Getting holiday media through my disappointing TiVo.

TivoFirst off: Happy New Year people!
Now let’s get down to business.
TiVo, what the hell is up with your downloadable internet content? What the hell is up with the complete lack of applications that take ‘real’ advantage of network media? I spent the holidays longing for random Christmas songs, a podcast from my buddies, and some sort of new entertainment from my Series 2 on those long winter nights. Let’s break it down.

Shared Music: “OMG My TiVo plays MP3’s off my computer!” (BTW that statement would not have been sarcastic 5 years ago… :| ) So you load TiVo ToGo on your PC, share your music, and you’re good to go right? Well, no. Buried 4 menus down is now “[name]’s music”. You can then page up and down through your hundreds of artists to play a song… or a folder… you can shuffle too. All amazing things for three years ago. :p Put like 10,000 songs in that folder and it chokes. Spend your life hitting the channel down button to play an album lucky enough to be under ‘V’ for Various. No sort or play by genre, no album art, no screen info other then a time index and the name of the track. The interface is simple but lacking compared to any cell phone released in 2007.

Shared Video: So I guess that ‘TiVoCast’ falls under this. You probably didn’t even know this option was in there did you. The idea is you can get: “Great, innovative video content that doesn’t fit the traditional format or time constraints of broadcast television.” (*pfft) I think it’s crap – maybe I haven’t spent 2 days sorting through it. I downloaded a handful of programs. Included in that random sample of 22 minutes of video that took 2 hours to download (*sigh) was a piece from GeekBrief TV. It was a somewhat cute girl in a tight Simpson’s Tee, setting up a Gateway PC. Seriously… She said OMGHI2U and proceeded to setup and turn on a new Gateway PC. My brain was like: Advertisement Tee for a movie – CHECK. Ad for a new PC – CHECK. Content = 0. DELETED.

TiVo Podcast App: “Enter the entire URL of the RSS feed for your podcast and I’ll be glad to sorta’ stream it and not let you skip through it, nor pause, nor start from where you left off. Isn’t this AWESOME! Isn’t this way better then right click playing it in WinAmp on your PC? Dude it’s an audio PODCAST on your TV!” /sarcasm

The TiVo is no sling box and even though I could re-formu-i-tunes-ulate my movies to play on my TiVo. It’s not happening automatically. It’s not even happening with some sort of background script. So video content from the web or my network (that I haven’t downloaded from the TiVo in the first place) is zero. “But wait Kris! There’s that One True Media thing that lets me share videos – right?” Yes… For $3.99 a month you get a ‘picture video montage maker.’ I am shocked that the niche for this is big enough to support this company. So if you don’t have kids and you AND your parents don’t have a networked TiVo, you’ll probably skip this one. You’ll have to store your pir8′ted movies and pr0n elsewhere…

Honorable Mention: Galleon TV – If you have already toyed with the HME applications for the TiVo, you have already played with this. The music player is fantastic but I can’t configure the 30 minute time-out to stop… The weather and traffic apps are great but I don’t care about either… Lots of other features that I just didn’t have time to get working before the presents and the drinking. Apparently this application has been out for a WHILE – and in the mean time TiVo has pretty much dropped support / stopped developing for it. :| I’ll be toying with this in 2008.

How did I ever survive the holidays? Well, I took all my ID3 tagged Christmas music in Media Monkey and copied it to a single folder called ‘Christmas.’ Click – Shuffle – Play. Christine created a ‘holiday’ & ‘christmas’ list of shows that got a little out of control. I saw two Rankin & Bass movies I didn’t even know existed and a never ending stream of made for TV Christmas movies starring Kathy Ireland. Plus a handful of badly animated classics. Why did they make “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” INTO a cartoon movie? :eek:

About The Author


Hardware hacker, technology integrator, and maker. He enjoys staring blankly at code, voiding the warranty, and touching things in the back. When not doing that he is building and racing a rally car.

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01 2008

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  1. 1

    Kris, sorry you didn’t like TiVoCast.

    Have you tried Music Choice yet? 100s of free music videos.

    Have you tried Amazon Unbox yet? 1000s of movies and TV shows sold or rented via Amazon Unbox straight to your DVR.

    As for the free content, I’m betting if you give Channel Frederator or or Indy Mogul or New York Times Circuits a shot, you’ll be pleased. Let me know what you think.

    TiVo Central -> Find Programs -> Download TV & Movies -> and then choose Music Choice or Amazon Unbox or the channel you want to try.

  2. 2

    Thanks Steven,

    Don’t get me wrong – I love my TiVo!
    I’m just a picky tech guy that wants it to do everything including my laundry.

    – Kris

  3. 3

    Laundry service is a feature we’re hoping to add in late 2012; we first have to wait for the agitator standards to be ratified, and finish our testing on the Cyberdyne USB robotic arms.

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