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Miro Turns 1.0 81

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the digital-restrictions-malcontents dept.
nicholasreville writes "We have just released version 1.0 of our internet video application Miro. Miro is a free and open-source (GPL) RSS aggregator and video player with BitTorrent support and a built-in guide of video feeds. It's created by the Participatory Culture Foundation, which is devoted to making online video more open and has received grants from Mozilla and Mitch Kapor, among others. In contrast to closed, proprietary delivery systems, Miro embraces open standards and DRM-free video. We build this software because we think it's absolutely crucial that internet video have an open technology foundation. We don't need more gatekeepers. Miro was featured previously on Slashdot."
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Miro Turns 1.0

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  • When using the Democracy Player, I could not find any content worth watching. Just garbage.
    • by multisync (218450) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:41PM (#21341137) Journal

      When using the Democracy Player, I could not find any content worth watching. Just garbage.


      That's funny. I find the same thing with commercial television.

      • That's funny. "Democracy" player has nothing on = "0, Flamebait", commercial, supposedly undemocratic TV has nothing on = "+5, Insightful". I would have thought that if the grandparent was a flamebait, the parent would have been just as much a flamebait, if not moreso.
        • by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @09:23PM (#21344937)

          I would have thought that if the grandparent was a flamebait, the parent would have been just as much a flamebait, if not moreso.
          Perhaps a paraphrasing will help clear things up for you:

          0. We're at 1.0! (the story)
          1. You suck (flamebait)
          2. Look who's talking! (insightful)
          • Perhaps your paraphrase would make more sense if the Slashdot community were developing Miro, then I guess "we" would be at 1.0 and the OP would be saying "you" suck (which would be a flamebait). But we're not its developers, we're just slashdotters commenting on our opinions. It's not really justification enough to say "well, they don't like something that I really, really like". It's not a personal insult to you if other people don't like it. All opinionated moderation does is suppress opposing viewpoint
            • by xappax (876447)
              It's not really justification enough to say "well, they don't like something that I really, really like". It's not a personal insult to you if other people don't like it.

              The "you suck" comment wasn't really related to the story about Miro, though. It's like saying "Firefox sucks, I used it and couldn't find any websites that weren't garbage!"

              So the comment was flamebait in that it (intentionally or not) distracted the thread into arguing about the quality of web content in general as opposed to discus
        • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
          Although you wield a velvet flamebait yourself, it's a well established fact that around here commercial tv is utter tripe. I mean, just look at how they treat sci-fi, the epitome of our civilizations literary and artistic merits! It's an utter disgrace! How DARE they cancel Firefly!
    • by Selfbain (624722) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:41PM (#21341145)
      You know you can add RSS feeds of torrents right... tvrss.net is your friend.
      • by bughunter (10093) <(bughunter) (at) (earthlink.net)> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @05:03PM (#21342347) Journal
        Agreed, most of the content I'm insterested comes from tvrss.net feeds.

        The problem I have with that, however, is that the updates are inconsistent, as one may expect from a collection of "unauthorized" sources. (I'd watch the authorized version online, if Comedy Central's videos would play on my Mac using Quicktime and Flip4Mac.)

        For instance, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" hasn't been updated since 01 November. However, "The Colbert Report" is faithfully updated every day.

        But generally, most of the good programs are seeded within a day of airing, and while I PVR most of those already, sometimes my hardware encoder flakes, or I miss a scheduled recording, so the tvrss.net feeds are a lifesaver.

        Especially when your wife is grumpy because she forgot to tape this week's episode of Survivor!

        Some of the Miro featured content is good too, like PBS Kids shows (for my 3yo son) and some of the bikini contest stuff (for Dad). Oh - and Democracy Now! HD is free featured content as well.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Telvin_3d (855514)
          The Today Show hasn't been updated since the 1st because that was the last episode broadcast before the writers strike. It will be happening to more and more shows as the backlog of taped episodes runs out.
        • by oneiron (716313)
          Bad example. The writers strike has kept The Daily Show off the air recently...
      • If you're running OS X the best application for this is TVShows (http://tvshows.sourceforge.net/). It uses launchd to check tvrss.net every so often so it is completely transparent when the GUI isn't running. It uses a ruby script to run through a xml file to determine which TV shows to grab.

