Miro Internet TV Blog

Democracy Player 0.9.6 Released – Last version ever! (before name change)

June 4th, 2007 by Nicholas Reville

We have just released version 0.9.6 of Democracy Player. It is a *big* update, with lots of new features, bug fixes, and improvements. It’s also the last version ever of Democracy Player. The next release from us will be under our new name, Miro.

And here it is: Download Democracy Player 0.9.6

Below are all the new features in this release, but I’d like to talk a little about the most exciting new feature, “folder watching”. It’s a new preference panel that let’s you pick folders on your local computer to include in your video collection. When a new video shows up in that folder, it will appear in your collection. Do you download videos from your browser to your desktop? Set Democracy Player to watch your desktop for new videos. Do you keep all your videos on an external hard drive? Add that hard drive to your collection and get all your videos organized in Democracy Player. Try it out.

The new features:

1. Folder watching (what I just wrote about above).

2. Resume playback. If you’re watching a 15 minute video and stop halfway, we’ll remember where you were when next time you watch it. There’s a preference setting to turn this on and off.

3. Auto-updating for Mac users. This should be the last time that Mac users will need to go to their browser to download a new version. From now on, when a new version is released you’ll be able to install it within the app and relaunch (we’re now using Sparkle). Windows users don’t have auto-update yet, but we’ll be able to give you details about what’s new in each release from within the app (right now it just tells you that there’s a new version, with no details).

4. Minimize to tray on windows– when you click the red x in the upper right, the application will hang out in the system tray. A much requested feature.

5. Windows Vista compatibility. This solves playback issues for some Vista users.

6. Resizing of thumbnails. We now resize and cache thumbnails so that the images displayed are smoother. This also makes switching between channels much faster.

7. More thorough proxy support.

8. Ability to play audio files on mac (previously we sent you out to an external player).

9. Many more keyboard shortcuts on Windows. This will make remote control support easy. Full keyboard shortcuts for Mac are coming soon with the first version of Miro.

10. Bug fixes, memory use reduction, memory leak fixes. Updated Perian on OSX to version 1.0b5.

We hope you enjoy all the improvements, please let me know what you think.

From here until Miro 1.0 we are focused almost exclusively on fixing bugs. If you find a bug, you can file it here.

92 Responses to “Democracy Player 0.9.6 Released – Last version ever! (before name change)”

  1. I never post to comment threads like this, but I have to chime in with everyone else…

    The name change is a HORRIBLE idea. Especially to something that will mean nothing to anyone.

    If you insist, at least find something that implies freedom.

  2. [...] Download of the Moment: Democracy Published June 24th, 2007 Download of the Moment Note: I would like to point out that Democracy will soon be renamed Miro. [...]

  3. david says:

    I agree with everyone else about the name change… you’ve had a great success with a marketing campaign that has wide name recognition and general good vibes.

    Practically speaking googling “democracy player” gets ~500,000 results with you guys as the top site and the next 100 links referring directly while being documents that are genuinely about you. Clicking on google images and video reaps even better focus on your name.

    Miro returns more than 19,000,000 results about things that are completely unrelated to the Democracy Player project.

    The name “Miro” is too generic… and has no real meaning. “Democracy” is an understood principal… and “Democracy Player” or “Democracy TV” tells you what it is what what is is about in one shot.

    I say to a friend here is “Democracy Player”… you can watch anything… you can produce anything… freedom. They get it. The name prepares them for the explanation. Then they want a copy.

    Miro?…. feels forgettable.

  4. david says:

    I just did a scan for some of the the other key “Miro”‘s out there:

    http://www.miro.org – under construction
    http://www.miro.com – German display company
    http://www.miro.net – cyber-squatter parked
    http://www.miro.fm – cyber-squatter parked
    http://www.miro.jp – cyber-squatter parked
    http://www.miro.cn – cyber-squatter parked
    http://www.miro.ca – cyber-squatter parked
    http://www.miro.tw – under consutruction (Taiwanese)
    http://www.miro.tv – Korean apparel site

  5. ttuuxxx says:

    “Miro” is Spanish, who cares really how narrow minded can a guy be in a English website, do you think everyone in the world understands Spanish, man that just plain stupid. Give it a name that makes sense in all languages. like “TV” “Jesus” lol not Miro, wake up, hello anyone home???? or do plan on teaching everyone Spanish so they can read the name, dumb dumb. When i saw Democracy Tv , it made me interested enough to give it a look and then a download, if i would of seen “MIRO” i would of never looked at it for more then a second, first thought some dam other language, ratz, do the right thing and leave the name alone. Don’t confuse people, don’t put Spanish down peoples throats, The End

  6. V says:

    Great application, keep up the good work :) .

