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Old 03-11-2009, 04:30 PM   #961
daftcat
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Poll: Current usage and future DVR functionality


I've got a version of mlbviewer that has DVR functionality. It's not going to give you the nifty time-traveling feature that NexDef would (e.g. able to rewind to times before you connected), but it should at least allow you to pause, rewind, and fast forward (obviously only as much as you've recorded )

I'm still testing it and there's a couple of things I want to finish up before I release it to you guys. I also plan to keep this an SVN-only feature for some time (not included in official releases.)

Before I do, I'd like some feedback:

1. What video_player and audio_player do you use? I have a feature called dvr_resume that, should an error occur in the player process (or if you wanted to restart the player process), the player process resumes from -approximately- where it left off. There will be config file option to specify how this is done (e.g. -ss <elapsed - delay> for mplayer or --seconds <elapsed - delay> for vlc, where elapsed is how much the recorder process has recorded and delay is how far back the player process starts so it doesn't try to cache bits that haven't been recorded yet) If you use something other than mplayer or vlc, or you have been doing something hackish already, I'm especially interested in hearing from you. (trippinnik, I'm looking at you. )

2. I'm using mplayer -dumpstream to record. Is there any reason why you wouldn't use mplayer -dumpstream to record? Do you have another command/application you'd rather use? Right now I have the recorder command string hard-coded. Should I open it up to config file option?

3. (Probably the most important question) I have been especially concerned about these recorded games being put to bad uses (file sharing networks) or even folks building a library of recorded games (which MLB would frown upon since they sell these games on iTunes.) I plan on implementing a one-time "terms of service" nag screen that you need to accept that has the standard wording, "any reproduction or distribution ... without written consent of Major League Baseball...strictly prohibited...blah blah" (you know those words.) Are there levels of safeguards, obfuscations, etc you are comfortable with or can recommend? I know the bad seeds will figure it out whatever I do (it's certainly possible to do even with the released code today), but I'd like to show that I've at least attempted to discourage the practice. Should I limit the number of recorded games? Should I make the filenames garbled, unidentifiable, or generic like "mlb.asf"?

4. Currently, the games are recorded to $HOME/.mlb. Should I move this to some place more obvious so you can easily figure out why your disk space is disappearing fast?

5. Any other questions, concerns about mlbdvr (it will be a spin-off rather than standard functionality of mlbviewer)?

BTW, I don't have any plans to implement Tivo functionality (scheduling recordings.)

Has anyone tried to run NexDef through wine?
 
Old 03-11-2009, 06:37 PM   #962
daftcat
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I have to say, the quality of flash player is great...when it works! Choppy on my Dell 1.5 Ghz/512*m work laptop..

That said, mlbdvr (soon to be in svn) is much more stable and quite acceptable quality. At least for me. This on my 900mhz/256mb laptop.

By the way, my new tablet laptop arrived and I'm very impressed with the text recognition (especially with my chicken scratches
 
Old 03-12-2009, 03:55 AM   #963
Onip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daftcat View Post
2. I'm using mplayer -dumpstream to record. Is there any reason why you wouldn't use mplayer -dumpstream to record? Do you have another command/application you'd rather use? Right now I have the recorder command string hard-coded. Should I open it up to config file option?
I'm currently using mimms since it permits resuming of download. Before I used mmsclient (which mimms is a fork of) and mplayer -dumpstream but experienced some problems occasionally.
It is another dep to the package but in my opinion it could be worth of
 
Old 03-12-2009, 11:32 AM   #964
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onip View Post
I'm currently using mimms since it permits resuming of download. Before I used mmsclient (which mimms is a fork of) and mplayer -dumpstream but experienced some problems occasionally.
It is another dep to the package but in my opinion it could be worth of
I can look into mimms . Wouldn't the cookie expire before you can resume a download?
 
Old 03-13-2009, 06:54 AM   #965
Onip
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the few times i've used resum functionality I had no problem at all. Simply started mlbviewer re-select the same game and started it (mimms is in my video_player command). Mimms begins download at the same location where it was terminated before.

This way I can skip inter inning dead times and replay actions as I wish
 
Old 03-13-2009, 10:14 AM   #966
Theophile
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Last season there were a couple of occasions where I couldn't get in front of the TV in time for first pitch so I "hacked" the DVR function in by using -dumpstream in the player command and a cron job to get things started. In every occasion, the stream would copy fine for a while but then the connection would inexplicably be lost and I'd have to just miss what I'd missed and start it live.

In other words, I had very bad luck with -dumpstream and stability/reliability. Maybe I was doing it wrong, though.

I would not worry about the effects of saving the files locally. There is already a massive network of TV episode file sharing on the internet and you can't find baseball games anywhere. It's just as easy to DVR a baseball game off ESPN as it is an episode of Battlestar Galactica, but no one's doing it. I don't think it's really an issue.
 
Old 03-13-2009, 11:00 AM   #967
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onip View Post
the few times i've used resum functionality I had no problem at all. Simply started mlbviewer re-select the same game and started it (mimms is in my video_player command). Mimms begins download at the same location where it was terminated before.

This way I can skip inter inning dead times and replay actions as I wish
hmm... the one test I tried I got the super-informative libmimms connection error message. I'll open the record command to config file.
 
Old 03-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #968
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophile View Post
Last season there were a couple of occasions where I couldn't get in front of the TV in time for first pitch so I "hacked" the DVR function in by using -dumpstream in the player command and a cron job to get things started. In every occasion, the stream would copy fine for a while but then the connection would inexplicably be lost and I'd have to just miss what I'd missed and start it live.

In other words, I had very bad luck with -dumpstream and stability/reliability. Maybe I was doing it wrong, though.

