Adding TED Talks to XBMC and Flexget

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TED Talks cover a wide range of interesting topics by luminaries from different walks of life. You'll find talks by Melinda Gates (Bill Gates' wife), Jamie Oliver (Chef), Al Gore (former vice president), Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder) and a host of otherĀ  interesting speakers.

I checked thetvdb.com, the TV information web site used by XBMC's default TV scraper and sure enough TED Talks was one of the shows available. Armed with this I added to my Flexget config.yml automatic torrent downloading configuration file:

presets:
ted:
download: ~/Videos/TED/
series:
- TED
fourteen:
rss: http://feeds.feedburner.com/tedtalks_video
preset: ted

There are a bunch of rules before and after the ted: preset, but to keep the article small I've excluded that information. The TED feed checked out okay when I ran flexget --check, but what I forgot was that I included a RSS feed that was for the full video file, not for TED torrents. When I ran flexget it took a very long time for flexget to complete because it was downloading entire episodes of TED.

The other next surprise was that the episodes I downloaded were newer than anything on the thetvdb.com TEDTalks database. When I double checked the thetvdb.com TEDTalks database I saw that the most recent episode listed was for August. It kind of defeats the purpose of including the flexget feed if new episodes are no longer being added... or I need to find a different scraper to update the information.

Lastly there's no real way to know which talk fits into which TED season other than looking at the year stamp and making a guess based on the thetvdb.com web site. It means renaming, which is time consuming.

TED could make this process simpler by releasing torrent feeds, not just full video feeds. Hopefully then thetvdb.com would get updated with more current content.

If anyone knows of a better way to include TED Talks (other than streaming) in XBMC please let me know.