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Making MythTV recordings more Share Friendly

So, you have your LMCE system happily recording all your favorite shows, and you have a linux/windows/mac box that you wish to use to watch these shows, with XBMC or whatever your poison. Here is the issue. LMCE happily shares out /home for all systems connected to the LMCE internal network. So you browse over to /home/public/data/videos/tv_shows_1 and what do you see?


But what you want to see is :

Lost Boys- The Tribe - 2008-08-02, 1-00 AM.mpg
Not Going Out - 2008-08-12, 11-40 PM.mpg
Not Going Out - 2008-08-19, 11-40 PM.mpg
Primeval - 2008-08-23, 9-00 PM.mpg
Radio - 2008-08-11, 8-14 PM.nuv
Skins - 2008-08-24, 10-00 PM - Jal.mpg
Skins - 2008-08-24, 9-00 PM - Cassie.mpg
Skins - 2008-09-01, 1-00 AM - Chris.mpg
South Park - 2008-07-26, 10-00 PM - Simpsons Already Did It.mpg
South Park - 2008-07-26, 10-30 PM - Make Love, Not Warcraft.mpg
South Park - 2008-07-26, 11-00 PM - Good Times With Weapons.mpg
South Park - 2008-07-26, 11-30 PM - Cartoon Wars.mpg
South Park - 2008-07-27, 0-30 AM - It Hits the Fan.mpg
Stargate Atlantis - 2008-08-01, 10-00 PM - The Daedalus Variations.mpg
Stargate Atlantis - 2008-08-15, 10-00 PM - The Ghost in the Machine.mpg
Stargate Atlantis - 2008-08-22, 10-00 PM - The Shrine.mpg
The Shield - 2008-09-02, 10-00 PM - Coefficient of Drag.mpg
Z Rock - 2008-08-31, 11-00 PM.nuv
Z Rock - 2008-08-31, 11-30 PM.mpg

So what magic force causes this to happen? . This script replaces or creates symlinks from the source recording to a "Human Readable" format. WARNING!!!! Do not run this inside your recordings directory, create a new one. See below!!!!!

I first saw this being used in a script called from my former KnoppMyth platform, and it is still a part of mythtv, but you have to unearth it. This procedure is how to do that.

Locating and Enabling the file

By default the file is stored in


In fedora, the file is located at /usr/share/doc/mythtv-docs-X.XX/contrib, where X.XX is current mythtv verson. ex 0.21

The file is called

In Fedora, file is not GZ'd so just copy and set to executable, actually there is no need to copy, it's fine where it is.

The first thing you do is copy the file over to /usr/local/bin and gunzip it:

cp /usr/share/doc/mythtv-backend/contrib/ /usr/local/bin
gunzip /usr/local/bin/
chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/ Usage

The script has the following usage switches: --verbose --format "%c_%Y%m%d%H%i%s"
All options:
--link [destination directory]
   If you would like to work like the old, specify
   --link and an optional pathname. If no pathname is given, links will be
   created in the show_names directory inside of the current mythtv data
   directory on this machine.  eg:
   WARNING: ALL symlinks within the destination directory and its
   subdirectories (recursive) will be removed when using the --link option.
   Include live tv recordings, affects both linking and renaming.
   default: do not link/rename live tv recordings
   default:  %T %- %Y-%m-%d, %g-%i %A %- %S
   %T = title    (aka show name)
   %S = subtitle (aka episode name)
   %R = description
   %C = category (as reported by grabber)
   %c = chanid
   %U = recording group
   %y = year, 2 digits
   %Y = year, 4 digits
   %n = month
   %m = month, leading zero
   %j = day of month
   %d = day of month, leading zero
   %g = 12-hour hour
   %G = 24-hour hour
   %h = 12-hour hour, with leading zero
   %H = 24-hour hour, with leading zero
   %i = minutes
   %s = seconds
   %a = am/pm
   %A = AM/PM
   %- = separator character
   /   = directory/folder (path separator)
   * For end time, prepend an "e" to the appropriate time/date format code
     above; i.e. "%eG" gives the 24-hour hour for the end time.
    * For original airdate, prepend an "o" to the year, month, or day format
     codes above; i.e. "%oY" gives the year in which the episode was first
    * A suffix of .mpg or .nuv will be added where appropriate.
    * To separate links into subdirectories, include the / format specifier
     between the appropriate fields.  For example, "%T/%S" would create
     a directory for each title containing links for each recording named
     by subtitle.  You may use any number of subdirectories in your format
     specifier.  If used without the --link option, "/" will be replaced
     with the "%-" separator character.
    The string used to separate sections of the link name.  Specifying the
   separator allows trailing separators to be removed from the link name and
   multiple separators caused by missing data to be consolidated. Indicate the
   separator character in the format string using either a literal character
   or the %- specifier.
    default:  '-'
    Characters in the link name which are not legal on some filesystems will
   be replaced with the given character
    illegal characters:  \ : * ? < > | "
    default:  '-'
    Replace whitespace in filenames with underscore characters.
    default:  No underscores
    Print debug info.
    default:  No info printed to console
   Show this help text.

