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Doug Blair

Tivo Transfer 2.0 Frequent Pause, Slow Transfer Speed, Pinwheel

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For several years I have been using TiVo Transfer 2.x on my Mac Mini (Server) to archive my favorite shows. Over the past few months I have noticed that I get the busy cursor (rainbow pinwheel) more and more frequently. It seems to happen after every click of a new show in the app, or after I click the transfer button, and the wheel spins about about 30-40 seconds before I can click something else. The overall transfer speed also appears to be declining, with the TiVo Transfer app now taking as long as 2 hours to transfer a 30 minute show (a 600 meg file). This used to take less time to transfer than to watch. If I watch network traffic there are a few seconds of normal looking activity, then about a half minute of next to nothing, then another spike.

 

What I THINK is going on is that every time I click or scroll the app re-evaluates the list of previously transferred shows, which has been steadily growing and now has a couple thousand episodes stored in archive space. I don't think any of the other parameters have changed - same hardware, same version of transfer (which hasn't been updated significantly even if Toast has been), same TiVo, same network.

 

Has anyone else run into this issue?

 

Is there a way I can trim the list of previously recorded shows, or allocate more memory to the process so that it doesn't do this garbage collection as often?

 

Thanks!

 

Doug

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For several years I have been using TiVo Transfer 2.x on my Mac Mini (Server) to archive my favorite shows. Over the past few months I have noticed that I get the busy cursor (rainbow pinwheel) more and more frequently. It seems to happen after every click of a new show in the app, or after I click the transfer button, and the wheel spins about about 30-40 seconds before I can click something else. The overall transfer speed also appears to be declining, with the TiVo Transfer app now taking as long as 2 hours to transfer a 30 minute show (a 600 meg file). This used to take less time to transfer than to watch. If I watch network traffic there are a few seconds of normal looking activity, then about a half minute of next to nothing, then another spike.

 

What I THINK is going on is that every time I click or scroll the app re-evaluates the list of previously transferred shows, which has been steadily growing and now has a couple thousand episodes stored in archive space. I don't think any of the other parameters have changed - same hardware, same version of transfer (which hasn't been updated significantly even if Toast has been), same TiVo, same network.

 

Has anyone else run into this issue?

 

Is there a way I can trim the list of previously recorded shows, or allocate more memory to the process so that it doesn't do this garbage collection as often?

 

Thanks!

 

Doug

You can trim the list of previously recorded shows by deleting them or moving them to a different folder.

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All but the most recently transferred shows are normally moved to other folders. the only recordings Tivo Transfer should be able to see are those in the destination folder. There must be, however, a list of the previously transferred shows (the names of the shows and episodes - not the actual .TiVo files) somewhere...

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All but the most recently transferred shows are normally moved to other folders. the only recordings Tivo Transfer should be able to see are those in the destination folder. There must be, however, a list of the previously transferred shows (the names of the shows and episodes - not the actual .TiVo files) somewhere...

That's different than my experience. I usually delete rather than move the .tivo files. do have different transfer folders on different hard drives and when selected by TiVo Transfer each one shows only the files that are in that folder. But I don't have different folders on the same hard drive. I can't find any TiVo Transfer preferences file that could be deleted or any other library item. I also use TiVo Decoder to remove the .tivo package so they become .mpeg files instead which I can stream to my TV. TiVo Transfer only sees them when they have the .tivo extension.

 

I'm surprised that TiVo Transfer can seek out all .tivo files on a hard drive even when they are not in the assigned transfer folder. Very strange. It doesn't make sense to me.

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I guess I should have been more specific. After a .TiVo file is transferred, I move it to a different directory on a different hard drive, and I, like you, process it so that it is an .mpg file which i can stream to my Apple TV at full resolution. The TiVo Transfer program can no longer see these files and does not show them in the list of programs. However, TiVo Transfer must maintain a list of the episodes that it has downloaded in the past somewhere. That's how it knows not to transfer an episode of a series which has already been transferred but which has been recorded on the TiVo a second time. My suspicion is that this list is (obviously) stored in a file somewhere and that it has become so large that there is not enough room in the TiVo Transfer app to process it rapidly.

 

There might be something else which is causing the pinwheel after every click, scroll, row select or button press, but I cannot account for it. In other apps I have encountered this sort of behavior with "garbage collection" (freeing up memory which has been used to store data that is no longer needed). If that is the cause perhaps it could be addressed by changing the amount of memory allocated to TiVo Transfer. It might also be addressed by removing some of the historic data about which episodes have been transferred. Either way I need to know more about how the data is stored and/or how the memory used is configured...

 

Doug

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Thank you. I now understand. There is something that prevents TiVo Transfer from seeing a program it already has transferred. But since I can't find any visible or invisible Library files associated with TiVo Transfer I'm wondering if it is the TiVo itself that is keeping track of what was transferred. I can check this theory by transferring using my iMac and when that is done see if the program still appears in the directory of my MBP. Continuing this thought, it may be the TiVo that is slowing down the transfers and the spinning ball may be the computer waiting for something to arrive from the TiVo.

 

I'm sorry that I'm only able to speculate and not able to be of any help. I don't know any way to reset or adjust the app. I do know I've had slow transfers at times that I've aborted. I then restarted both the TiVo and my wifi router which cleared the problem at the time. I don't do transfers very often, however, so the history isn't much.

 

Addendum: So much for that theory. I just completed a transfer and the program still shows as being available to transfer on both the Macs. It must be as you describe when using Auto Transfers. I'll try that next.

Edited by tsantee

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I have done a little more exploring with the help of a preferences setter app (called Preferences Setter, don'cha know?). In the file located at /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/com.tivo.desktop.plist there are about a dozen preference settings, and the second from the top is a database that keeps track of all the shows which have been transferred. You could just delete this file and then it's ;ike starting over - enter your MAC key and all the auto-transfer shows manually, but I didn't want to do that. Instead I just deleted that second key completely and VOILA! Now the TiVo Transfer responds quickly, with no delays after every click. The com.tivo.desktop.plist file shrank from > megabytes to about 64k only.

 

Of course, it has no memory of what has been transferred before, so I have spent the past hour or so canceling about 500 shows from being transferred (did I mention my TiVo has an extra TB drive?). There is also the fact that when an episode is recorded a second time I will transfer needlessly in the future, but this is a more acceptable condition than waiting several minutes to organize my new shows each morning.

 

thanks for taking a shot at fixing this...

 

Doug

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I really appreciate your troubleshooting this and finding a solution, even though it created a lot of work for you to prevent all the duplicate transfers. I definitely was heading in the wrong direction.

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