An introduction to Miro

Miro is a free application that turns your computer into an Internet TV video player. Miro used to be known as Democracy Player, but as it approaches v1.0, it’s now known as Miro. For a brief introduction to Miro (and why I think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread), keep reading..

Miro is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux (download it here). The Windows version of Miro embeds the VLC player to play videos. That means you can use it to watch Windows Media, Quicktime, MPEG 1, 2, 4, H264, AVI, DivX, XviD, Flash, OGM, and many other video formats. The Mac version uses Quicktime 7 for video, which is built into OS X. They use plugins for Quicktime that allow you to play even more video formats, including: MPEG, MP4, MOV, H264, Flash, Xvid, AVI and OGG.

Miro includes a number of default “channels” for you to explore. You can delete them and/or add your own from a selection of over 1500.

The reason I won’t bother to explain how to use Miro is that Miro itself has a channel full of brief videos on how to use it. Just select the Using Miro channel from the left navigation.

miro video player
default Miro view

From there you can download and watch videos that explain the basic features of Miro, and some of the advanced ones too.

miro video player
the Using Miro channel

During the brief setup wizard, you’re prompted to tell Miro where you store video files on your hard drive. It will then scan that folder and make it available as your Library.

miro video player
Miro Library view

Just click a video thumbnail and if it has already been downloaded, it will begin to play.

miro video player
non-full screen video playing

As an excellent OS X feature, Growl is supported – so you’ll be notified when your downloads have completed.

miro video player

Because the videos you watch are all downloaded to your hard drive (including YouTube videos), Miro will – by default – set them to expire after 5 days. So you don’t need to worry about your hard drive filling up with videos you may never watch again. With that said, you can easily ensure any given video is stored forever by clicking the KEEP button.

miro video player
all downloaded videos

And finally – Miro is also a BitTorrent client. Though I wasn’t able to find the info on their help site (though it may very well be there and I just missed it) – all you need to do is download a .torrent, open Miro then select File -> Open. Navigate to your .torrent, select it and it will immediately begin to download.

Or, if one of your favorite video sites supplies RSS feeds, you can create a channel by using that feed. Simply select Channels -> Add Channel… and enter the RSS address.

miro video player
bittorrent view

So what are you waiting for – download it now :)

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Alicia Rahe December 30, 2009, 8:03 pm

    Interested in knowing more about Miro. How much room does it take up to download it? Does it work with Windows XP, and a wireless broadband? Can it give full screen capabilities? Are there any hidden costs? Does Direct TV or Superpass get wiped out and are there sports and gaming channels available? Will my Adobe and Java stuff get removed and if so what happens to all the stuff already in my PC?

  • Alicia Rahe January 7, 2010, 2:34 am

    Thank you for posting this informative introduction to Miro. I still have unresolved questions, but this intro gives me other details I’d want to know. What is trackback? At this time my interests are not to download Miro until I have researched more about it.

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