Creating your own version of the script (the one I use)

This will have to be done on a per tuner/recording directory basis. There is also one caveat, you do not want to run the script on the recordings directory, you want a different directory for your "exported" symlinks. For example I create /export/tv.

So for the core (/home/public/data/videos/tv_shows_1)

sudo mkdir /export/tv

Add them to samba's smb.conf

sudo vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Add: (I put this between the [public] and [home] entries

       comment = mythtv pretty files
       browseable = yes
       writeable = yes
       path = /export
       public = no
       guest ok = no
       force user = root
       force group = public
       create mask = 0774
       directory mask = 0775
       inherit acls = yes
       inherit uid = yes
       inherit owner = yes
       inherit permissions = yes

Restart samba services:

/etc/init.d/samba restart

And the script: /usr/local/bin/mythpretty

cd /home/public/data/videos/tv_shows_1 --link /export/tv --format %T/%S%-%Y-%m-%d
This new update creates a Sub-Directory by show name, and then lists the episodes/date underneath.
chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/

For my case I also added to the core's /etc/exports file


And to the MD's /etc/fstab file /export nfs intr,udp,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,retrans=10,timeo=50 1 1

Restart nfs server

/etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart

Schedule the job as cron

On Core: (Runs every day at midnight to keep it sync'd up)

sudo crontab -e


0 0 * * * /usr/local/bin/

Run it as a User Job after recording

This can be done easily in 2 ways

1. Use the "Computing" LMCE menu item and run mythtv-setup (or from the cli if you prefer as root)

2. Use MythWeb (The Easiest)

Method 1 - Using MythTV-Setup

Now from the mythtv-setup option, Go to:

General > and navigate to the User Jobs portion.

Insure to 'tick' 'Allow User Job 3", and in the line for User Job 3 add the following:

Replace "User Job 3" with "Export To Network Share" (No quotes of course)
Job line "/usr/local/bin/ %DIR% %FILE%" (No quotes of course)

This should be located directly below the Save Recording to Pluto DB job (User Job 1)

NOTE!!! It is very important to add this job as Job 3, as Job 1 is always overwritten by LMCE to the Save Recording Job. Also I use User Job 3 here because I am using the Remove Commercials script as user job 2. Mythtv:Remove_Commercials. That being said, if you are not using this job (and you should :P) then of course you will be using the "User Job 2" slot for this new job. :)

Method 2 - Using Mythweb (Easiest)

Go to MythWeb

Move your mouse to "Settings" and click "MythTV Settings Table"

Scroll to the bottom, to where you can see the User Job Entries

Under "UserJob3" enter the line

/usr/local/bin/ %DIR% %FILE%

Under "UserJobDesc3" enter the text

Export To Network Share

Now at the bottom click "Save"

That's it your done!


Now when using another non-LMCE system to view your MythTV recordings, when setting up video shares, point them to /export/tvX where X is your paticular setup.


If you run this inside your recordings directory i.e not specifying a different directory w/out the --link switch, it will replace all of your 1122_blahblah.mpg files with the renamed file, this will cause LMCE's database to get out of sync, and may hose things up. So, that said, don't do it! :)

If you create a directory under the /home diretory, things will start showing up twice in the LMCE menu. SO the need to create a different directory OUTSIDE of /home, is also very IMPORTANT. So make sure you keep it out of /home. :)

Best of luck, and Happy viewing!