JavaHMO is replacement software for the TiVo Desktop software that serves up files for the TiVo Home Media Option (which is now free for all standalone Series 2 TiVos). Aside from duplicating the existing features, it adds weather, movie times and the ability to grab pictures from the Internet. It also refines some existing features, like support for Shoutcast streams and Rendezvous discovery for non-Mac platforms.
The most impressive part of the project is that it uses existing TiVo functionality to implement these features. For example, it will turn the cinema listings into an image which can be displayed as a photo. You can even interact with it, demonstrated by using the “Rotate 90 degrees” feature to control a game of Tic Tac Toe.
Unfortunately, it seems to be a lot slower than the native OS X desktop software. It took 10 to 15 seconds for the features to show up in Home Media Option, whereas the official software shows up almost immediately. Another downside is the usability. In addition to making sure you have the latest Java runtime environment, you need to download Java Advanced Imaging (which needs to reboot to install), then you need to install the package. Not exactly “Drop into Applications” installation of native OS X applications.
It also is somewhat confusing to configure, there’s supposedly a web interface but I couldn’t connect to it. Instead, I had to edit an XML file to configure it. Finally, TiVo did a good job of integrating their desktop app with the iApps on OS X, JavaHMO doesn’t come close due to its cross-platform nature.
If you want something geeky to customize your TiVo with, check it out. Me, I’m going to be sticking with the official software, at least for now.

4 responses to “JavaHMO”

  1. Anon says:

    The interface isn’t quite up to snuff (meaning it’s not as easy to use as it should be… yet), but it adds so much to the mix that it shouldn’t be written off. Weather, cinema, a view of you desktop (on Windows at least… not sure about other OSs), a current view of any image on the Internet, Shoutcast streams, etc.
    It is an Open Source project. If there are problems, we should help the devs fix them. Step one is letting them know, through existing channels, what those problems are. File a bug on SourceForge.
    Java Advanced Imaging is included in the latest version of the JavaHMO installer Wizard for Windows. If it’s not included in the installer for Mac OS X, that might be something that the devs would want to know is a problem, so they can fix it. Or, as is popular to say in the Open Source Community, I’m sure patches are always welcome.

  2. Mike says:

    JavaHMO is MUCH better than the official Windows version from Tivo. My mp3 library is so large that the TivoHMO software times out before it is able to list all my albums. Same with the photo viewer.
    JavaHMO may have some kinks to work out, but it’s already head and shoulders above the Windoze version of Tivo’s HMO software.

  3. Mike says:

    JavaHMO is a godsend. All my digital music is stored on an always-up fileserver running Fedora Core 2. After a couple of downloads (JRE, JAI, JavaHMO) and their installations my collection is now available from my TiVo. It works flawlessly as a music player and photo viewer. Thank you JavaHMO developers.

  4. Alex says:

    I’ve used JavaHMO in the past however; I ran into some problems. I am looking forward to version 2.0. It looks as though there are going to be a bunch of new features as well as bug fixes!

Leave a Reply