[mythtv-users] pdatranscode script for watching shows on a PDA

Jeff volckaert jvolckaert at gmail.com
Thu Oct 12 00:47:15 UTC 2006

I created a simple script to transcode recordings for a PDA (Dell Axim
X51V in my case).  The files get stored in the directory pda under my
video directory.  I just copy the files I want onto a memory card and
watch them using TCPMP.  An hour long show comes out to 105M or so
(that's alot of shows on a $40 2G card).  They play wonderfully on the

I created a second user job to run after Zach's removecommercial
script from the Wiki.  I check only those shows I want a copy of for
the PDA.

Here's the commands I used to create the user job:

mysql> use mythconverg;
mysql> UPDATE settings SET data='/usr/local/bin/pdatranscode %DIR%
%FILE% "%TITLE%" %STARTTIME%' WHERE value='UserJob2';
UPDATE settings SET data='PDA Transcode' WHERE value='UserJobDesc2';
mysql> UPDATE settings SET data='1' WHERE value='JobAllowUserJob2';

Then I create a script call "pdatranscode" and put it in
"/usr/local/bin".  I have two methods to transcode here.  The first
one uses mythtranscode's low quality transcoder (number 29 on my
system).  I have low quality set to 320x240 with a 300k bitrate.  An
hour long show came out to 136M.  The second method uses mencoder.
Mencoder produced a show 105M in size.  Uncomment whichever you prefer
to use.

Here's the script:
# pdatranscode
# created by Jeff Volckaert (inspired by Zach White)
# Remove non-alpha characters from TITLE

# Sanity checking, to make sure everything is in order.
if [ -z "$VIDEODIR" -o -z "$FILENAME" ]; then
        echo "Usage: $0 <VideoDirectory> <FileName> "<Title>" <Starttime>"
        exit 5
if [ ! -f $VIDEODIR/$FILENAME ]; then
        echo "File does not exist: $VIDEODIR/$FILENAME"
        exit 6

# Transcode the file
#mythtranscode -i  $VIDEODIR/$FILENAME -o
$VIDEODIR/pda/$TITLE-$STARTTIME.avi -l -p 29

mencoder -srate 32000 -vop scale=320:240 -oac mp3lame -lameopts
preset=15:mode=3 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=300 -sws 2
if [ $ERROR -ne 0 ]; then
        echo "Transcoding failed for ${FILENAME} with error $ERROR"
        exit 3

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