View Poll Results: Preferred file format for archiving recordings on PC:

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  • ty file

    12 14.12%
  • VOB file

    4 4.71%
  • MPG file

    8 9.41%
  • AVI MP4/Divx/Xvid

    16 18.82%
  • DV

    0 0%
  • QuickTime

    1 1.18%
  • WMV

    1 1.18%
  • ASF

    0 0%
  • I burn DVDs and erase the files

    23 27.06%
  • other

    1 1.18%
  • ty+

    5 5.88%
  • tmf

    14 16.47%
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Thread: best file format for archiving recordings on your PC

  1. #1
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    best file format for archiving recordings on your PC

    I'm curious how people are archiving their recordings on the PC, both TiVo extracted content and DVD ripped content. Hard drives are big enough to be feasible archive storage at less than $1 per GB and dropping. What file format do you prefer for archiving content, keeping in mind you may need to burn anything to DVD at any time, play it on your PC at any time, and re-edit as needed without re-encoding anything.
    Last edited by ChromePlanet; 04-04-2004 at 02:37 AM.
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  2. #2
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    you left out .tmf the one format I prefer if I loose a hard drive on a tivo and want to push shows back to a tivo or want to spool back at any time to replay...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgkahn
    you left out .tmf the one format I prefer if I loose a hard drive on a tivo and want to push shows back to a tivo or want to spool back at any time to replay...
    My bad. I'm still learning a lot. What's different about TMF vs. TY? Which programs use it?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChromePlanet
    My bad. I'm still learning a lot. What's different about TMF vs. TY? Which programs use it?
    About the only two softwares I can think of that don't support it are TyStudio and jdiners stuff. TyStudio just hasn't been updated in a long time. I think jdiner doesn't add it b/c he doesn't like open source stuff.
    Last edited by AlphaWolf; 04-04-2004 at 03:46 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgkahn
    you left out .tmf the one format I prefer if I loose a hard drive on a tivo and want to push shows back to a tivo or want to spool back at any time to replay...
    ty files can be reinserted with mfs_ftp. If they're extracted with mfs_ftp then they can also have the xml data re-inserted as well.

    edit: I believe Riley gave some good info about differences in the mfs_ftp thread. a TMF file is just a tar file with the extracted chunks of a recording as well as an xml file with program description data. The ty files extracted with mfs_ftp employ a little trick whereby the xml data is inserted in a 'junk' section at the end of a file. Most apps that read ty files ignore the data at the tail end of the file. A byproduct of this is that the xml data is not applied until the recording has almost finished insertion whereas a tmf file will have correct program data very soon after an insertion starts.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaWolf
    About the only two softwares I can think of that don't support it are TyStudio and jdiners stuff. TyStudio just hasn't been updated in a long time. I think jdiner doesn't add it b/c he doesn't like open source stuff.
    I believe that jdiner's stuff has supported tmf files for some time now. I don't have any firsthand experince with tytools and tmf but it is mentioned in the realease notes. Either way, conversion from tmf to ty is pretty quick. The bigger issue might be storage 'swng space' while converting.
    Last edited by cojonesdetoro; 04-04-2004 at 04:13 PM.
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  6. #6
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    For maximum flexibility, what would be the downside to collecting in MPG/AC3 with generic MPG files, which can play in most software players and can be imported in most editors and can also be imported into most DVD authors? None of the other formats can make that universal compatiblity claim can they?
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  7. #7
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    I think tyshow can play tmf files but I can't rember if he ever added it

  8. #8
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    ChromePlanet:

    the downside to archiving in mpg / divx4 / xvid (all standard formats) is that you can't put that back in the tivo yet (really needa finish that project, yanno?)

    while there are lots of cool hardware / software dvd / media players out there, the TiVo interface is hard to beat

    mac, pc, xbox & dvd capable tivos (including s2's with external usb dvd drives) can play back insertable tmf/ty+ from disk

    the only reason to archive in mpg/vob (same thing) is playback on plain vanilla standalone dvd players that don't support anything else

    edit: ty+ & tmf added to the poll
    Last edited by rc3105; 04-05-2004 at 12:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    when archiving to hard drives remember that drives WILL fail and so make sure that you store things to a RAID array

    I am speaking from experiance as I just had a (full) 250G drive die on my, that's a LOT of shows to loose at once.

    as a result I went out and built a 1TB array so it won't ever happen to me again

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChromePlanet
    For maximum flexibility, what would be the downside to collecting in MPG/AC3 with generic MPG files, which can play in most software players and can be imported in most editors and can also be imported into most DVD authors? None of the other formats can make that universal compatiblity claim can they?
    Are you talking about transcoding the whole stream? If so, that would be the downside. jAlong with not being able to re-insert it on the TiVo. If not transcoding, you probably won't have the universal compatibilty you might think when you try to import into at least some DVD authors.

    ew

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChromePlanet
    For maximum flexibility, what would be the downside to collecting in MPG/AC3 with generic MPG files, which can play in most software players and can be imported in most editors and can also be imported into most DVD authors? None of the other formats can make that universal compatiblity claim can they?
    One downside is size! If you reencode to DivX or WMV you can reduce the file size - often by as much as 75% without causing much, if any, degradation in quality.

