Podcasts on MythTV

mythtvI love using my MythTV for 3 main reasions:

  1. Timshifting TV
  2. Watching downloaded video
  3. Watching video podcasts

This article is about the 3rd feature, watching video podcasts. I use a script called podget which is run every night by cron to download any new shows and delete shows older than the age I specify. It also creates a playlist for all the new shows it downloades so you don’t have to figure out what’s new and what you’ve already seen.

You can get the script here: podget.sourceforge.net. There are also basic install instructions but I’m going to show how I did it for my setup. I am currently using Knoppmyth R5.5, but this should work for any mythtv distro or really any linux os even if you’re not using mythtv.

As root on your mythtv box:

cd ~

wget http://superb-east.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/podget/podget_0.5.8.ta… (you may need to find an updated download link)

tar zxvf podget_0.5.8.tar.gz

cd podget

make install

Then switch to your mythtv user:

su mythtv

cd ~ (change to your home folder)

podget (run it the first time to set up the folders and config files)

In your home folder you will now have two sub folders, POD which is the default folder for the downloaded podcasts (we will change this), and .podget which contains two files, podgetrc (the config file) and serverlist (the list of podcasts).

Both config files are well documented, but I’ll go over how I set them up. The serverlist file is just a list of URLs for the RSS feeds of each podcast followed by a category and name you specify for each. The category and name will be used to create subfolders under the main download folder.

In the podgetrc file these are the options I changed:

dir_library=/myth/video/1pod (this makes it so the podcasts are downloaded to the mythvideo folder and the 1 makes sure it’s at the top of the list)

most_recent=2 (this tells it how many to download from each feed. You probably want to set it to 1 or 2 to start with since some feeds might have 50 files if they never clean it up. After the first time, it marks all the older files as “downloaded” so it won’t download them again, then you can change this back to 0 so it downloads all new content.)

cleanup=1

cleanup_days=20 (this tells it to delete any podcasts older than 20 days. Very handy to keep your hard drive from filling up)

That’s it for the config file. You can read through the other options and set it up how you like.

After you have your feeds added to your serverlist go ahead and run it once by just typing “podget” to make sure everything’s working alright.

To schedule it to run every night you can set up a cron job:

crontab -e

add a line like this:

15 4 * * * /usr/local/bin/podget -s

This tells it to run at 4:15 am every day. The playlist files will be created in the root download folder (/myth/video/1pod) and are m3u files.

Now you have to tell MythTV what to do with the playlists. Go into the mythvideo settings and add an extension for m3u and enter this command to play them:

mplayer -fs -zoom -quiet -vo xv -playlist %s

You should be all set now. It’s very handy to just select the newest playlist and watch all the new downloads and all the old shows are automatically deleted, so you never have to think about it.

Another quick tip about how I use mythvideo. If you go into the video settings and change the view to file list (I think that’s what it’s called) and check the option to browse while in file list view, it makes it much easier to navigate your folders of videos since it looks more like the recorded tv listings. The browse option shows you all the files in the folder without any cateloging or however it would normall be done.

Good luck and happy viewing.

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