Continuing in my TiVo thread… during my geeking binge that included the discovery of how to play AAC files on my TiVo’s digital music player I also managed to teach my TiVo some other new tricks. The whole thing started with a re-visit to the TiVo Home Media Engine (HME) website. From there I followed a link to a whole HME portal site with links to a bunch of applications that can run on your TiVo. Some of the available applications let you look up maps via Google Maps, read your email, view your friend’s Flickr photos, and remotely control iTunes (intended primarily for use with that Airport Express thing Apple sells).

The most comprehensive HME project I ran across is called Galleon and promises to be a complete media server offering a bunch of features not provided by the TiVo Desktop media server provided by TiVo themselves. Among those features is an RSS reader, Weather forecasts, local movie listings, and my favorite… easy access to streaming mp3 radio stations. Excited about the prospects of all of this I quickly downloaded the third beta release and went to work trying to get it to work. It’s java so in theory it should work fine on my Mac but after spending a couple of hours fiddling with it I came to the conclusion that it does not yet work properly in Mac OS X. That was a bummer, but then I checked out JavaHMO, the project that spawned Galleon. JavaHMO is a similar sort of thing but it works within the much more limited Home Media Option framework rather than the newer and better Home Media Engine. JavaHMO is essentially ‘obsolete’ technology at this point, but it’s much more polished than the early releases of Galleon available now and it works fine on my Mac. I now have JavaHMO set up to stream mp3 radio stations and download RSS feeds from a few favorite websites. The streaming radio is the thing I wanted most and it works well enough for my needs.

Note that the HME applications require that your TiVo have the very latest version of its operating system and yours may not have it yet. If you look in the System Information area it should say version 7.1 with some extra stuff after it. The 7.1 version of the software also enables the new TivoToGo service that lets you download recordings from the TiVo to your computer and watch them later. You can’t yet watch the recordings on a Mac, but you can download them using JavaHMO or from the new web server built-into the TiVO. The web server interface has not been documented by TiVo as far as I know, probably because not everyone has it yet.