Miro, Miro, on the wall
April 27, 2009 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Been overjoyed with hulu and other online internet television sources? You need to know about Miro, the video podcast tracker and media display program for everyone.

Subscribe to some of the feeds. Can't find your favorite listed? It will still work for you. It's a full featured bittorrent client, it works with any media RSS feed, and it's an attractive alternative to VLC for Mac users weeping into their folders full of .avi files. (Plus it's open source!)

With many HD sources, including the ability to download YouTube HD content for offline viewing, it's also a resource for original online content, including spawning new "networks."

Previously, sort of
posted by hippybear (19 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Is this one of those cases where "for everyone" means "for every American but not for the other 96% of the world"?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:23 PM on April 27, 2009

Ah! Democracy Player. Downloaded this once from boingboing and after the sixth time it crashed my computer I chucked it. Actually left a bad taste in my mouth regarding all "open source" type stuff until I started using OpenOffice and GIMP.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:40 PM on April 27, 2009

I've been using Miro since it became the rebranded successor to Democracy player (MacOS). Miro does a lot of things, and some of them it does pretty well. For example, on the Mac it seems especially well suited to downloading and playing torrents: download torrent header file (or whatever the torrent "pointer" file is called) in your browser, double-click on it in the Downloads window, and Miro downloads the actual torrent and then serves as its player when the d/l is complete.
posted by mosk at 4:47 PM on April 27, 2009

I'm fine with separate programs for everything. Why settle for an OK mashup of a few programs when I can use a few programs that I know will run well?
posted by azarbayejani at 4:48 PM on April 27, 2009

I'm not sure why you would need an alternative to VLC for playing videos. In my experience VLC has a better interface, and they both use pretty much the same code for playing media so it's not like you're going to see a huge difference there.

I do find Miro useful for browsing web videos from several different sources, however.
posted by fearthehat at 4:53 PM on April 27, 2009

I put vlc on my girlfriend's mac specifically to watch .avi files.
At the time, it worked. Has something changed?
posted by mannequito at 4:54 PM on April 27, 2009

hippybearPoster: "(not meaning to moderate my own thread, but in answer to ricochet biscuit)

Global Community
Volunteers from around the world help test, translate, and code Miro. Only about 30% of our downloads come from the United States, where we're based.

While that may be true, after a quick browse of the 'Top Popular' section I ended up being able to watch... nothing.

It doesn't even tell you that it's unable to load them for X reason, it just displays the page with no video box.
posted by Memo at 4:55 PM on April 27, 2009

At the time, it worked. Has something changed?

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:56 PM on April 27, 2009

I thought this would be pretty cool until I couldn't seem to find a way to adjust the video size to whatever the video is supposed to be naturally. So most stuff ends up looking terrible just because it's too big, and I have to kind of guess and resize it...
posted by Nattie at 5:07 PM on April 27, 2009

If somethings changed for VLC on OS X, I haven't run into it. Still my favorite player on pretty much every platform I use.
posted by mbatch at 5:09 PM on April 27, 2009

I use Miro to get files, but I strongly prefer VLC - it just seems lighter weight to me, though it could just be that I'm used to it.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 5:27 PM on April 27, 2009

... and it's an attractive alternative to VLC for Mac users weeping into their folders full of .avi files.

Yeah, that's a pretty strange line. And VLC is, and has always been, stand-alone - doesn't require Perian (which itself is just a collection of components to allow Quicktime to handle non-Apple supported file & encoding formats - like K-lite, but for OS X and done properly)

On the other hand, Miro / Democracy Player - at least the last version I tried, which appears to have been the last release - sucked donkey balls on the Mac, and sucked the rest of the donkey for us people outside the US, for all the reasons mentioned above. Its only saving grace was the integrated BT client - which was fine when it wasn't crashing...
posted by Pinback at 5:36 PM on April 27, 2009

My recollection was that the real plus for me was that Miro played .flv files and I don't think VLC does, does it? When I do Open File -> Browse it's not on the list of extensions being searched for, but I may have an old version installed here.

Did anyone else have the same aggravating experience with MiroGuide - it seemed like half the entries in the guide were to sites that didn't even exist any more. I'd find something and say "Wow! Awesome!" based on its description but then it wasn't actually available.

While I'm at it - is there some underground site that has RSS feeds directly to series of .flv files so that Miro can auto-download them? That seemed to me to be the missing element that would've made it a killer app.
posted by XMLicious at 8:24 PM on April 27, 2009

I use Zoom Player and it plays anything I can chuck at it. I have VLC but rarely use it. I tried Democracy and didn't see the use in it. Just tried Miro and I don't see the use in it. If I want to download vids, I'll torrent them. If I want to watch some FLV file online on YouTube or whatever video site, I'll just go there. If I want to watch some TV show or movie, I'm not going to do it on my computer. I'll use my XBox 360 to stream the video from the PC or to watch Netflix films instantly. I've got all my video issues handled already and so I don't see the need for an over done interface of Miro.
posted by GavinR at 8:38 PM on April 27, 2009

mplayer POR VIDA
posted by signalnine at 11:31 PM on April 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

I like Miro's interface (on a Mac) better than VLC's, but I've run into some files that VLC will play and Miro won't. Also, Miro takes hella long to start up. Looks and feels nice once it's up though.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:29 AM on April 28, 2009

my biggest complaint about Miro is it doesn't support remote controls... makes it hard to integrate into a media center. otherwise, love it, but never use it because of that issue.
posted by PigAlien at 11:04 AM on April 28, 2009

My recollection was that the real plus for me was that Miro played .flv files and I don't think VLC does, does it?

Yes, VLC plays flv files.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 11:04 AM on April 28, 2009

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