Using at to Record DebConf Streams

While I enjoyed watching some of the DebConf 8 Video Team’s Excellent Service, not all of it was at convenient times for me, being several timezones away, so I used the following script to record some of the streams:-

#!/bin/sh
# Example: recordstream 09:00 09:55 -Otalk.ogv http://server:8000/stream
start=$1
end=$2
shift 2
( echo wget -q "$@" '&'
echo 'echo $! > $HOME/wget.pid' ) | at $start
echo 'kill $(<$HOME/wget.pid)' | at $end

I think that’s right, but I might have fluffed a $@ for a $* or similar (I usually use the simpler rc shell but it’s not on that server yet). It uses the oft-forgotten at command for one-off timed scripts, so you’ll need the at package installed. I think it might exploit the fact that players like mplayer, VLC and ffplay don’t mind truncated streams, but it seems to work fairly reliably apart from the timing.

In other Debian-related news: Debian GNU/Linux: 15 Years Old and at the Crossroads by Bruce Byfield seems an interesting summary (warning: its feedback form contains an eyetest), but doesn’t mention DebConf apart from getting its name wrong. I had the impression that there were a few “at the crossroads” type of talks at DebConf. I guess we’ll see what concrete results come out of DebConf over the next few weeks.

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