garyan2 wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:53 am
I wish the same thing, but not for the same reason. I would say right now ZAP2MXF is not dead, I just need to get enough information to make a good decision. Because ZAP2MXF is so singularly focused on basically the output of zap2xml, I have reservations. I reached out to the creator of zap2xml concerning Zap2it and webscraping, and his position is "I leave users to decide for themselves." I will wait for a response from Zap2it for their opinion/position. If their opinion is unfavorable of zap2xml, then ZAP2MXF is dead in its current form.
Now I can appreciate the creator of zap2xml's position, I am basically heading down the same path by creating a generic XMLTV to MXF program. Being generic, I can certainly point to a lot of XMLTV generators that come from paid-for APIs or services... particularly overseas. Even knowing that there will be some XMLTV files used that could be questionable in their origin, the other uses brings legitimacy to the need for such a program. I was hoping to get the generic version out before MS shut it all down (I didn't expect 1/1/2020), but as you can see I've been a bit busy lately.
I'm not a fan of webscraping though I've done it myself a couple times in the past. I justified that because I was the only one doing it with the program I created and it was for my own personal use. If I created something that could be seen as abusive being used by thousands of people, then I have to recognize that a large portion of the blame and damages would probably fall on me. Now you may think that what zap2xml does is fine, and I'm sure there are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of people who think the same and use it, but I like to be a bit more responsible and aware. So I guess I'm too nice to other peoples property and works, and too mean to other peoples wants and desires.
Another point to make here, yesterday Schedules Direct's servers had a bit of an issue due to the large influx of new members downloading guides for obvious reasons. Even with authorized use or their API and their AWS servers, their services were severely impacted and some users could not get their guides for a spell. Having thousands of people scraping a website would have a significant impact on that service as well without so much as a mother-may-I. At least Schedules Direct can plan for what they need based on membership numbers.
Thanks for the detailed response. It is genuinely appreciated.
Since you have apparently contacted Zap2it directly to ask about this use case, their reply should resolve this one way or the other... if they reply. That being said, I suspect that if you do get a reply it will likely be from some individual who just takes the easy approach of saying NO without actually consulting anyone. Which is a shame because I sincerely believe that theirs is a typical terms of service which is clearly intended to stop others from downloading and using their data for commercial purposes and doesn't have an issue with personal use. In fact, I really see no substantive difference between individuals going to their website and using bandwidth to peruse listings vs downloading them for their WMC guide. Indeed, if anything, the latter would likely use less bandwidth for anyone setting it up in a reasonable manner. For example, if people have to manually peruse listings on their website and then setup manual recordings in WMC then I think most would look through the Zap2it listings on their website (thus using bandwidth and server resources) far more frequently than if they simply downloaded the data into their WMC guide just once per week.
Anyway, just my thoughts on the topic. Hope it all works out somehow.
And to all the others on here that think this is all ridiculous and people should just pay the 25 bucks to SD. This ignores all the low income people who use an old (often donated or bought very cheap from a charity shop) PC with tuner hooked up to an antenna because OTA is all they can afford. But that at least gives them a free and functional DVR setup which can record their favorite shows for when they are unable to watch them live. For them, a $25 subscription is not an option. Even per year. So, for all the smug people on this forum who've made derogatory comments about people unwilling to pay a mere 25 dollars, try actually going to the poor parts of your town and do something like spend a little time in the grocery store. Watch how many people checkout with nothing more in their basket than a loaf of white bread and pack of baloney... that's it, nothing else! Because that's all they can afford to feed themselves for the week. If you've never seen that sort of heartbreaking scenario then take your head out of the sand because I have and it definitely does exist. So, not everyone is as fortunate as you and can afford a $25 subscription. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to get just a little bit of enjoyment from being able to continue using their Windows Media Center that they've relied on for years.