    Regarding the name, it is your app., so it is your call to name it as you want :) and Miro is easy to pronounce(and for all of those having issues with the new name: guys you can always refer to it as the player previously known as Democracy Player ;) ).

  7. ttuuxxx says:

    for if the 9 out of 10 are not happy with name and weren’t informed about the name change, I suggest take the project to http://sourceforge.net/index.php and go alone, split the project, better to jump of a sinking ship then to go down with it :) Hey let the little spanish loverboy kiss all his spanish people, and let the rest of the world around 90% of the planet enjoy Democracy Internet TV the way it was invented and NAMED. MIRO sucks period.

  8. ttuuxxx says:

    plus does anyone have a slackware link????

  9. jules says:

    I just got stumbled upon this website and I can honestly say the ONLY reason I checked it out and will now download the player is because of the name “Democracy”. It’s entirely unusual in the software market and it manages that rare feat of telling you what it is about in one single word, at one single glance.
    Had I seen a site with the header “Miro – the only video player you’ll ever need” I’d have rolled my eyes, said “yeah, right…” and would have clicked away without a second thought.

  10. n9 says:


    kinda funny that you claim to love the idea
    of keeping the name “Democracy” and at the
    same time you sound a bit racist with
    your posts.

  11. Matt Wilcox says:

    Well, looking at the comment thread – no one has a good word to say about the new name that isn’t a developer.

    And there’s a lot of people that really don’t like it.

    I never did get any feedback about the justification for the name change (nice story, no facts to back it up) – and that’s as worrying for the software as anything else. Seems that the ‘democracy’ in the project will be removed as soon as the name is.

  12. Nicholas Reville says:

    Matt- I’m not sure what you mean by ‘facts’. I talk to people about this project every day and I consistently hear confusion about the name. And, in my general polling, I’ve found that most folks prefer the name change, even among people who already know about us. I think the comments here are coming from people who think it’s a bad idea, and they are more likely to chime in, but that doesn’t reflect the majority opinion as far as I can tell.

  13. Matt Wilcox says:

    As I said in my comment above (http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2007/06/democracy-player-096-released-last-version-ever-before-name-change/#comment-28040) – the rational provided for the name change is:

    “…it just comes down to the fact that way to many potential users think that the software is only for watching videos of politicians.”

    I’ve asked for numbers on that, for evidence that backs up that statement, the research it’s based on – because, frankly, I’d be amazed if this is the case for the internet using public who will be using the software.

    I’m not saying that the Democracy team is wrong – I’m trying to understand why the democracy team have come to the conclusions they have. Because it is _my_ experience that there is no such problem. And I’m curious as to whether any quantitative research has been done at all, or whether this is based on the general experience of a select few running in select circles.

    Further to that, I’m also concerned that the current user base is giving feedback about the name change which is simply being ignored (presumably because the developers do not like that feedback). I think it is dangerous and not entirely nice to be ignoring the concerns of the people who are your existing user base. They are the ones that allowed Democracy to get where it is, and they are not being addressed. There’s something impolite at the very least about that.

  14. Nicholas Reville says:

    Matt- we don’t have any numbers on different name concepts, we haven’t done any market research and probably couldn’t afford to. My statement is based on my own anecdotal experience and that of other people in the organization. We’re not ignoring the concerns of people that disagree with the name change, and we share a lot of the same feelings about the name (after all, we picked that name in the first place). But even after considering all the comments that I’ve read opposing the name change, I still strongly believe that we’ll be able to reach more people as ‘Miro’.

  15. Matt Wilcox says:

    “we haven’t done any market research” – yep, that was what I feared. I completely understand the reasons why that is the case, but I also feel that basing decisions on the select experiences of a select few running in select circles is a bad idea. And despite the fact that a number of people in your organisation have the same viewpoint – that’s a microcosm of feedback, not a macrocosm. For all of your experience in favour of Miro, there’s counter-evidence against it in this very thread.

    The question perhaps shouldn’t be ‘can we afford to do market research?’ but ‘can we afford NOT to do market research?’.

    If the objective is about getting the Democracy service and software to the maximum number of users as possible, market research is critical to understanding how to do this. Internally derived experiences and ‘common sense’ do not work well as indicators of success with people who are outside of that circle. Nor does market research need to cost much. What would it take to get the opinion of random internet users? A form with a couple of questions – deployed on some sister sites (I wonder if Mozilla would help out on that front). OK, it’d take a developer a day or maybe two days of work to get the database set up, the forms designed and deployed. But at least there would be some real numbers to look at.

