On Sunday evenings you normally have better things to do than sitting in front of the TV and watching ‘Tatort’. However, you don’t want to miss a single episode and you prefer to have your media files saved on your own device. This blog post shows you how you can automatically download ‘Tatort’ episodes with the help of a ‘Synology Diskstation’.

Prerequisites

  • ‘Synology Diskstation’ (NAS) with DSM v6 or later
  • Synology software package ‘Download Station’
  • Latest version of the file ‘mediathek.host’ from GitHub

Step by step instructions

  1. If not already done login to your ‘Synology Diskstation’ as ‘Administrator’ and install the software package ‘Download Station’. In order to do that open the ‘Package Center’, browse to the category ‘Productivity’ and then hit the button ‘Install’ for the software package ‘Download Station’ (also see image 1 below for detailed instructions).
  2. Open the newly installed ‘Download Station’. Open settings (gear icon in the lower left corner) and select ‘File Hosting’. Click the ‘Add’ button, browse to the ‘mediathek.host’ file that you have already downloaded to your hard disk (see above). Thereafter click the button ‘Add’ and close the settings window (also see image 2 below for detailed instructions).
  3. Now open a new browser window and go to the landing page of ‘Tatort‘ within the ‘ARD Mediathek‘ and copy the link of the ‘Tatort RSS feed‘ (also see image 3 below for detailed instructions).
  4. Go back to the ‘Download Station’ on your ‘Synology Diskstation’ and choose the entry ‘RSS Feeds’ in the left panel of ‘Download Station’. Then click the ‘+’ sign in the toolbar at the top of the window. In the ‘Add’ window that appears paste the RSS URL (from step 3), tick the box for automatically download all ‘Tatort’ files and define the folder where ‘Download Station’ should save the downloaded ‘Tatort’ files (also see image 4 below for detailed instructions).
  5. That’s it… As soon as ‘ARD Mediathek’ publishes a new episode of ‘Tatort’, ‘Download Station’ will start to download the media file to your ‘Synology Diskstation’. I normally have the latest ‘Tatort’ episode downloaded to my ‘Diskstation’ around one hour after it was aired on TV.
Image 1: Installation of Download Station
Image 1: Installation of Download Station
Image 2: Add hosting file
Image 3: Copy RSS feed URL from 'ARD Mediathek'
Image 4: Add RSS feed URL
Image 5: Setup of download filters

Notes

  1. The ‘mediathek.host’ file is a small script (also called parser) that helps the ‘Synology Download Station’ to interpret the information contained in the ‘Tatort RSS feed’ and thereafter to be able to download the media files. The script was developed by ‘Daniel Gehn‘. However, the script was not only written to support ‘Tatort’ downloads. You can actually use this script to download any media content that is published by the German public TV stations such as ARD, ZDF, Arte, 3sat, RBB and WDR. Pretty awesome… Just look for the RSS links of your preferred media content and refollow steps 3) and 4) above.
  2. ‘ARD Mediathek’ only publishes the ‘Tatort’ episodes that were produced by German TV stations. Episodes produced by the Austrian or Swiss TV stations are not included. However, ‘Daniel Gehn’ also provides a script for the Austrian ‘ORF Mediathek’ (‘orfmediathek.host‘). You can follow steps 2) to 4) analogously to setup the automatic download for Austrian ‘Tatort’ episodes. Unfortunately I’m not aware of a solution for Swiss ‘Tatort’ episodes. Please let me know if you know something…
  3. The ‘Tatort RSS feed’ of ‘ARD Mediathek’ does not only contain the ‘Tatort’ episodes. It also contains links to media files with ‘Tatort Trailers’, ‘Tatort Interviews’, ‘Tatort’ episodes for hearing-impaired persons (‘Hörfassung’), ‘Tatort’ episodes with audio transcription (AD = Audiodeskription), etc. ‘Download Station’ allows you to set filters on any RSS feed. For example you can exclude any downloads that contains the word ‘Hörfassung’ in the title (also see image 5 above for detailed instructions).
  4. You might have read my blog post about ‘Automatically renaming Tatort video files with Hazel and AppleScript‘. In order that ‘Hazel’ can process the media files on the local hard disk of a macOS computer the files need to be transferred from the ‘Synology Diskstation’ to the macOS computer. You can either do that manually or automatically. There are many software solutions available to automate the synchronisation of two folders. However, I’m using ‘Resilio‘ (formerly known as ‘BitTorrent Sync’). The installation on a macOS computer is straight-forward. To install the software on a ‘Synology Diskstation’ you can follow this tutorial.

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