Thursday, January 26, 2006

TiVo and DirecTV's XM channels

Let me preface this post with the statement that this is just something that I was wondering about and not something that I am encouraging or condoning.

DirecTV replaced all of my digital music channels with XM channels sometime late last year; I assume that they did this because:

  • Hughes owns both companies
  • It was a way to move some money between the 2 companies
  • It was a massive stated number of subscriber boost for XM in the face of serious competition from Sirius

Ok, so I have a TiVo (not a DirecTiVo) hooked up between my DirecTV and my television.  I can set my TiVo to record any channel, including XM channels — chances are good that I could probably record a XM channel until I filled up all 80 hours on my TiVo.

Here are some pretty good instructions on how to get video from your TiVo onto your iPod, so I would question why you couldn’t just use these instructions to convert the audio.  I’m assuming that you would be carrying a whole lot of extraneous video information, but I’m also assuming that there are some programs out there that could strip the video data and simply preserve the audio tracks.

Alternatively, it would seem that you could hook up a computer with a sound card to the audio out jacks on your TiVo and use any sort of audio recording program to record the audio that you want.  Sure, you could probably just hook up a computer with a hard drive directly to the audio out on your DirecTV receiver and just record, but with TiVo, you would be able to use the fast forward function to skip songs that you don’t want to record down to your music library because of the graphical changes on the screen that tell you what is playing when the songs change.  Yes, I do realize that with a nice DirecTV receiver, you could get an optical audio out and run that directly into a nice computer sound card, but I would think that RCA outs from the TiVo into a good sound card would provide a perfectly acceptable song recording.

Surely I’m not the first person to think of this. 

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