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Media Software

Democracy Player Is Dead, Long Live Miro 296

MrSpin writes "Democracy Player has relaunched today as Miro. Developed by the Participatory Culture Foundation, Miro aims to make online video "as easy as watching TV", while at the same time ensuring that the new medium remains accessible to everyone, through its support for open standards. The open-source application combines a media player and library, content guide, video search engine, as well as podcast and BitTorrent clients. But why the name change? According to last100, who have published a full review and guide to Miro: "When Democracy Player launched back in February 2006, the feedback received was that the name evoked different, yet equally negative responses. For many Americans it conjured up an image of yet another left wing media project, and to the rest of the world it was, rather bizarrely, being associated with the policies of the Bush administration. In contrast, the new name is purposely abstract.""
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Democracy Player Is Dead, Long Live Miro

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  • by InvisblePinkUnicorn ( 1126837 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:03AM (#19900309)
    Is there any reason to use Miro rather than VLC or BS Player? These seem to handle everything I've encountered.
  • Creepy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by boaworm ( 180781 ) <> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:04AM (#19900313) Homepage Journal
    Creepy that so many people associate "Democracy" with bad things. Actually scares me...
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:05AM (#19900331) Journal

    ... and to the rest of the world it was, rather bizarrely, being associated with the policies of the Bush administration.
    I hope, for the sake of everything that I believe in, this is a false statement. It's sad that I have to go on living knowing that while I was alive a man was elected president of my country (twice!) & in that time, he was able to put a foul taste in your mouth upon saying "democracy."

    I guess we can still say that the core ideas of democracy are good, that only awful men with awful goals and intentions used democracy to do wrong. I guess today Marxism sounds like an idea with potential though historically men like Joseph Stalin & Mao Zedong have given it a social stigma that the terrible things they did under its name are inherent and must occur when the idea is put into practice.

    I hope the rest of the world is not convinced that democracy comes hand in hand with the actions of the United States of America today. Hopefully other countries [] will become model democracies for the rest of the world.

    I hope the theory of democracy is resilient enough to withstand the current administration and that it survives as a concept that can be taught to children as the model of the most fair form of government. I also hope that the rest of the world aspires to become democratic--as has been the popular progression for quite sometime. Ironically, we are tarnishing the image of a system that we hope the Iraqi people to embrace--quite possibly the reason that effort fails.

    The history books will indeed be interesting to read when I am a withered old man.

    I like this quote from Winston Churchill [] that explains while democracy is not perfect, it is the best we've got:

    Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
  • Miro is (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:27AM (#19900703)
    Spanish and Japanese for Watch, oddly.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:51AM (#19901033) Journal

    It's totally unusable and awfully bloated
    For some reasons, this probably means a lot of people will like it. I can remeber those exact words being said about almost everything else the got popular. I think some people (not you) like making this difficult for themselves.
  • by Bin_jammin ( 684517 ) <> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @10:53AM (#19901079)
    Agreed. I believe this is actually name number 3 for this project. I've been a fan of the idea since it was announced (if I recall, in 2004 if I recall correctly) having downloaded almost every initial beta. Unfortunately whatever name it's been under I've never been impressed by the execution. Considering it uses torrents for content delivery it severely chokes bandwidth locally. Another gripe I've had with it is that downloaded content can be wrapped in order to let it expire from your machine. I'm sure it's viewed as a necessity, but it's an annoyance. I haven't used a recent version, but there was never much content I was interested in, and it had extremely slow delivery. Seriously, who wants to wait 19 hours for a music video? This on a 7mb connection. Slow delivery via bloatware and drm? Keep it. A rose by any other name would still stink.
  • The problem is, people confuse communism with dictatorship and/or totalitarianism when really, they are mutually exclusive.

    There has never been any modern communist government in the past few hundred years.

    A real communist country WOULD BE a democracy; in fact if you take democracy to it's logical course (where everyone has a say) you inevitably end up with a communist state.

    A true communist country would have

    - A democratically elected government with 100% transparency
    - 100% nationalized economy where all work equally and are compensated proportionally to their capabilities
    - Total freedom of expression and speech

    You can't have any of these things without the others. The problem with reaching this goal, which all totalitarianist status that started out with the end goal of communism (Cuba, China, The USSR, North Korea) have encountered, is it is impossible to nationalize the enconomy while having a democratic government at the same time, because it is a violent process by necessity. So the government needs to have absolute power for awhile, so they can take over industries for the good of the people.

    The way it is supposed to work is the government should weild absolute power for a period of time ONLY - say a few years - then totally revoke it and give it back to the people. The problem is once the government gets this power they don't give it up easily - in fact it usually gets worse.

    This is why transitioning to true communism is so difficult - in fact it has never yet been archived. Hopefully someday we can all as a society put aside our differences and make it work for the good of the world.

  • Re:Republic! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @11:21AM (#19901537) Homepage Journal
    If you studied predator to prey relationships, you'd probably recognize that two wolves and a sheep scenario as non-sustainable in any case. You probably need a wolf to sheep ratio of something like 1 : 10 or 1:20. If what we're talking about is one wolf and ten sheep voting on what's for dinner, the wolf is SOL unless he learns to eat grass.

