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Old 08-03-2008, 04:25 AM   #826
Wolfvorkian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daftcat View Post
All that said, there is a way to record mplayer streams but I'll leave that for you to figure out. The only hint I'll give is that mlbviewer will perform string substitution for the url by using %s in the video_player or audio_player commands. I'll offer you no more help on this and I suggest not posting anything here about it...just in case. Better paranoid than to have the project shut down, right?
You're not being paranoid, just realistic. However in the last couple days some of the muscle behind the SSSCA legislation to destroy the internet as we know it and to essentially outlaw Linux just ate the big one by being indicted on corruption charges. That's right, my Senator Ted Stevens unless he can convince a jury he is senile or get a pardon from Bush is looking at jail time. He is dead meat, the facts are not in dispute. I suspect this will slow some of the cyber goons like MlB down a bit, for awhile anyhow .... at least it won't speed up the process of the door of MLBviewer being kicked in, the script confiscated and the developer sent off to Syria for attitude adjustment.

As far as copying the games, I've done it with VLC - both audio and video. If you can get the stream going somehow, then open up the 'wizard' and go from there. Using the 'wizard' is the secret or at it least was for me. But that was last year and the last time I tried to use VLC with MLB after the Silverlight caper, the video was garbled and I don't know if a fix this year has ever been found.
 
Old 08-03-2008, 07:50 AM   #827
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfvorkian View Post
You're not being paranoid, just realistic. However in the last couple days some of the muscle behind the SSSCA legislation to destroy the internet as we know it and to essentially outlaw Linux just ate the big one by being indicted on corruption charges. That's right, my Senator Ted Stevens unless he can convince a jury he is senile or get a pardon from Bush is looking at jail time. He is dead meat, the facts are not in dispute. I suspect this will slow some of the cyber goons like MlB down a bit, for awhile anyhow .... at least it won't speed up the process of the door of MLBviewer being kicked in, the script confiscated and the developer sent off to Syria for attitude adjustment.

As far as copying the games, I've done it with VLC - both audio and video. If you can get the stream going somehow, then open up the 'wizard' and go from there. Using the 'wizard' is the secret or at it least was for me. But that was last year and the last time I tried to use VLC with MLB after the Silverlight caper, the video was garbled and I don't know if a fix this year has ever been found.
You can do it with mplayer. It's in the mplayer docs. Okay, I lied (small fib) a little. That should be the last help I give you.

Personally, I'm not against recording. I just don't want to make a possible terms of service violation official policy.

Last edited by daftcat; 08-03-2008 at 07:51 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2008, 02:30 AM   #828
lephio
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that's ok! thanks for explaination!
 
Old 08-04-2008, 03:58 AM   #829
lephio
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i found out the "cache-min" option for mplayer. so i can put a lot-of-mb cache, without waiting too much for play!

i'm just cache-watching Liriano's comeback!
 
Old 08-05-2008, 01:48 PM   #830
Teleute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daftcat View Post
This sounds ridiculous but try increasing the cache to 8192 or more. I honestly don't know why Linux users are having network trouble and windows users are not (you'd expect the other way around), but when I increased to 8192, the "blort"ing deaths end and are reduced to the occasional burp and gurgle. Maybe going even higher might eliminate it altogether but I have only so much memory (256 mb) and patience (it takes longer to get the initial buffer full enough--usually 20%--before the game starts.)
Sorry - I haven't had the chance to mess with this before now (been out of town). I've tried playing with the cache settings, and raising it doesn't seem to help at all. In fact, if anything, it blorts faster when I go higher (32 MB gave me about 5 seconds before a blort). My connection seems fine by every test I can find, and this has really only become a problem since I moved to the alpha7 version. (I had the occasional blort before, but once or twice per game, usually. Now I can't even make it through a minute.) If I pull the game up on my windows machine, it's fine. Are there any video settings that were changed from 6 to 7 that I might be able to look at?
 
