Miro 1.0: the free and open future of video on the net

Today (today!), I am thrilled to announce that Miro, the open and free video player, has gone 1.0, and launched in a polished, slick package for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Miro (formerly Democracy Player) is the open and free alternative to Joost, Windows Media Player and iTunes for getting, watching and organizing your video. In place of DRM and proprietary formats, Miro uses the VLC video-engine to play practically every video format under the sun. It has over 2,700 channels of free content (and does extensive outreach to indie creators to get their material front-and-center in Miro's excellent channel-guide). And it uses BitTorrent to download, which means that the creators you love won't get clobbered by bandwidth bills when their videos get popular.

Thanksgiving is coming, and many of us will be heading back to our parents' place for the holidays. Now would be a great time to install Miro on your folks' computer and subscribe them to a couple of great channels -- get them used to the open and free habit, and turn them on to great stuff. Link

Miro launches: Democracy Player evolves into a 1.0 product! (almost!)
Miro kicks Joost's ass
Miro tees
Miro needs your donations to build the future of Internet video
Democracy Player final beta is out: next stop, Miro Player!

(Disclosure: I am a proud member of the Participatory Culture Foundation's Board of Directors)


  1. Cory, good for you on that last part. Very sweet, very smart. Old folks need new media, just as surely as young folks need to experience older forms of entertainment and information. Dig it.

  2. The application is great, but the content is still lacking. Until high quality content is available Miro will be a niche program.

  3. Note that in addition to the proprietary and patent encumbered formats advertised in the graphic, Miro supports Ogg Theora, which is an actual free and open video format for the free and open video format of the future. :)

  4. I don’t like how this is being pitched as “an alternative to Joost” (by Miro, as well). Isn’t the web big enough for more than one video service?

  5. Dalasv: “Alternative” implies there there is room for more than one.

    Others: Can Miro handle podcasts yet?? I’m still having to use iTunes for some “free and open” shows because the last Miro didn’t handle podcasts. It also didn’t handle Youtube feeds.

  6. Downloading the new version as I type. Feeling the love for Miro. No odd Joost interface, no DRM, make-your-own RSS chanels… what is not to love. I agree that the beta is a resource hog… hopefully lighter in 1.0x
    Adam C – there is a LOT of content out there… I don’t think you are getting the most out of the program’s capabilities.

  7. 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.”


  8. Like all of Apple’s output (Quicktime, iTunes etc), Miro 1.0 doesn’t support my hi-res HD (150dpi) laptop screen.

    When are developers going to realise that we’ll never reach the paperless nirvana until they start supporting hi-res screens? At least Microsoft realise this, which is why I still use WMP.

  9. no streaming. still.

    get back to me when the couch potatoes can be couch potatoes and don´t have to be loading bar staring geeks.

    perhaps miro should try to develop a free open p2p video streaming protocol that can use h264 vids at it source – everything else is a waste of internet time.

  10. @FALK

    If I’m not mistaken, Miro uses Bittorrent which means that pieces of video files are downloaded out of order. I don’t think it’s possible to enable streaming with Bittorrent, plus quality and resolution are greatly limited when you’re at the mercy of your download transfer rate. A few months ago I made the decision to keep Miro loaded 24/7 and now I always have tons of HD content ready to be watched immediately.

  11. I remember the hype over Democracy. “Great” I thought, “I’ll be happy to use that!”. It crashed, it stuttered, it wouldn’t play half the stuff I threw at it, and all the online stuff available for it was so lame as to defy description.

    Now it’s Miro. I tried it that last time there was an enthusiastic announcement (on Mac OS 10.3.9, PowerPC) and it crashed with great reliability.

    IMnsHO it’s not worth the effort. I’ll stick with the “free and open” MPlayer, thanks.

  12. I second many of the questions here. Is it more efficient than previous versions? I don’t need a media player that takes up 200 MBs of ram to sit in the background and burn cpu cycles.

  13. yeah, it’s a resource hog for me, especially because i’m a scrub and got an old ass machine. i can’t even watch videos in the player; i have to wait until the download’s finished and open it in VLC independently.

  14. It’s a mediocre BT client, a mediocre video player, and a mediocre media center–all in one!

    Seriously, I don’t know anyone (and I know a lot of geeks) who have given this much more than a passing look. Grab a good BT client and a good video player, and don’t be forced to run both at once with a silly media center overhead.

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