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Democracy arrives for Web TV with Miro Player

mirolaunchImagine having to use a different TV set to watch every TV channel - one for Channel 4, one for Sky, one for Viacom channels. Because every media company wants to control the user interface for online video, that's the current future we're looking at, with Amazons UnBox player for films bought from Amazon, iTunes for films downloaded from Apple, and so on. The only way round it would be if all of them collaborated on a single player - tho small producers would doubtless get left out in the long run. And even then, as Cory Doctorow rightly says, online video is too important to leave in the hands of one company. 

Miro, is a video player created by a non-profit foundation in America created under the open source GPL license, which basically allows anyone else to re-use it and adapt it for free. Better still it's an excellent video player. Search for and download YouTube videos? Manage video on your own machine and play and open ANY FORMAT? Subscribe to video podcasts and webisodes? Download legit BitTorrents. And because it's an open source system, there's lots of people building on it and improving it all the time (this system has been developed for years as 'Democracy Player') and you don't need to worry about hidden nasties like the Amazon EULA, which requests users to. The Participatory Culture Foundation, which develops it, has also created the Broadcast Machine, which makes it easy to run your own iTunes-subscribable video channel on your website.

Good news for anyone who is concerned about online video ending up in the pockets of one greedy media tycoon.



from the Particiaptory Foundation, creators of Miro:

Announcing Miro

I am exhausted, excited, and very proud to present Miro.

Please check out our new website and download Miro, Public Preview 1 -

Formerly known as ‘Democracy Player’, this new name, logo, and updated version of the software represents the next evolution of the project. We are hoping to reach even more people and build the open video movement. The software is more polished and stable than ever. The website has been re-designed with more focus on community and outreach. The new name will be less confusing to everyone who thought Democracy Player was only for videos about politics.

As always, we are a non-profit organization and we build this software because we think there’s a chance to bring television online in a way that’s more open and accessible than ever. Companies are battling desperately to control video, monopolize users, and build proprietary distribution systems. It’s a dangerous direction for the future of media.

Miro is built to be as open as possible– open source, open-standards, compatible with any host that provides video rss, open to alternate channel guides, and able to search multiple video sites. We want there to a be minimum of gatekeepers and a maximum of choice for creators and viewers. The future of online video is being defined right now. We need your help to make sure that the open approach is as strong as possible.

Take a look at our new ‘Join In‘ page and see if there’s ways you want to get involved. Let’s do this thing!