Old 08-06-2008, 03:47 AM   #831
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleute View Post
Sorry - I haven't had the chance to mess with this before now (been out of town). I've tried playing with the cache settings, and raising it doesn't seem to help at all. In fact, if anything, it blorts faster when I go higher (32 MB gave me about 5 seconds before a blort). My connection seems fine by every test I can find, and this has really only become a problem since I moved to the alpha7 version. (I had the occasional blort before, but once or twice per game, usually. Now I can't even make it through a minute.) If I pull the game up on my windows machine, it's fine. Are there any video settings that were changed from 6 to 7 that I might be able to look at?
There are no video settings in mlbviewer. In fact, mlbviewer has nothing to do with the media stream. Think of it as a middle-man between the listings and the media player. All it does is grab the media url from mlb.com and feed that url to your media player--basically, a fancy wrapper script.

The main reason why alpha7 was released is because mlb.com changed one of their login pages. It's doubtful that's all they changed though. It's quite possible they changed their media servers too.

You say that Windows doesn't have a problem but Linux does. But are you using the same media player on both Windows and Linux? What media player are you using? Are you sure you have configured everything correctly for Linux and media? If you are using mplayer, consult the online documentation and follow all steps for video optimization.

Something that sometimes works for me is pausing when it blorts and letting it fill up the buffer some before resuming. See about three posts back about the relationship between buffer size and the number of seconds you can pause before losing the stream altogether.
 
Old 08-06-2008, 10:37 AM   #832
trippinnik
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I'm using linux and I've got no problems using mlbviewer. I do usually use the unsupported mplayer option, which gives me a rather large 'cache'. I recommend giving that a shot.
 
Old 08-06-2008, 12:03 PM   #833
Teleute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trippinnik View Post
I'm using linux and I've got no problems using mlbviewer. I do usually use the unsupported mplayer option, which gives me a rather large 'cache'. I recommend giving that a shot.
I do use mplayer, and set a very large cache. It just gets worse.

The only reason I thought perhaps it was something in the version change (from 6 to 7) is that there was a *noticable* difference when I changed. I could watch every single game before with only a blort or two, and now I haven't been able to make it through one, since it blorts after a couple of minutes at most, regardless of the cache settings. It's bizarre that the difficulties date from exactly when I upgraded, so that's why I assumed there was some setting in mlbviewer itself somewhere that was affecting things.

As for the blorting, maybe we're talking about slightly different things. For me, I open the game. It fills the buffer (which took quite a while for 32MB) and then opens the game window. It plays for maybe a minute, then pauses for a second, the sound lets out a large blort, and the game window actually dies completely. I have to load it all over again. So there's not really any opportunity to pause...
 
Old 08-07-2008, 02:20 AM   #834
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleute View Post
I do use mplayer, and set a very large cache. It just gets worse.

The only reason I thought perhaps it was something in the version change (from 6 to 7) is that there was a *noticable* difference when I changed. I could watch every single game before with only a blort or two, and now I haven't been able to make it through one, since it blorts after a couple of minutes at most, regardless of the cache settings. It's bizarre that the difficulties date from exactly when I upgraded, so that's why I assumed there was some setting in mlbviewer itself somewhere that was affecting things.

As for the blorting, maybe we're talking about slightly different things. For me, I open the game. It fills the buffer (which took quite a while for 32MB) and then opens the game window. It plays for maybe a minute, then pauses for a second, the sound lets out a large blort, and the game window actually dies completely. I have to load it all over again. So there's not really any opportunity to pause...
Okay, that's something different from what I experience. With me, it's more like a stuttering, sputtering to a crawl, but it hangs on, drags on. Sometimes it clears on its own but other times, a pause to allow the buffer to fill up, lets it catch up, and eventually clear up.

If I understand their network from the postings on the Mosaic board, mlb.com doesn't even manage the content delivery network. They subcontract that out, likely to several different content providers. It's very likely that the upgrade that changed the MLB.com also coincided with a content server upgrade. Apparently not for the better. Looking back at the changelog, this was July 1. That sounds like a good date for rolling out new software.

Like I said, there's nothing that mlbviewer does with video other than connect the player to the url. Try different players. See if your media player software is current. Check your video drivers. Follow the optimization instructions for mplayer, etc....
 
Old 08-07-2008, 08:20 AM   #835
trippinnik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleute View Post
I do use mplayer, and set a very large cache. It just gets worse.

