Miro needs your donations — the project is trying to raise $50,000 to pay programmers and designers to make its player even better.
Miro (formerly known as Democracy Player) is the best and most promising video player I've ever used. It's free and open — licensed under the GPL — and it incorporates three different technologies that make watching videos easier and better than any of the proprietary players like Windows Media Player or iTunes. These technologies are VLC, a free and open video playback engine that plays all video formats, no matter where they come from; RSS, so that you can subscribe to "feeds" of your favorite videos (including subscribing to feeds of YouTube videos matching your keywords); and BitTorrent, so that you can download files without costing the people who host them — so the more popular a file is, the cheaper it is to host.
Miro is a bet on a future for "Internet TV" that is as open as the Web, controlled by no one. Otherwise, the way things are headed, we could end up with one or two giant companies owning the future of video. No one — not community activists, not video startups, no one — benefits when just a few companies control the platform.
The Miro fundraiser will raise money to pay the talented hackers who have been producing regular updates to the Miro platform, ensuring that there's always an up-to-date version for the Mac, Windows and Linux. I believe in Miro enough to have volunteered for their Board of Directors since they started — I hope you'll help us keep on producing the future of Internet video.
(Disclosure: I am a board member for the Participatory Culture Foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit that oversees production of Miro)