Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for July, 2006

iTunes vs. Democracy Player: a Comparison

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

We’ve just posted an article I wrote that compares the video RSS capabilities of iTunes and Democracy Player: Video Podcast Shootout.

As I say in the article, this comparison is only with respect to video. iTunes is an excellent audio player and audio podcaster, but we happen to think that we’ve got them beat for most video situations (syncing video to an iPod being a notable exception).

Please take a look and let me know what you think, I’d be happy to add new points on either side: nicholas@pculture.org.

Democracy Codejam at OSCON

Monday, July 24th, 2006

We are psyched about an event at OSCON that we just found out about this morning: the Equator Cafe near the convention will be hosting a Democracy codejam for 5 days, from morning until night. It’s awesome that they’ve chosen Democracy as the project to work on.

If you’re at the conference, stop by the cafe, dive into some code, or just say hi. Holmes Wilson, a co-director of PCF, is on his way to OSCON, so he’ll be around too.

Here’s the details: Democracy Codejam at OSCON.

How to Make a Democracy 1-Click Subscribe Button

Monday, July 24th, 2006

My mission this week is to tell everyone about the new 1-Click subscribe functionality in Democracy Player 0.8.5. We can start with some examples.

Let’s say I make a video channel, called Tikibar TV (I actually don’t make this channel, but I’m sure they won’t mind the publicity). I want to make it easier for people to subscribe to my RSS feed in Democracy Player, so I go to the Democracy Button Maker and paste in the URL for my feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TikiBarTV

Then I click ‘Make My Buttons’ and pick out the button that I want to use. I paste the code into my website or, in this case, my blog post. Here it is:

Democracy: Internet TV

Now, when someone clicks on that link, they will be instantly subscribed to my channel in Democracy Player (try it!). If they don’t have Democracy Player, they’ll be able to download it after clicking the button. And if they are running Windows (most people are) then they’ll be able to download the player with that channel already subscribed. Makes sense, right?

Here’s another example: let’s say I want to recommend five great internet TV channels to everyone who reads this blog. I’ll find the URLs for the RSS feeds (in Democracy, you can get the URL for a channel on the settings page for that channel). Then I’ll paste them into the button maker. This time, instead of a button I’ll use the text link that the button make gives me:

Subscribe to 5 great internet TV channels.

If you have any questions about the 1-Click system, post a comment here or head over to our discussion forums. And if you’ve put a 1-Click Button on your site, we’d love to use you as an example– definitely post a comment.

Democracy Player Version 0.8.5 Released (includes an Intel-Mac version)

Friday, July 21st, 2006

We have just released Democracy Player version 0.8.5, another big step forward. If you have a new Intel-based Mac, this is also our first native version for that platform and it’s very, very fast.

Get Democracy Player 0.8.5 – Windows, Mac PPC and Mac Intel, and Linux.


One-click subscription: This is huge for publishers– let your viewers subscribe to your channel from your website with a single-click. You can even subscribe people to a batch of channels, in case you want to recommend a list of favorites or if you publish multiple feeds. And the best part: if a Windows user doesn’t have Democracy Player already, they can download a version of the application that comes with your channels pre-subscribed– it’s your own branded video player. We believe that Democracy Player is the best way for a publisher to present a video feed because it’s the best experience for the user. Want to try it out? Check out our brand new 1-Click Button Maker.

External torrent support: Democracy Player can now serve as a standard BitTorrent client for .torrent files that you download from the web. We think this is a great feature because so many torrents are video content and if you use Democracy Player to download your torrents, you’ll be able to watch them right in the player as soon as they are done.

Fullscreen controls on windows: Windows now has fullscreen controls so that you can skip forward and back, fast forward, rewind, pause, etc. Mac and Linux already have fullscreen controls.

Interface polish: We’ve made a few nice improvements to the interface, including: an indicator that shows when channels are updating and a nicer download progress bar. Additionally, we now use Video Bomb when you email a video, which should make sharing videos easier for most people.

Bug fixes, speed improvements, and tweaks: We say this every time and it’s true every time– this is our most stable release yet. And one of the most important things that we do is subtle refinements to the way the interface works: better dialog boxes, better settings, better menu items, more intelligent behavior. We’re always working to perfect the user experience.

Sound good? Download Democracy Player 0.8.5

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