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Perl modules and scripts for handling the conversion and storage of bulky media files, such as Movies, TV series and more.

Work in progress

This is still a work in progress and a little rough around the edges. Documentation is definitely lacking. An (incomplete) todo list can be found in the file p5-Media.taskpaper.


You would use Media if most of the following is true:

  • you have a lot of TV/Movies on DVD, or in AVI, MKV, WMV, etc. formats that you want converted to a single format (typically MP4, compatible with iTunes, Apple TV, iPad and iPhone)
  • you want to be able to manage the conversions with a queue, using different priorities for different content
  • you want encoded files to be automatically added to iTunes for you
  • you want metadata such as genre, director and writer pulled from IMDb automatically and added to the converted file
  • you want your converted video to be stored in an organised directory structure, such as:
    • /files/tv/House/Season 1/01 - Pilot.m4v
    • /files/movies/Barbarella - X (1968)/Barbarella - X (1968).m4v

Typical use

After ripping a DVD using an application such as RipIt or DVD2One, I run queue <dvdimage> to produce a config file, then edit that to name the Movie/TV show and tweak video, audio and subtitle settings. I then run queue <dvdimage> again to add it to the queue.

Alternatively, if I have an existing video file (such as something previously ripped into another format, or obtained from the internet), I name a directory something suitable (eg. 'House - 1x01 - Pilot') and put the video file inside, then run queue <dirname> to add it to the queue.

Once queueing some jobs, I run encoder. This will poll the queue for jobs and re-encode them. It is a long-running process, so I typically run it under screen. More jobs can be added whilst encoder is running.

If I want to see what is currently being encoded, and what will be done next, I just run queue without any other arguments. If I change my mind about a job, I run queue remove <name> (where name can be a regexp pattern).

If I still have jobs in the queue, but want to stop encoding for some reason, I will run either encoder stop to let the current encode finish first, or encoder abort.


Media requires HandBrakeCLI 0.9.5, AtomicParsley 0.9.4, aspell and a lot of other perl modules to be installed.

AtomicParsley and aspell are most commonly installed using a ports system, such as homebrew on the Mac.

If you are not comfortable installing perl modules from CPAN, I would unequivocally recommend you do it using cpanminus, which makes it trivial to install CPAN modules. First, install cpanminus:

curl -L | sudo perl - --self-upgrade

then use it to attempt to install Media and all of its dependencies:

sudo cpanm

The first time, Media will fail to install as some tests do not pass.

Other things that can go wrong include WebService::MusicBrainz failing to install. This can be worked around with:

sudo cpanm -n WebService::MusicBrainz

(-n skips tests; ordinarily this is inadvisable, but in this case the MusicBrainz module fails its tests quite often because of timeouts on the MusicBrainz site)

Patching IMDB::Film

There is a long-standing bug in the CPAN module IMDB::Film used by Media which means it cannot find ratings/certifications information. If this matters to you, replace the existing certifications method in the (found at /Library/Perl/5.10.0/IMDB/ on a Mac) with:

sub certifications {
    my CLASS_NAME $self = shift;
    my $forced = shift || 0;

    my (%cert_list, $tag);
    my $url = "http://". $self->{host} . "/" . $self->{query} .  $self->code . "/parentalguide#certification";
    my $data = LWP::Simple::get($url);
    my $parser = new HTML::TokeParser(\$data) or croak "[CRITICAL] Cannot create HTML parser: $!!";

    while ($tag = $parser->get_tag('h5')) {
        my $txt = $parser->get_text;
        my($country, $range, $has_advisory);
        if ($txt =~ /certification/i) {
            while ($tag = $parser->get_tag()) {
                last if ($tag->[0] eq 'h3');
                if ($tag->[0] eq 'a') {
                    $txt = $parser->get_text;
                    ($country, $range) = split /\:/, $txt;
                    $has_advisory = 0;
                elsif ($tag->[0] eq 'i') {
                    $has_advisory = $parser->get_text;
                    if ( $has_advisory =~ m{original rating}i ) {
                        undef $country; undef $range;
                elsif ($tag->[0] ne 'div') {
                    $txt = $parser->get_text;
                    if ( $txt !~ m{^\s*$} ) {
                        $cert_list{$country} = $range
                            if defined $country;
                        undef $country; undef $range;
            $cert_list{$country} = $range
                if defined $country;
            $self->{_certifications} = \%cert_list;
    return $self->{_certifications};

Slightly altered from code found at

Continuing the Media installation

Once you have patched IMDB::Film, the Media tests will pass and it should install fine.

sudo cpanm

If they still fail, please can you send me the log file from cpanm at You can install anyway, even if the tests fail with:

sudo cpanm -n

Read more

Once installed, more documentation is available:

  • perldoc encoder
  • perldoc queue
  • perldoc Media::Tutorial
  • perldoc Media::Config
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