISO Image" checked, and still no ISO was created. But 
when I switched to using a destination path while selecting the option 
to create an ISO, it did create an ISO. But it created the ISO using all 
the files at the destination path, not just the files that were 
specified to be archived. It also left the ISO in <temporary-dir>/work/, 
not in the specified destination directory, as expected.

The term "native archive" is a little misleading, as archive often 
implies a single container. This is more of a native export.

It should be pointed out in the documentation that the archival process 
only copies the data out of Myth and leaves the original video and meta 

What I was looking to accomplish was to export shows that I intend to 
write to DVD, but want to accumulate them on disk somewhere - preferably 
not in my Myth video directory, and in a more compressed format (Xvid) - 
until all missing episodes have been recorded, so they can be written to 
DVD in the proper sequence. I see I can accomplish this using the 
"Create DVD" wizard to export transcoded shows individually to a directory.

But what I'd really like to be able to do is to simply move specified 
shows to an alternate path right from within the MythFrontend. Probably 
easy enough to do that with a custom post-processing job, but it'd be 
nice if the show was still accessible from Myth (I suppose a symlink 
would accomplish that).

I'll update the wiki with any clarifications.


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