Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for October, 2007

Miro Public Preview 3 – Released

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

We have just released Miro Public Preview 3 ( This is the last version before 1.0 and has a lot of improvements.

Download Miro Public Preview 3

Today we’ve also published a chart that compares Miro and Joost. Here’s my blog post explaining why we think Miro is better and here’s the full chart.

What’s New in Miro Public Preview 3

a. On Windows, Miro will now generate thumbnails for any file that you download or add to your library. It makes for a much nicer browsing experience. If a channel already provides a thumbnail for a video, Miro will show that instead.

b. Miro now shows the channel icon instead of the generic video icon each video in a channel. It’s a simple change that makes a big difference.

c. If you search for a video in your Library or a channel and then start playing it, Miro will remember the search term when you stop playing the video. Fixes a small annoyance.

d. Miro now has the ability to add alternate channel guides and initiate individual video downloads with a 1-click button. We’ll be putting up 1-click button makers for these features soon and we’ll be integrating this functionality into the Miro Guide.

e. We’ve spent some time improving the first-time user experience. When you run Miro for the first time, you’ll see this page which has a quick video overview and you’ll be able to subscribe to some batches of channels on specific themes, like Sports, News, Food, etc. We hope it will help new users get their bearings a little more easily.

f. At the request of video bloggers, we’ve put a ‘permalink’ below the video playback area. This makes it easy to go to that video post and leave a comment. Someday we’d love to have integrated commenting.

g. Some install functionality that makes our Co-Branded Miro service possible.

h. Compatibility with OSX Leopard and Ubuntu Gutsy.

i. Lots of bug fixes and small tweaks.

Why Miro is Better than Joost

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Miro is better than Joost

With the release of Miro Public Preview 3, we feel ready to be held up next to any competition. The company with the most hype right now is Joost. To help prove our point, I put together a chart that details why we think Miro is a better product, better for the internet, and better for creators: Miro vs. Joost Comparison.

Simply put, I don’t think Joost can compete with a world-class open player and I think we’ll have more users than they do by January. I think we may already have more active users than they do– despite vastly more media coverage, Joost.com is only a little bit more popular than GetMiro.com according to Alexa. I think Miro users are telling their friends and Joost users are trying once and giving up.

A little background: Joost is an internet video application from the people that developed Skype (now owned by eBay). It’s an extremely closed system, with only certain, mostly traditional, publishers being given access. Users can only stream content and everything is locked down with DRM. Joost is trying to build their own proprietary tunnel through the internet.

Why would a company like Joost want to make an internet application that’s so restrictive? Because if they are successful, they will control both creators and viewers. Creators will have to sign a contract with Joost if they want to reach Joost’s audience. Being in the middle of a transaction is a good way to make money. But building a gatekeeping system for internet TV is a terrible direction for the future of media.

In contrast, Miro is an extremely open system. The software is open-source and can be modified by anyone. Anyone can publish to Miro and nothing comes through our servers. Like a web browser, the connection happens directly between the viewer and the creator. We don’t even lock-down the content guide– anyone can create an alternative channel guide for Miro.

But openness isn’t just important for social reasons. Miro’s openness makes it a better product. In the same way that web was more exciting than closed dial-up networks like Prodigy and AOL, Miro embraces the internet sandbox in a way that makes internet TV a whole lot more interesting. Miro has way more channels that Joost ( 2.600 compared to 250) and because it’s a gatekeeper-free system, you can connect to many more that we don’t even list in our guide. Just like the web compared to AOL, there’s more crappy content but there’s also more good content. You don’t have to worry about the crap– just search for what you like.

Joost has had a ton of hype, mostly because the people who made it got so rich when they sold Skype and the press wants to see if they can do it again. But when you look at what’s there, Joost is a pretty dull product. Their content selection is mediocre and their user base has grown much more slowly than you would expect given the amount of attention they’ve received. Joost simply isn’t very interesting to watch.

We think Miro’s better and I expect that the strength of our product and the passion of our users is going to far outshine the Joost hype.

DRM and BBC’s iPlayer

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Cory Doctorow on DRM in the BBC’s iPlayer. iPlayer is a Kontiki-based closed source, closed standards, DRM video player. Unfortunately, American public broadcasters are also toying with using Kontiki in the form of the ‘Open Media Network’, which is not, in fact, ‘Open’, and which has already been a total flop with viewers.

Trick or Treat!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

We have been so psyched by all the people who have taken the time to download the testing builds for the upcoming release, that we wanted to give out some treats in the spirit of the holiday.

It’s possible that we will choose to treat a few more people on Halloween. So download from the testing builds site and try running through some of our tests.

Special thanks (and a little treat) go to:

sedatg, dlannmon, broli, bryan, pwidmer, tmar, axcisdrew, makk753, chrisC, macinlew, patrickD, josephbC, suttonD, clintkyksa, fluteman, i_therain and jtong77.

Happy Halloween!

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