You have probably heard about Joost, one of the popular Internet TV clients that made the rounds in the blogosphere for a while. I hardly hear about it anymore.
Joost was proprietary and had about 250 channels. Did you know that there is an open source alternative that has about 2500 unrestricted channels? Yes, I said 2500!
Miro is the open source version that is free and can turn your computer into an Internet TV. It is loaded with numerous features and a built-in bittorrent client that touts faster downloads. Let’s check out some of the impressive features that make up this hard to ignore piece of open source software!
Not So Quick Facts
- Miro loves HD content and you can see it’s brilliance in Full Screen in your 22″ wide screen display
- Remembers where you stopped watching a video
- Throw any video format and it plays – MPEG, Quicktime, AVI, Divx, Flash video, H.264, gp2, Flash video, Windows Media to name a few.
- Control playback via a remote control – easy keyboard shortcuts
- You can minimize the player to the task bar
- Create video playlists
- Miro can watch a folder for new video and add it automatically like Picasa adds pictures
- Move your entire video collection with Miro, if running out of space
- On installation, Miro can find all your videos in your computer
- View videos by channels, folders and as thumbnails
- Download individual BitTorrent files and torrents in a feed via Seamless BitTorrent
- Watch the video in library just like any other video – no extra steps
- You can download individual videos by pasting URLs
- Auto-expire watched videos and create space for fresh content
- Control space usage by telling Miro to stop downloading after reaching a certain size
- Easy Pause/Resume for downloads
Subscribing to Channels
- If you are a RSS feed junkie, Video RSS feeds will be natural for you.
- Miro can auto-download video for any specified channel so it is ready for you to watch in the morning
- Easy bubble icons shows you how many new videos are waiting for you to watch in a channel
- 1-Click subscribe buttons lets you to go from a video in a website to Miro instantly
- Miro can search and download from all major video sites like YouTube, Blip, Revver, DailyMotion etc.
- Create saved search so any new video published for your search appears in Miro
- Create search within a channel – soft of a keyword filter in RSS feeds. For eg. watch just ‘pingpong’ videos in a sports channel.
- It’s a full featured web service containing a comprehensive catalog of video RSS feeds
- Rate channels and get suggestions
- If you have a video RSS feed, submit it to Miro Guide
- Create your own guide of videos & feeds and add it to Miro
- Email links to videos quickly with an email button in every channel & video
- Stumble, Digg, Reddit or del.icio.us from within Miro video
- Import/Export Channels as an OPML file just like you would export/import bookmarks in your browser.
Miro 1.1 just released with some of the above features just included in it. I was overwhelmed by the maturity of this video player and the full blown features it offers. You can find detailed descriptions of all the above features in Miro’s features section but I have listed most of them here so you don’t have to click over.
It works great in all 3 major operating systems – WIndows, Mac & Linux. And it has a beautiful and intuitive interface.
While installing Miro, it offers to install a Firefox Extension ‘I Heart Miro’. What this extension does is to donate a small amount to the Miro open source project anytime you purchase something from Amazon. When you are not paying for it so why not help such a cool software by having that extension installed? If you were feeling generous, of course you always make a direct donation to the project.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I wrote this Miro review. Miro 2.0 has been released and sports a lot of new features.
- New interface
- Improved speed and performance
- Links to online streaming video places
- Add & download videos via RSS
I would love to hear how much of time do you spend in a day watching videos online. I used to spend atleast 30 mins or so but I don’t find time anymore. I would like to get back into following videos and have thought about posting a tech video section here every Friday. Convince me either way.