The only reason I thought perhaps it was something in the version change (from 6 to 7) is that there was a *noticable* difference when I changed. I could watch every single game before with only a blort or two, and now I haven't been able to make it through one, since it blorts after a couple of minutes at most, regardless of the cache settings. It's bizarre that the difficulties date from exactly when I upgraded, so that's why I assumed there was some setting in mlbviewer itself somewhere that was affecting things.

As for the blorting, maybe we're talking about slightly different things. For me, I open the game. It fills the buffer (which took quite a while for 32MB) and then opens the game window. It plays for maybe a minute, then pauses for a second, the sound lets out a large blort, and the game window actually dies completely. I have to load it all over again. So there's not really any opportunity to pause...
Sorry I guess I was being a bit vague (trying mlbviewer from too much negative attention for being able to save the stream to disk). When I say using a very large cache I mean running mplayer with -dumpstream flag. Then I watch it by loading the file into mplayer or sometimes kaffeine. Maybe because the file is assembled onto the disk it doesn't get tripped up by receiving packets out of order as will often happen over congested internet connections. Sometimes I've seen some terminal output that shows it needing to start the connection again or something but only when I am using the pretty crap internet connection at work. At home I've got fiber so I haven't seen that. Either case I don't get any blorting, corruption or mplayer crashing.
I have noticed that the aspect ratio of video is different depending on which channel broadcasts the game.
 
Old 08-07-2008, 11:28 AM   #836
lonelytylenol
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vlc in linux in hopes of at least some seek-ability

First, mlbviewer is awesome.
Second, I'm desperate for seeking.

I'm running linux and have seen some mention of limited success with seeking using vlc. I'd like to give it a try, but don't feel super confident editing the config without assistance ... could someone help me by posting an example config that uses vlc?

Here's my current config in case it helps:

Code:
show_player_command=1
audio_player=xterm -e mplayer -cache 64 -quiet -playlist
top_plays_player=
time_offset=
audio_follow=
video_player=xterm -e mplayer -cache 2048 -quiet
debug=0
speed=800
x_display=
blackout=
 
Old 08-07-2008, 12:49 PM   #837
Teleute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daftcat View Post
If I understand their network from the postings on the Mosaic board, mlb.com doesn't even manage the content delivery network. They subcontract that out, likely to several different content providers. It's very likely that the upgrade that changed the MLB.com also coincided with a content server upgrade. Apparently not for the better. Looking back at the changelog, this was July 1. That sounds like a good date for rolling out new software.
Ah - interesting. Wonder if they did something specifically to mess up streams in Linux players, as I haven't had any issues in Windows since that time. I'll try some other players and see what happens. Thanks!
 
Old 08-07-2008, 11:50 PM   #838
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleute View Post
Ah - interesting. Wonder if they did something specifically to mess up streams in Linux players, as I haven't had any issues in Windows since that time. I'll try some other players and see what happens. Thanks!
As I said previously, I don't think mlb owns or does any development for the media server network so they're kind of in the same boat as we are. Mosaic and the web page are similar to mlbviewer in that they connect the media servers with the media players but they have separate development teams. Now it's possible, and very likely (one would hope) that the two teams work together in a collaborative pre-rollout testing. In this case, it seems like July 1 was the release date for media server software patches. It's doubtful they did anything to specifically and intentionally mess with Linux users seeing as they don't officially support Linux in the first place. It's more likely they just don't care whether it's Mac, Windows, or Linux as long as they all follow the same rules of engagement. In this case, it's MLB, not the media servers that is being lazy (or stubborn) on the Linux issue.

Think of it as two independent software companies--one is writing a backend and the other a frontend. The backend company doesn't need to care what frontend connects to it as long as the interfaces they expose to the official frontend work.

Okay, let's try a non-computer analogy. It used to be that Bell was the only phone company around. There was a saying, "you can have any color phone you want as long as it's black." Now the phone company and the phone are two different companies. Any phone can connect to the phone company as long as it obeys certain rules about line currents, voltages, wiring, etc. The phone can develop new features like answering machines and cordless phones. The phone company can develop new features like call waiting and caller id. As long as the phone doesn't behave badly and responds as it is supposed to and talks to the phone company as it is expected to, the phone company doesn't care what kind of phone is connected. You can even use a Mickey Mouse phone if you want. From the phone company perspective, the phone is just a client to send and receive phone calls from. Heck, it can't even tell if you're using an AT&T phone or a Mickey Mouse phone. A phone is a phone.

