[icecast] Icecast2 and TiVo

Adam D. Ligas adam at physco.com
Thu Aug 21 06:41:30 UTC 2003

Hey guys,

As some of you may or may not know, TiVo recently came out with an optional 
software package for their Series2 TiVo units.  They call it "Home Media 
Option" and, among other things, it lets you play mp3s on your TiVo.

So, some clever folks figure out that if you fed your TiVo and m3u playlist 
that pointed to an Internet stream, it would play that stream for you.  Very 

So I decided to take it one step further.  I installed a radio card and sound 
card into my server.  The radio card goes into my sound card, and DarkIce 
grabs that data and sends it to an Icecast2 server (I installed from the 
nightly snapshop on 8-16-2003).  Additionally, I wrote some PHP that runs a 
command line tuner and changes the station based on the "playlist" you pick.  
Now I can get local radio on my TiVo :).

When I connect to the Iceast2 stream with Winamp, all is well.  It works 
perfectly.  However, when I connect to it with the TiVo, I get a different 
response.  The TiVo "play" icon flashes back and forth from Green to Yellow 
rapidly.  This never stops.

I thought this might of had something to do with how the streaming works on 
TiVo's side, so I decided to connect to another stream with the same bitrate 
over the Internet.  The TiVo connects and plays fine - no flashing "play" 
icon.  I thought this was odd because my local lan is way faster then my 
internet conenction, so for it to work online and not locally seemed really 

TiVo doesn't really define what the "yellow" icon means.  As best I can tell, 
from playing other mp3s and streams, it means the TiVo is buffering, waiting 
for data from the network, or the stream has stopped.

Even more odd is that even with the flashing "play" icon, the TiVo is playing 
the stream perfectly fine.  The sound is coming out without a skip or anything.

Why I am trying to fix it when it works, you might ask, is because as long as 
that icon is flashing the "play" bar won't go away.  Meaning if I left it on 
for long periods of time it would burn into my screen.  Needless to say, that 
would suck.

I thought this might have been a simple buffer sort of thing - maybe I could 
just increase the buffer for the stream on the Icecast2 server - but I didn't 
see anything in the icecast.xml file, nor could I find any information on it 
online anywhere.

So, I'm stumped.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on, or have some 
things I could try?  I would really love to get this working, and then 
eventually get it out there for others to use once I polish it up and document 

Thanks a lot for any assistance you can provide - I really appreciate it.

- Adam
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