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).