        You can have it download to a folder or have it start your torrent client automatically. Personally I use it with rtorrent and I see almost no CPU usage.
      • by Ilgaz (86384) *

        You know you can add RSS feeds of torrents right... tvrss.net is your friend.

        You know you can add RSS feeds of torrents right... tvrss.net is your friend.

        You don't get point of Miro (ex Democracy). It is not about the NBC etc. junk, it is one of first things allows true independent TV. No Akamai contracts, no cryptic RSS sites, no copying pasting torrent URLs.

        That is the true intention of P2P/Torrent before they got abused by pirates and even their founders (bittorrent.com).

    • by mdielmann (514750) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:50PM (#21341269) Homepage Journal
      Like any other source of media, there's the few things that interest you and the multitude of things that interest all the other people. Perhaps if you search on the content you're interested in, they can give you some clues in there.
      I personally am interested in the myriad science and nature feeds out there, and HD video looks great on my monitor. Then there's The Wood Whisperer, a good feed if you're interested in woodworking.
      And, as is mentioned elsewhere, you can turn an RSS feed of torrented content into a channel, too.
      If neither of those options appeal to you, feel free to create your own. It seems to be a trend these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ortcutt (711694)
      What, no "Dancing with the Stars"? I guess it wouldn't be your cup of tea then.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      When using the Democracy Player, I could not find any content worth watching. Just garbage.
      That is how NBC, CBS, CNN still makes billions over regular TV broadcast in broadband Internet age.

      You can air YOUR OWN content if you don't like the content offered. If you were looking for reality shows, organized/censored news and sitcoms, you should have turned on your TV or hit a pirate torrent site.

  • I'll keep checking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:37PM (#21341099) Homepage Journal
    Looks cool - I'll keep checking back to see when 1.0 binaries are available for Fedora. Hopefully soon.
  • Editing capabilities (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cb_is_cool (1084665)
    When Miro has editing capabilities, it'll truly be remarkable considering all applications like that are mostly closed-source.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      When Miro has editing capabilities, it'll truly be remarkable considering all applications like that are mostly closed-source.

      It is a viewer, a easy download manager and a Library assistant serving one great idea: A true independent broadcast. It is nothing more. I would wish it could offload its downloads to other engines, preferably Azureus so it wouldn't get compared to truly advanced, high end clients for download.

      It is open source, platform neutral, no shadowy fortune 500 sponsors and also politically neutral since ANYONE can start a channel. I personally wished they didn't drop the deserving "Democracy" name because of some

    • by MBGMorden (803437)
      I wish it had the capability to do meta-data based playlists and sorting. iTunes does this OK with songs (I can have playlists with all music from an era, from a performer, from a certain genre, etc, and they can overlap just fine), but I've seen nothing for video.

      I want the capability to have just 1 file on disk, but be able to pull up all my action movies, all my comedy movies, all my movies with Reese Witherspoon. And if I want a comedy that came out sometime between 1990 staring Kate Winslet and Danny
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:48PM (#21341235) Homepage Journal
    http://www.miro.com/ [miro.com] displays

    and Miro Video Editing soft/hardware from Pinnacle, now owned by Avid such as the
    Pinnacle Systems miroVIDEO DV300 FireWire/SCSI Adapter Board
    • by empaler (130732)
      That seems to be a German trademark. GmbH does seem to imply so, anyway.
    • The U.S. Trademark Office has numerous registrations for "miro."

      One such was filed April 10, 2007 and it's registered to Participating (sic) Culture Foundation (http://www.pculture.org/) in Worcester, Mass.