I would not worry about the effects of saving the files locally. There is already a massive network of TV episode file sharing on the internet and you can't find baseball games anywhere. It's just as easy to DVR a baseball game off ESPN as it is an episode of Battlestar Galactica, but no one's doing it. I don't think it's really an issue.
I've been testing mlbdvr with great success at recording. Of course, the traffic volume has been low owing to pre-season (even with WBC).
 
Old 03-13-2009, 07:55 PM   #969
daftcat
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My mimms version is very old and unfortunately, updating to a newer version of libmmms/mimms is going very poorly.

I have opened up the record command to config file. I hope to get an initial version out to you guys this weekend so you can test it while there are still some WBC games left. I've lost all interest in watching Spring Training with the WBC happening. :-)
 
Old 03-14-2009, 04:32 AM   #970
Onip
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with libmms-0.4 and mimmms-3.2.1 I've never had any issue using as video_player command mimms --resume %s.

Authentication, login and cookie management is all left to mlbviewer.
 
Old 03-14-2009, 02:45 PM   #971
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onip View Post
with libmms-0.4 and mimmms-3.2.1 I've never had any issue using as video_player command mimms --resume %s.

Authentication, login and cookie management is all left to mlbviewer.
Wow! What a hack job I had to do this morning.

I have no idea how it happened, but somehow my libgli installed and libglib-dev available were different versions. So different in fact, that I could not find the correct libglib2.0-dev version in the debian sources. Since I knew I was only looking for header files out of that package, I hopped over to the ubuntu repository and downloaded their .deb for the right version.

So that got libmms-0.4 built.

Then I was able to get mimms installed. However, when I went to run mimms, they have a logic error in the command-line parsing. First they have:

if len(args) > 2: print_usage

then a few lines down they have:

if len(args) > 2:
filename = arg[1]
else:
filename = None

Thankfully, this was the only line I had to change:

if len(args) > 1:
filename = arg[1]

So mimms is finally working for me (theoretically.) Getting it to work with mlbdvr is proving more tricky. I'll get something released tomorrow and I want you to test it with your setup.
 
Old 03-16-2009, 12:16 AM   #972
daftcat
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svn revision 115, mlbdvr.py

Well, here it is finally. It's a spin-off of mlbviewer. It would make more sense to branch the code in svn but I don't think I have that permission from Jesse. It will likely be an svn only script for awhile, and not installed as part of the setup.py script.

A couple of usage notes.

mlbdvr.py is not activated unless you add a config file option. Read the DVR-POLICY file for more information.

DVR-POLICY also has some information on the supported additional options and what their defaults are.

In normal operation, selecting a stream will begin the recorder process as defined in the video_recorder option (or the default: mplayer -dumpstream %s -dumpfile %f). The player process (your video_player option with a filename instead of a url) will begin after a configurable delay (60 seconds is the default.) This keeps the player from trying to buffer past the end of the recorded portion of the stream.

If the player process crashes, it will attempt to restart playback at the next status interval (5 seconds, not configurable.) It will attempt to resume close to the place it left off (assuming you hadn't paused or rewinded.) The resume time is elapsed (recorder time) minus ( playback delay plus 5 seconds (status interval) ).

If the recorder process crashes, ooops! You're screwed. I don't think I can tell the difference between a crash and a normal end of stream, but I'll look into this for a subsequent revision.

There are more options and usage details in the DVR-POLICY file.

Oh, and games are recorded to $HOME/mlbdvr_games by default but can be overriden with a config file option.

Anyway, give it a whirl. I'm tempted to say this is as-is code but I may fix minor issues and occasionally update it if there are major changes that go into the mlbviewer.py code.
 
Old 03-16-2009, 12:19 AM   #973
daftcat
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Honestly, I've had a hacked version of mlbviewer that just did the recording part since sometime last summer. I got tired of trying to merge changes between mlbviewer and mlbrecord, so I decided to unofficially merge the programs. Now I don't get the burping and other rude noises I'd often hear when trying to play live streams. I'm happy with it. I hope you will be too.
 
Old 03-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #974
knappster
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Hey daftcat, this looks like a great app, and I'm going to be signing up for mlb.tv this year. I was just wondering if this has the capability for HD playback or the standard only. Is the premium package worth it? Sorry if I missed an earlier post in the previous 60+ pages that explains this.

I have a desktop with Debian Lenny 64-bit but I also have a KnoppMyth box connected to an HDTV that I would like to be able to get decent quality on.
 
Old 03-16-2009, 11:56 AM   #975
daftcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knappster View Post
Hey daftcat, this looks like a great app, and I'm going to be signing up for mlb.tv this year. I was just wondering if this has the capability for HD playback or the standard only. Is the premium package worth it? Sorry if I missed an earlier post in the previous 60+ pages that explains this.

I have a desktop with Debian Lenny 64-bit but I also have a KnoppMyth box connected to an HDTV that I would like to be able to get decent quality on.
No, it will not support HD quality. HD is done through the NexDef plugin and there is no NexDef plugin for Linux.

Also, there is much magic the Flash player does to auto-negotiate the best quality, and I don't think we will support any of that either. I honestly haven't had the time to sniff/firebug the beta flash player during a live game (mostly because the live games have been at inconvenient times for me).

So we will probably support about 800K, the same as last year, except that will also be available to the non-premium subscribers.

The DVR we're doing also won't be as cool as the Flash player with the NexDef plugin which allows you to jump to specific half innings including those before you connected to the stream. Again, since there is no NexDef for Linux, this is a moot point.

The DVR I provide here is mainly just a convenience for those of us who have already been recording games to smooth out streaming and playback issues.

So, in short, it's probably not worth it to buy the Premium package if you aren't running one of their supported OS. They have done all the premium features including HD in their NexDef plugin this year. In any case, 800K is still pretty nice.
 
  


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