The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.


北青蘿 (李商隱)


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Tue, 13 Jan 2004

Linux Media Jukebox/PVR

Now that I am regularly seeing hard drives at 50 cents/gig, I have finally been spurred to taking on a project I've been devoting some thought to recently: building a Linux-based digital media jukebox/PVR.

People have been building homebrew TiVO-style devices using Linux for a while now, using software like Freevo. The idea here is basically the same, except that I want to have a LOT of storage space and I will probably use it for playing music more than they do, and recording TV less.

Now TiVO sells for $350 for the box plus $300 for a lifetime subscription. I'm willing to bet that, even using off-the-shelf components, I can build something way better than TiVO for that price.

I want to be able to:

  • Control the thing via TV and remote control.
  • Record TV like TiVO. (At the very least, be able to set up scheduled recording of shows.)
  • Play DVDs and CDs, obviously, but also be able to dump their contents to disk and play back at any time.
  • Burn DVDs or CDs of any hard drive contents.
  • Have a continuous stream of music playing all the time.
  • Connect the thing to a LAN and have it serve files.
  • Never worry about disk space. (That means 400 GB at the least.)
  • Place the thing next to my stereo components without wincing at its appearance.

And I want to spend at most $650. I think I can do this, though it's going to require a lot of Freevo hax0ring.

(The other inspiration for this is a recent offer, from a friend, of a 120GB music collection that he and six musician friends created by pooling their collective collections. Sweet.)

Here we go.

Posted at 19:22 | /computing | 2 comments | permalink


But, for my own part, it was Greek to me. -- William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"