      BTW, the English translation for "miro" is "I see, I watch."
  • In the process of recently setting up an HTPC I have tried a number of different softwares and frontends to try to get an integrated media environment, with limited success. My experience with Miro, in particular, was not too great. I found that it's torrent downloading was erratic, bandwidth throttling was impossible, and most importantly, with Miro running in the background, VLC player (Miro also uses VLC to show video) encountered a number of problems that created audio and video artifacts in whatever I
  • Complaint fixed? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by msimm (580077) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:03PM (#21341439) Homepage
    I like Miro well enough. I use it under Ubuntu and it does a pretty good job. My one complaint would be dupes, as in downloading 'new' copies of programs you already have, which is kind of funny because aside from the fact that the file really is new (just a new version of an existing torrent) Miro does a nice job of displaying the program name and episode title correctly (it just doesn't seem to use this information to figure out that it already has a copy of SHOW NAME, SHOW TITLE). Is this fixed in the most recent release? Or am I missing something?

    The nice thing about Miro is the exposure I get to net series I might not notice otherwise. Some reasonably entertaining stuff and Miro is a nice platform to view it on (of course the RSS is what hooked me).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      One of the 0.9.x series had a serious dupe problem. It was fixed a little while later.

      These days only problems left are the usability snafus and frequent crashing.
      • These days only problems left are the usability snafus and frequent crashing.
        Oh, well, then surely it's ready to be called a '1.0' release!

        -- Steve Ballmer
  • by jilles (20976) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:09PM (#21341529) Homepage
    The concept of Miro is appealing: having videos you are interested in download automatically and have them available for watching. Miro tries to do this. The problem is that it is a mediocre feed reader; a mediocre bittorrent client and a mediocre media player. Consequently it is not replacing any of these on my machine.

    Unfortunately there is lots of rough edges that are known but not addressed in this 1.0 release. For example, Miro hogs bandwidth on my PC. Because it is hogging bandwidth, forget about doing things like browsing the web or accessing the miro guide when it is running. In other words, it renders the connection unusable. Most p2p clients have options to configure and constrain upload and download bandwidth capacity. I've never used a p2p application that worked without providing reasonable settings for such options (like a few kilobytes below the max capacity for upload and download to prevent being throttled by the ISP router). Miro lacks these options. I have a ordinary cable internet connection similar to what most home users would have, nothing special. So likely this affects most users.

    Additionally, I don't like the built in media player. VLC is nice if you can configure it properly but that is not possible with the options screen in Miro. There's no option to launch video in an external media player.

    Finally, many options default to rather annoying settings. For example subscribing to a feed results in Miro automatically downloading all new items in that feed. That just sucks unless you subscribe to only a handful of feeds. Basically it results in the automatic downloading of stuff you'll never watch and the delaying of downloads that you might actually want to watch. Additionally no way to prioritize here of course.

    Altogether this feels like a premature release. They should have spent a bit more time polishing and fixing obvious issues.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ronadams (987516)

      I run Miro in the background at all times, and notice that it uses very little bandwidth -- just a hair more than Deluge [deluge-torrent.org] is using right now. It would be nice to select an external app, but given that you can just set any video player to open files from your Miro download folder, I don't see it as any more hindering than the fact that amaroK gives you no option to play music files in another player from its interface.

      You can change the default action for feeds in the options menu. Also, with proper setting

    • by kklein (900361)

      Indeed. Give me a normal BT client, The Pirate Bay, and VLC any day. I don't need everything running at once, and BT is slow as hell, so I won't be watching my shows for a long time anyway. Actually, I usually DL them to a NAS and watch them on the TV with one of these. [iodata.com] It works quite well.

    • I keep Miro running 24/7 and it only seems to transfer data when it's downloading, unlike Joost which makes itself right at home. Also, you're able to choose the default and specific behaviour of channels so that they only download the most recent episode or nothing at all.

      However, I know where you're coming from. I tried and uninstalled Miro several times before deciding to stick with it. It takes a perspective shift to appreciate it. Now I honestly love it so much that I decided to take the plunge
  • by cesman (74566) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:11PM (#21341547) Homepage
    I've included Democracy Player in KnoppMyth for some time. The next release will have Miro. It is nice to see them hit 1.0! My only issue is the interface isn't remote friendly.

