Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Miro is stepping it up

Tue, 09/04/2007 - 23:07 -- rprice

Miro player (formerly Democracy) is an internet TV application that works on a subscribe and download model. Some would call it a podcatcher. Others would say it's ready to leave the other podcatchers in the dust.

Why would I say such things about a project that's been around for so long? Because they changed their name and branding? Because they're doing some nice user-friendly screencasts? Because of bittorrent support? No. Well, maybe bittorrent. But that's not what I mean. Check this list of recent updates:
From the Miro Blog:

# OPML import and export allows lists of channels to be shared.
# The Windows Options panel has been reorganized into pretty tabs.
# Miro will return to the last place visited in the Miro Guide when you click away and return.
# If you add an alternate channel guide, Miro will display the name and icon for that site.
# Single file downloads are now supported.
# Mefeedia, Yahoo! and Yahoo! Video are added as search engines.
# Veoh has been temporarily removed due to compatibility problems.

OPML import and export allows lists of channels to be shared. Also, notice where it says an alternate channel guide... I'm not sure what that's all about, but it sounds cool.

Why is OPML cool? Well, OPML is a way of describing a list, or a list of lists. Feeds are lists. I can make a list of all the feeds I'm watching (we are talking video here) and then share it with a friend. Or anyone who reads my blog. Or my pownce friends. Or people using the Share my OPML site, or even people on the NetVibes Ecosystem. How cool is that? You can't do that in iTunes. Can't.

Alternate Channel Guide? The CG is the screen that loads when you first start up Miro (Democracy). Here's what the Miro blog has to say about new channel guides:

Use the Channels -> Add Channel Guide menu to add the likes of blip.tv, mefeedia and even digg. You can browse for videos and feeds. With the blip.tv subscribe button, you can add a channel directly into Miro.

You can't do that in iTunes. I give iTunes a lot of credit for being the best (easiest to use) podcatcher out there, but combining Miro and a great audio browser like Songbird, you can duplicate and outgrow all the features of iTunes (especially since Songbird has a pluggable interface like Firefox) without having to use a proprietary system like iTunes, because these two systems are open-source. Now you can get your music and video from anywhere, even iTunes in the case of Songbird, and enjoy it alongside the best content streamed from around the web.

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