    Please understand I’m not intending to be critical for the sake of being critical – I like Democracy player, and I appreciate the software and the effort of the people behind it. I want to see it succeed. I’m just concerned that mistakes may be being made that will be hard to rectify later. Again – I’m not saying that Miro is wrong – but that there is no real evidence to say either way. That being the case, throwing away a very strong brand image that clearly resonates with existing and new users seems reckless.

  16. Indulis says:

    The name change is a great idea. Think about the people behind the great red firewall, who cannot access anything with “democracy” on the web page. Unfortunate but true! I had to send a copy to a friend of mine who was ex-patting in the east, so he could take a look at the player.

    So, no matter what, the name really *had* to change, we don’t want to stop a big chunk of the world’s population from accessing one of the best bits of code out there…

  17. Greg says:

    I agree about the name change. Throwing away such strong brand-recognition is a bad idea. I am another one who only clicked on the link in Google b/c of the name. As for those who think that Democracy Player is only for political vids…five seconds on the website will show that to be a false assumption. Would a name change make those people more apt to check it out? I doubt it.

  18. [...] Als Collector’s Edition wird die neueste Version 0.9.6 des Democracy Players angekündigt: “Last version before name change!” Eine nicht ganz ernsthafte Ankündigung eines ernsthaften Themas: Der Player, der für die Demokratisierung des Mediums Internet-TV steht, soll spätestens ab der Version 1.0 den Namen Miro tragen. Die Begründung dafür lautet wie folgt: “… the name [Democracy Player] … 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.” [...]

  19. Treeslayer says:

    Of all the potential names that exist Democracy must have more appeal than virtually any other. People that live in all kinds of countries want Democracy. Americans who live in a republic call it a Democracy because it sounds better. Britons, etc.

    Democracy equates to freedom and individual power. Ergo- “I the individual am empowered!”

  20. Dario says:

    I think you should call it “Dictatorship Player”.
    At least, none would feel entitled to argue about it…

  21. Pratty says:

    Miro, Miro …… on the wall,
    a name-change, brewing, what’s the Call.

    ‘They’ say change, and change it be,
    don’t sound much like democracy.

  22. Berend Harmsen says:

    I think that the problem with the namechange boils down to this:

    ‘Democracy’ sounds like it’s the product of a talented, independent group of people making something that might be so much better then what the big players are trying to do. And they do it because they want to create a true, viable platform that is really just about releasing the power of online media to the users.

    ‘Miro’ sounds like it’s the product of a talented, independent group of people making something that might be so much better then what the big players are trying to do. And they do it because by creating a true, viable platform that releases the power of online media to the users, they are creating an unbelievably valuable asset for one of the big media players somewhere down the line.

    True or not, that is, I think, the feeling you get when you read that henceforth, ‘Democracy’ will be rebranded as ‘Miro’. THAT is why people react so strongly to this.

  23. Berend Harmsen says:

    And I just have to add: I have started and stopped using Democracy a few times over the last year or so. Somehow I didn’t really seem to need or want it. I do get back to it everytime, though. And I am sure that is because of the association with the ‘Democracy’ concept. Called Miro, I would have mentally filed it as ‘some sort of media-filesharing thing’ and forgotten about it long ago.

  24. Nicholas Reville says:

    Berend– that’s a very interesting point. I should make it clear that we’re setup as a 501c3 non-profit, which means that we can never be acquired by another company. It also means that no one in our organization stands to gain personal wealth through the success of the project. We don’t have any ‘shareholders’.

  25. Matt Wilcox says:

    @Nicholas Reville – and that right there is something to be shouting about. “We won’t screw you over – ever”. That’s important, especially when people are now used to the idea of a good service being acquired and going downhill – flickr is one example of that.

  26. a user says:

    Hate the new name. The old name was one of the greatest attractions to this software, and I think you are very mistaken about the associations with the name (as many have stated above). As someone said above, I would almost certainly never have tried the software under the name “Miro.”

    I really like the software itself, but until you have a right-click context menu (with a full-screen option) anywhere within the window, I find myself continuing to use Media Player a lot. Which is unfortunate.

  27. I too, tried Democracy Player because of the name initially. I believe that you folks are making a HUGE mistake in changing the name. I was planning on creating a channel for for the Democratic-Republican Party which has recently been reformed in America, but HALF OF THE POINT IN DOING SO WAS TO HAVE THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY CHANNEL ON DEMOCRACY PLAYER AS A HAND IN HAND PR OPPORTUNITY, but if you’re just going to