    Cecil
  • It really needs to be able to actually play videos better. Many non-HD videos look very pixellated playing Miro, whereas they look smooth as butter playing in Media Player Classic. Since MPC is open source nowadays, why can't the Miro devs incorporate its video-playing capabilities into Miro?
    • Miro's designed to be cross-platform, and MPC is Windows-only. Unless you want to port MPC to Linux and OSX, I'm pretty sure it'll stay VLC
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Fallingcow (213461)
        If it's VLC, then I'll bet it's an deinterlacing issue. By default it's disabled, and on medium-res videos, playing with other settings (right click->deinterlace, I think) can yield a better picture, sometimes even getting rid of odd artifacts that show up without it. "blend" seems to work the best for me, most of the time.

        MPC may not have deinterlacing disabled by default.
  • I really like the concept of Miro/DemocracyPlayer, but I found the software largely unusable on both Linux and OS X in practice: it's just flaky and locks up during playback and/or downloading.
    • by SkelVA (1055970)
      It works pretty well for me. I'm running Miro .9 on MythBuntu 7.10 and I've used it to subscribe to some tvrss feeds pretty successfully.

      My only complaint is that it's pretty crummy as a bittorent client. For some reason, using utorrent on another box on the same network, I get download speeds up to 10x faster than the same torrent on the miro client. I've never seen a miro download get past 10 kb/s, while I'll get 100+ kb/s on utorrent. I really can't guess why this might be.

      I haven't had any troubl
  • Used the previous release (0.9 something) for few weeks and stumbled upon few big issues for me:

    - It eats up quite alot of cpu. I don't have the fastest of the bunch (1.4GHz amd something/1GB mem) but somehow it manages to eat up alot of juice compared to running something like VLC and normal torrent app. And when the cpu usage got up, audio sync problems.

    - Also, downloading episodes that where queued automatically wasnt restricted by configuration option. Like, in config, one could add option to download 2
  • by BaatZ (850474)
    Oh god, i just installed it and was really enthousiastic. The welcome session is quite good, but when you start to use it :(. It takes over your processor (i had to set the priority on 3), uses all your bandwidth, your memory and your nerves. Had it running for 5 minutes before i decided to uninstall it, what a deception !
  • Their site is very slow because it's been slashdotted. Perhaps one of the ways of distributing a Bittorrent client should be via Bittorrent.
    • by grand_it (949276)
      > Perhaps one of the ways of distributing a Bittorrent client should be via Bittorrent. Unless we're talking about the very first release of the original BitTorrent client, of course ;-)
  • Does it still have a different look and feel on linux compared to windows and osx? Can it run at the same time as minefield yet?
  • by hansonc (127888) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @05:01PM (#21342307) Homepage
    I've had issues with Miro taking DAYS to download torrents that take a matter of hours with azureus. The built in client has some serious issues.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the article: "It's created by the Participatory Culture Foundation, which is devoted to making online video more open ... In contrast to closed, proprietary delivery systems, Miro embraces open standards and DRM-free video..."

    From the Miro web page: "How do I use Miro? This video gives a quick overview ... Get the Flash Player to see this player."

  • What about the writer's strike that will cause reruns and crappy programming on for weeks? This should be a great chance for free and open projects to get a chance. The online media should be all over this. I'm surprised Taco hasn't make a section on Slashdot just for new media. It's a great chance to get close to a million people interested in something! The whole problem with online culture is that it's not tied to your locality, or social group unless you sit and IM people all day. Most old-school
  • Is Miro completely pointless? I hadn't heard of it, and just downloaded it at a mere 12 kbps (maybe it was the /. effect). It didn't seem to do anything more than what my Feed aggregator/browser already did. Nor did I find the "plays any video" tagline impressive. Don't most people already have MPC/Codec Packs/MPlayer/VLC do "play any video" on their computers? It didn't look like it showed me too many videos either, most of the default loaded channels had only one video. In the world of RSS, Ajax-enable
    • by oneiron (716313)
      what does Miro do that my browser with a proper extension set, can't ? Am I missing something here?

