Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for March, 2007

A Name Change

Monday, March 12th, 2007

This is some big news for us. We are planning to change the name of Democracy Player.

We chose the name ‘Democracy’ almost two years ago when we were first setting up PCF. We knew it was an ambitious name, but we thought that it made a clear statement about how important it is that an open internet TV platform is for our culture.

Our early Mac beta versions of Democracy Player were called ‘DTV’– we didn’t think that we could be ‘Democracy’ until we had something substantial to offer. When we released version 0.8 for Mac and Windows one year ago, we called it Democracy Player. In the weeks before that release, we agonized over the name. It was risky and unusual and we were both excited about it and worried. Cory Doctorow, who’s on our Board of Directors, tried to talk us out of it. And we take his advice very seriously. But we still felt compelled by the name and we decided to go for it.

And, even though I’m about to explain why we need to change it, I’m glad we’ve had this name for the past year. It’s funny that a name like ‘Democracy’ can become a name for software– I think it turned out to be less odd than we expected. When people hear a name, they tend to accept it. And it helped us assert our mission clearly: free, open, and dedicated to democratizing video online. I think conveying that mission so strongly was crucial for us.

But the name also confused a huge number of potential users. In all our debates about whether you could call something ‘Democracy’ and how people would react to the name, we hadn’t realized that so many people would simply assume that the software was for politicians and videos about politics. We hear this response over and over, and it’s a real limitation to our user base.

So we’re changing the name to Miro.

We’ll working on a new icon / logo and a new website, which will be at getmiro.com.

The name change will happen over the next month or two (now would be a good time to let us know if the word ‘miro’ means something bad in any languages). Our next release will probably still be called Democracy Player, but the one after that will be Miro. And the release after that will likely be Miro 1.0.

Also: TIME Magazine has a nice mention of us on p. 62 of their current issue (dated march 19).


Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Insight is a wonderful project working to establish local video initiatives around the world. Their director Chris Lunch describes it this way, “We use video as a tool to empower marginalized groups around the world and help catalyse locally led change. We have developed successful methods for involving the whole community and handing over the video to enable them to tell their own stories in their own words.”

Take a look at their site: InsightShare.org.

Democracy Player is helping France’s ‘actual democracy’

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

People often think that since we are called ‘Democracy Player’ the software is only for political videos. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know that’s not the case at all (I’ll have more on that naming problem soon). But for now, I want to highlight a wonderful use of Democracy Player that actually IS political videos.

The presidential campaign in France is heating up. There are two major candidates competing. One of them, Ségolène Royal, is offering a custom version of Democracy Player on her website. It comes with her own videos channels by default and a custom channel guide. We worked with their team to build these custom versions. Users can download them by visiting the site and clicking the ‘P2P’ link: Désirs d’avenir. But if you already have Democracy Player, there’s no need to re-download. Just add their custom channel guide to your player. Go to the ‘Channel’ menu and select ‘New Channel Guide…’ then paste in this URL: http://tv.emilitants.org/cg/index.php

One of the best things about the 5 channels they have created is that they are full of long-form videos. This is not soundbite-driven politics. And we think Democracy Player is perfect for this type of longer-format and higher definition content.

Mozilla Firefox / Democracy Player party at South by Southwest

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Are you going to SXSW Interactive this weekend? If so, please come to the BBQ party that we’re hosting with Mozilla on Monday March 12, from 6-9pm. Here’s more details: SXSW Evening Events.


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