[mythtv-users] Sony VAIO Media Changer...... GOOD News!!

Will . nodenet at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 7 14:35:11 UTC 2006

Hello one and all…..

As a user of myth for a while I wish to tell anyone who is interested that 
I've managed to get the Sony VAIO XL1B2 changer working under linux and 

Essentially this is a firewire / i.link unit which works as a SCSI media 
changer and SCSI dvd. I was very surprised to see that this unit is 
compatible with very little work. I've had a few minor problems but can't 
swear there anything to do with the changer or it's drive.

You have to enable the SBP2 firewire module and SCSI changer and DVD related 
modules in your kernel to get everything working. I had to patch the mtx 
program to make it compatible with the way the unit sends it's slot 
addresses etc but this was a trivial patch and the unit seems to be working 
fine now.

For example on my system the DVD rom / writer is /dev/sr0 and the changer is 
/dev/sg2 it registers with 1 data transfer slot, 1 import / export slot 
(always lists as empty - don't think it's accessible as an actual slot) and 
200 storage slots!

So 'mtx -f /dev/sg2 next' for example will load the next slot into the data 
transfer slot (as so long as it's not empty of course), mtx automatically 
unloads the dt slot if it's full to it's original location too! I also added 
a patch to mtx that gives a bit more feedback to myth to say which slot was 
loaded and whether the operation was successful.

'mtx -f /dev/sg2 status' will list the status of all 202 slots which would 
be useful for a cataloguing application.

I've already been able to patch myth music to rip all available slots 
sequentially, it works from the 1st storage slot until it finds an empty 
slot although I'm sure this would be easy to change if people wanted a more 
flexible range of options. The changer patches were done rather hastily I 
have to admit.

I've also added patches for cover art (based on the available perl script 
that's floating around), retry of failed tracks, cd rip speed, logging to 
give details of the ripping operation (e.g. time date, slot numbers, what's 
in the slot, any problems with ripping, so and so forth).

I've loaded the changer up with 190 odd discs and I'm letting it rip all of 
them over the next few days and then I'm going to read the log file to see 
if there were any problems (or check how many discs I loaded back to front 
:S)… have to say I'm very happy JJJ

I'm sure these patches can be worked into a range of new options for myth to 
support media changers, especially as it appears that any suitable SCSI 
changer could be used (may need to support multiple dt slots if anyone is 
that desperate). I'll make the patches available if anyone is interested 
there based on gentoo's ebuilds of myth 0.19

I've also done work on mtd and for PAL discs I can pretty much load a disc 
press 0 and have it make a near mint rip J Still working on NTSC as there is 
a slight AV/sync problem and no one is helping me with this L Mtd is working 
very well though…. I've enabled interlace playback support for xvid's 
in xine so I don't need to wory about de-interlacing during transcoding (I 
copy an xvid4.cfg file to the correct place and encode as interlace 
regardless - asfaik it copies the i/p frame flag so it works fine for 
progressive or mixed content too). I've also set the M3 option and tweaked 
transcode so that the av sync seems better too now as well (I think it 
applies the 1st PTS offset back to front).

I'm going to support the changer in mtd when I get time too and integrate it 
into the video browser view (I'll need to write the cataloguing app for this 
- and link the meta data as appropriate perhaps I can use cddb to generate a 
unique id for each DVD or something).

I think Myth is a fantastic application, so thanks to everyone who has made 
it possible and keep up the good work J


Will Wiseman

P.S. I have a number of other small pathches for myth and a very patched 
beta i915 driver that supports custom modelines for proper frame rates (or 
as close as possible), also automatic modeline switching for xine based on 
whether the video stream is PAL / NTSC, patches to set xmame to display 
within the visible display area and what not based on an over scanned 
display and probably some I've forgotten too!

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