Pandora on TiVo

I’m an avid Pandora listener and upgraded to Pandora One. I’m also a TiVo owner as well. I was a little disappointed when I found out Pandora isn’t available on TiVo yet.

I have a server running pyTivo to stream my music and photos to my TiVo. I wanted to listen to my Pandora account on my TiVo and not wait for TiVo to do it. My plan is to use the TiVo HME SDK to write my own app, but in the short term I did the poor mans version.

My server is headless, so I’m running a command-line Pandora client called pianobar. While it plays the audio, I wanted to know how to stream it via HTTP instead of the speakers. I found that you can use gstreamer to tap into the pulseaudio monitor. WIth gstreamer I can take the PCM audio, convert it to mp3 and send it to the icecast server.

In order to do this, you need to find out the pulseaudio monitor device. I typically run:

pactl list > /tmp/output

Then I look for the Sink with a State: of RUNNING. Then grab the Monitor Source:. Once you have the monitor source, you can use gstreamer to do the rest.

gst-launch pulsesrc device=MONITORSOURCEVALUE ! audioconvert ! lame name=enc mode=0 vbr-quality=6 ! shout2send mount=/pandora.mp3 port=8000 password=hackme ip=192.168.1.10

Last step is to create an .m3u file to put in your music folder configured in pyTivo. Mine is simply one line:

http://192.168.1.10:8000/pandora.mp3

Now in your TiVo menu, select “Music & Photos”, select MyMusic (or what ever you called your music share in pyTivo). Find the .m3u file, and select the url that’s inside. Sit back and listen to your Pandora stream on your TiVo.

TiVo saga fixed (for now)

As many of you know I’ve had quite a fun time getting my TiVo Premiere working with Time Warner Cable. The process started on June 15th when Time Warner came out to install the CableCARD and tuning adapter but they brought a bad CableCARD. After MANY visits and calls, a tech came out on July 3rd with a working CableCARD. This lasted 1 week! When there was a storm and we lost power at the house briefly, enough to reboot everything. From that point on the tuning adapter wouldn’t work. On Tuesday July 13th, they had a tech at my house for THREE HOURS only to determine that I had a bad tuning adapter :) This
when the shit hit the fan.

Wednesday evening my neighbor, who works for Time Warner as an installer, asked me why I had 2 trucks at my house. I explained to him and he was appalled at the incompetence. He asked for my account number and said he’d take care of things for me. Thursday morning I got a call from Bob @ Time Warner Cable, apparently one of the ‘big guys’ in the Raleigh office. He apologized profusely, said there was ‘opportunity for improvement’ and that he’d have a guy at my house TODAY with a tuning adapter instead of Saturday. After lunch my neighbor calls saying ‘I’ve got a brand new tuning adapter for you. I’ll install it when I get home’. Meanwhile, at 2pm I get a TWC truck roll up to the house. I ask him why he’s here (since my neighbor has the job in his queue). The tech said, I was told to get up here ASAP because you need a tuning adapter. YAY! for communication. Either I get no service or I get superb service. I sent the tech away since I knew my neighbor would take care of things PROPERLY.

That evening my neighbor shows up with a nice new tuning adapter, we plug it in. Let it provision itself, test, reboot tuning adapter, retest and IT WORKS! Finally after a week we get a working tuning adapter.

So how long does it take to install a TiVo with Time Warner? Let’s see it by the numbers:

  • one month
  • 7 tech visits
  • 9 truck rolls
  • 2 CableCARDs
  • 2 tuning adapters
  • 4 consumer group complaints (NC DOJ, BBB, FCC, WRAL 5 on your side)

If you are planning on getting a TiVo which despite my experience is an AWESOME DVR! My advice to you is be patient and persistent.
Check back next week to see if I start the process again.