Think of the media delivery network as the phone company and mlbviewer or Mosaic or the web page as the phone. The media delivery network doesn't really care what client you use as long as you send them the information they expect to authenticate (you are who you you say you are) and where to receive your media stream (IP address and port settings as well as maybe some low-level media parameters -- but these come from the media player, not the mlbviewer or Mosaic application.) The shame of MLB is that they are trying to say you can only use their black phone when the media company doesn't really care what phone you use.

The fact that MLB doesn't support Linux and uses Silvelight is probably more a matter of features Silverlight and other software partner technology like NextDef/Autobahn provide than any purposeful maliciousness against Linux. Software development is hard stuff even locking it down to one product like Mosaic or Silverlight. They still have to deal with so many variables like hardware combinations and driver versions. About 99% of the responses on the Mosaic support forums start by asking for a dxdiag which is a dump of the hardware and software (drivers) used on the system.

Honestly, it might not be mplayer or vlc or Linux at all but a buggy driver written by ATI or Nvidia or some guy who doesn't even work for the company who produced your hardware. This is why I suggest starting with mplayer (mostly because their documentation about tuning mplayer and Linux systems for multimedia in general is better than any other) and following all their diagnostics advice. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed for your video card or audio card. If you've gone through all their optimization steps, try another player.

If you suspect mlbviewer (which I highly doubt), you can try the firebug method described around page 6 or 7 of this thread, or you can try the mlbgameid.py script in the test directory which, except for changing the login string from mlb.com to MLB.com, hasn't changed in many releases.

Last edited by daftcat; 08-08-2008 at 12:30 AM.
 
Old 08-07-2008, 11:53 PM   #839
Teleute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daftcat View Post
If you suspect mlbviewer (which I highly doubt), you can try the firebug method described around page 6 or 7 of this thread, or you can try the mlbgameid.py script in the test directory which, except for changing the login string from mlb.com to MLB.com, hasn't changed in many releases.
I'll definitely look at the other stuff. I just looked to mlbplayer first as that was the thing I know I'd changed when the problem started, and if I learned anything doing tech support it was to start by looking at what had changed. :-)

Thanks!
 
Old 08-08-2008, 12:48 AM   #840
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonelytylenol View Post
First, mlbviewer is awesome.
Second, I'm desperate for seeking.

I'm running linux and have seen some mention of limited success with seeking using vlc. I'd like to give it a try, but don't feel super confident editing the config without assistance ... could someone help me by posting an example config that uses vlc?

Here's my current config in case it helps:

Code:
show_player_command=1
audio_player=xterm -e mplayer -cache 64 -quiet -playlist
top_plays_player=
time_offset=
audio_follow=
video_player=xterm -e mplayer -cache 2048 -quiet
debug=0
speed=800
x_display=
blackout=
You change your video_player line to read:

Code:
#video_player=xterm -e mplayer -cache 2048 -quiet
video_player=vlc
The # comments out the original line. It's a way to save that line in case you want to switch back to mplayer. Then just swap which line doesn't have the # at the beginning. You'll have to restart mlbviewer between editing the config file.

However...

Seeking only seems to work in the first few seconds of connecting to the stream. Once those first 30 seconds or so are up, if you try to seek again, you'll lose the stream completely. It seems the stream url's have a very short-lived cookie embedded in them that expire after about 30 seconds. Seeking is a way of reconnecting to the stream but if the cookie has expired, the connection will fail. As long as you don't seek or otherwise interrupt the stream, you don't need to reconnect so the stream just keeps playing from start to end.

One way to get around this problem and get seeking working is to record the stream to disk. This is officially not supported in mlbviewer but there are ways to do it. I won't offer any help on this and I don't encourage any discussion here on it, but there are several hints scattered throughout this thread and other places on the net about recording streaming files. It's possible that this practice could draw negative attention to mlbviewer and worse, it may be a violation of your terms of service so do it at your own risk.

The one thing I can recommend is that if you don't need to go backwards, you can use a large buffer to allow time to pause (like for bathroom breaks.) Otherwise, you could try vlc in the first 30 seconds or so to try and find where you want to go back to.

Last edited by daftcat; 08-08-2008 at 12:50 AM.
 
  


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