    So this explanation of why the republic subtype of democracy works better than the direct democracy subtype doesn't work.

    There are two reasons that do explain the value of a democratic republic. The first is the impracticality of deciding on everything by a direct vote. The second is that we each play different roles on different issues: we aren't always the sheep or always the wolf in every single question. If we were always in the sheep class, our rational interest would say throw wolves to the, er.. wolves.

    But the reality is that we're all minorities. Maybe it's the people we like to sleep with. Maybe its the fact we like to collect guns. Or look at dirty pictures. Or have heretical ideas. Pure majoritarianism means everybody sooner or later feels the hand of tyranny.

    Our democratic republic works because of a rough and approximate egalitarianism, in which we can see ourselves as belonging to the wolf class or the sheep class. That was the genius of FDR, who was considered a class traitor by many. He realized that a society which was polarized into wolves and sheep had to end up in one kind of tyranny or another, most likely something like what happened in the Soviet Union: a tyranny of a small set of erstwhile sheep. A "social democracy" is not necessarily one of radical egalitarianism, it is one in which no person is for practical purposes relegated to perpetual sheep status.
  • by Darundal ( 891860 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @11:35AM (#19901785) Journal
    DL speeds are much faster now, and there is a ton of content. I have noticed no DRM (having no trouble playing anything downloaded with Xine). However, the last release had a slight issue where it decided to stop working on loads of linux systems, which thankfully the current version doesn't exactly have (at least so far).
  • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @11:51AM (#19902099)
    > Everytime you hear crap about "saving our democracy" you ought to cringe.
    > Democracy and freedom are not the same thing.

    True on both counts, but not for the reasons you cite.

    > You can have a democracy or representative democracy and have a society that is all but a police state.

    Explain. Just because a country like the ex-GDR called itself democratic didn't make it so. It is not about what a country CALLS itself, but how it FUNCTIONS. If its branches function along truly democratic processes that do represent the will of the people, how can it help but result in a freer society, at least by that society's definition of "free"?

    Regarding the early days of the USA, back then the country was closer to an anarchy than a democracy or even a free country. Less than half the population was being represented, and the strongest were the rightest. About the best thing of those days was that the armed forces truly were defense forces and not forces of aggression and conquest.
  • Re:Creepy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DeepHurtn! ( 773713 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:12PM (#19902445)
    As is often the case, and contrary to what many Americans would like to believe, the problem goes back much further than Bush. American governments have been pissing on the word Democracy for over 50 years now, and everyone (outside the States, at least) knows that it's just American-speak for "country that does what we tell it", regardless of whether or not it's actually a democracy or a military dictatorship. In fact, if anything, looking at the US's history in Latin America, the word "Democracy" is probably more likely to be used by American governments to describe dictatorships than actual democracies, since the dictatorships seem to generally be more willing to play puppet state.
  • by muszek ( 882567 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#19902551) Homepage
    I haven't used DP since it originaly started (and I have to say it didn't sound either right- or left-wing. to me it was just plain stupid). Does the linux version stil suck? It was pretty unusable back then.
  • by ZivZoolander ( 964472 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:36PM (#19902857)
    hate to burst bubbles, but to the miss informed the U.S. is NOT a democracy.
    have you all forgotten your history lessons.
    I looked it up to confirm it with the world fact book which list us as :
    Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition.
    even on wiki.... []

    as you can see we are a republic, the democracy we practice as a matter
    of tradition is so we don't get stuck with a king or dictator for life(only 8
    years max). any country can have a bad leader we just don't get stuck with one for too long.

    democracy in software is good. because the software can become the sum of a collective knowledge.

    democracy's in in politics are usually very week, because it becomes the sum collective bullshit.
    (note: the bigger it is the less stuff gets done)
    hence the reason why we like to spread it to other countries.
    Which is why other countrys see us as the democracy spreaders. and it gives them a big distaste.

    a thing to think about it that while that iraq is a developing democracy
    and Afghanistan is a islamic republic.

    Afghanistan had a leader immediately(president Hamid Karzai, i always seem to remember that kwel hat he wears),
    and is almost self sufficient in its public works/schools/security (though it'll be a while before we totally leave there,
    example: still in south korea) there major current problem is the drugs because its there primary cash crop,
    which they are trying to train farmers to switch to alternative crops(this will be a while). (note: that not every one wants drugs)
    Iraq on the other hand is trying to develop a democracy, Has anything improved????
    Do you know who is there leader? What is there cash crop... OIL? (last i checked every one has fought over that since WWI)

    Another thing to think about.....
    how many senators can you name? i think i can name about 20
    any major changing policy's come from it? I can think of several.
    how many members of the house can you name? i think i know 2
    any major changing policy's come from it? I know there are some things(i just cant think of any)

    Which one is based members based on population again?
    Which one is more effective?

    The house is there as a check and balance for the senate.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"