Extract recorded television shows from TiVo's Media File System using mfs_ftp and your garden-variety FTP application.
By this time you should be pretty comfortable FTPing [Hack #55] stuff back and forth to your TiVo. Most of your file transfers have, up to now, been one way and rather simple—moving small files and software to your network-enabled TiVo [Hack #49]. Let's raise the bar a little and siphon some of that recorded television programming out of the TiVo.
No matter how hard you look, you're not going to find those recorded television shows anywhere on your TiVo's filesystem [Hack #29]. The reason is simple: you're not seeing the entire filesystem.
TiVo's hard drives are organized in two ways: there's the standard Linux filesystem you are seeing when you telnet in [Hack #52], and then there is the Media Filesystem (MFS) that actually holds all the recordings. The regular old FTP server (tivoftpd) doesn't have access to the MFS, but Riley Cassel's mfs_ftp (http://alt.org/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=81) does.
Before getting mfs_ftp going, you'll need to get a hold of a few support programs: mfs_stdinsert, mfs_tarstream, mfs_stream, and mfs_export. Thankfully, all of these programs are available in one convenient package at http://alt.org/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=86&rid=24.
Move the entire mfs_ftp_support_files.tar.gz archive over to your TiVo, drop it into /var, and unpack it:
cd /varbash-2.02# ...