      No, you're not. It just makes it a lot easier considering it is a single program that requires almost no technical know-how to set up. In a word, it's convenient. For those of us that don't have crashing problems and don't mind the slightly sub-par interface (the seek bar is my only real gripe), it's not half-bad. It wouldn't hurt to be just a bit more configurable, but I find it quite useful.

      I have a l
  • Installed it. Ran it. Crashed it. Uninstalled it.

    Nice concept. Crap implementation. I'll check back at v3.0 or maybe v4.
  • the build STILL borks! You'd think, at least I would with something that JUST RELEASED they would be USING THE CURRENT version of dependencies. Nope! Not these guys.
  • I could have sworn I was older than that, though...
  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @11:41PM (#21346031) Homepage Journal

    I had absolutely no idea what Miro was, other than something involving RSS and VLC. OK, that's nice. But I downloaded it anyway on a lark and was blown away. Maybe it still needs polishing (although I haven't had any problems whatsoever, knock on wood), but this is a prime example of the whole exceeding the sum of the parts. Congratulations on a truly slick application!

    BTW, thanks for changing the name. "Democracy Player" just screamed "hippie". Yeah, I know that's a dumb reason not to try something, but image counts for a lot even if it shouldn't.

    • by xappax (876447)
      thanks for changing the name. "Democracy Player" just screamed "hippie".

      If you write off anything related to democracy or being involved in government as "hippie", and you write off anything "hippie" as unworthy or undesirable...I don't even know what you tell you, other than "you're missing out".

      For years, "democracy" has been a code-word for "we get to kill the middle east and spy on you". Maybe it's time we reclaimed its true meaning, instead of trying to disassociate ourselves with dissidents in t
      • If you write off anything related to democracy or being involved in government as "hippie", and you write off anything "hippie" as unworthy or undesirable...I don't even know what you tell you, other than "you're missing out".

        I love democracy, but the world itself is too often co-opted by such groups as "Democratic Republic of the Congo" or "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". Basically, "democratic" usually means "totalitarian". It's the worst kind of Newspeak.

        I'll grant you that perhaps "hippie" wasn't the best word for my thinking.

        For years, "democracy" has been a code-word for "we get to kill the middle east and spy on you". Maybe it's time we reclaimed its true meaning, instead of trying to disassociate ourselves with dissidents in the hope of being more acceptable.

        It wasn't so much disassociation as the likelihood that I'd be put off by all of the pre-loaded channels, etc.

        At any rate, I think that "Miro" is a much better name for a really excel

  • Too bad it's not in Ubuntu repositories... :( Oh wait, it is! Just it's 0.9.8.1 version! I guess I'll have to wait for an update then.
  • by dmitri3 (1101095)
    Really bummer it's GTK+ based though... KDE is a lot better IMHO, now it will just eat up my memory.
  • This application looks cool, but I can't find the content I'm looking for (French TV shows). I checked tvrss.net but it seems to have US programmes only.

    Does anybody know a good source of RSS feeds for European/French shows?

    Cheers,

    ElGanzoLoco

       
  • In my living room, I have a Sharp Aquos flat-panel, with a Mac Mini (Power PC) running Leopard. Miro entertains the family most of the day.

    I have some Folders set up that point to the MyWorldBook (cheap raid NAS) in the basement (which is hackable linux) This holds a large collection of feature movies, and more importantly, copies of all the DVDs that we own that my two year old wants to watch over and over. We have tons of Thomas the Tank engine, Go Diego Go, Kipper, etc.. ready for him to watch.

    We use a
    • Wow, you sound like one of our power users. Have you been in contact with any of the development team? If not, I think you could be a real resource for us.
      • by MrBlic (27241)
        Hi Dave,

        I've been really tempted to send my resume in for the latest programmer position. I've done some Python + C++ work in the past, and really want to get back to that toolset.

        The code I wrote extended wxWidgets Image with a filter-chain that was optimized with the Intel Performance Primitives. I had images from multiple research-grade high resolution live cameras, with interactive and real-time thresholding, colorization and other filters that could be added in for the task at hand. It was some of t

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