    The problem is that standalone DVD players typically can't play these file types.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rc3105
    ChromePlanet:

    the downside to archiving in mpg / divx4 / xvid (all standard formats) is that you can't put that back in the tivo yet (really needa finish that project, yanno?)

    while there are lots of cool hardware / software dvd / media players out there, the TiVo interface is hard to beat

    mac, pc, xbox & dvd capable tivos (including s2's with external usb dvd drives) can play back insertable tmf/ty+ from disk

    the only reason to archive in mpg/vob (same thing) is playback on plain vanilla standalone dvd players that don't support anything else

    edit: ty+ & tmf added to the poll
    My philosophy on this is looking forward into the future, trying to consider where software and hardware are going so that the files I save now will be usable down the road.

    Where I believe we're headed is a living room device that can play both secure (scrambled/rights-managed files like encrypted DVD, WMV, AAC, WMA, copy-protect-flagged HDTV, scrambled TY) and unlocked content (MP3, WAV, CD audio, MPG, AVI/MP4). For maximum flexibility, we hackers will convert all we can to an unlocked format so we can burn, edit, share, and transfer under fair use.

    That said, it would be wise to choose one popular high-quality format that is both flexible and universal with staying power.

    Size should not be an issue. We have 1TB drives now. Prices drop every day. Even a dual layer 9GB DVD will seem way too small very soon. Archive on the hard drive and you can burn DVDs at any time as you need them. Blu-ray is around the corner for HD-DVD, but why mess with a bunch of discs? A modded Xbox can store lotsa movies on its drive and play them nicely on your TV or from the hard drive on your network. The TiVo of tomorrow will as well, though it probably won't come from TiVo.

    Eventually, hard drives will be smaller and lighter than a single DVD.

    I'm not concerned about not being able to put shows back into a TiVo, because a TiVo, as it is now, is a limited device. A modded Xbox is a far more useful tool. And it's only a matter of time before someone creates an open-source TiVo killer box that runs on Linux and does the same thing only with open files. Don't get me wrong. I love TiVo. But it's like Sony's Magic Gate system for MP3s... it's hard to breathe.

    I use a Wiebetech Firewire-800 dual-bay removable drive system. I can fit tons of movies and shows on a 320GB drive. When I travel, I transfer what I want to a laptop over the network. And I can stream to a modded Xbox for watching content on TV. I can even stream to a Sony PS2 running BroadQ software.

    So from where I see it, archiving content to generic MPEG-2 files can't be beat. But I'm open to other ideas.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastwind
    Are you talking about transcoding the whole stream? If so, that would be the downside. jAlong with not being able to re-insert it on the TiVo. If not transcoding, you probably won't have the universal compatibilty you might think when you try to import into at least some DVD authors.

    ew
    No, I feel ill about transcoding anything. Quality is paramount. Just found out about the incompatiblity issues with extracted TY to MPG/VOB and editors. Perhaps this can be fixed without transcoding. Although I was able to load an MPG file created with TyTool into Adobe Premiere, so exactly where will things go wrong?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkozun
    One downside is size! If you reencode to DivX or WMV you can reduce the file size - often by as much as 75% without causing much, if any, degradation in quality.

    The problem is that standalone DVD players typically can't play these file types.
    I hate lossy compression. I ripped 1200 CDs into WAV files just to maintain full quality.

    We're dipping below $1 per GB. That's cheap enough to avoid compression past the original MPEG-2 we get off the TiVos.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChromePlanet
    So from where I see it, archiving content to generic MPEG-2 files can't be beat. But I'm open to other ideas.
    The main reason you don't want to do this at this point in time, is that no tystream conversion software does a proper job of this yet. Jdiners stuff artificially syncs the audio, and some codecs/devices will not properly sync or seek as a result in some cases, and in most cases you can't make any changes to these streams with any third party software without re-encoding. Tydemux doesn't have any of these shortcomings, however, it can screw up on some streams as it was never completed and some bugs remain.

    If you ask me, the best thing to do with it is keep it in tmf format, because tmf is as true to the original as you will get. Namely, all of the stream info is preserved, and the parts aren't all concatonated together, so if the stream is abnormal or corrupt in any way, its more likely that the software can compensate. When the software advances enough to be able to make the resultant streams more kosher, you'll have more options in the future by preserving the tmf.
    Last edited by AlphaWolf; 04-07-2004 at 12:58 AM.
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