Miro Internet TV Blog

The Host is the Message

December 5th, 2007 by Dean Jansen

The folks at Free Speech TV put together this animation, which challenges our increasing reliance on centralized and highly proprietary and commercialized web services:

While I thought it was a good video, and agreed with their message, I was overwhelmed by the irony in their choice of video host. Why choose such a proprietary and centralized video host to spread what is essentially an anti-YouTube message?

I wondered why they hadn’t chosen blip.tv or some other more creator-friendly host. The fact that blip allows explicit embedding of a Creative Commons license is enough by itself, not to mention other glaring differences that make YouTube seem a lot less web 2.0 by comparison.

To be fair, I asked Steve Anderson, one of the organizers behind Free Speech TV, why they decided on YouTube over a more democratic alternative. He explained that they are well aware of the irony surrounding the situation.

Free Speech TV is aiming to reach out to average users in order to get them off YouTube; thus, they went directly to the source. Steve also mentioned that they wanted to avoid preaching to the enlightened (who apparently hang out at places like Vimeo, Revver and blip).

This story really highlights one of the biggest problems with internet video today: As a creator, you’re forced to choose between accessing the world’s largest viewing audience and presenting your video the way you want to present it. You’re making a trade off when you choose YouTube; you get the big audience, but you’re potentially sacrificing video quality, choice of format, options for monetization, non-exclusive rights, the ability to post video that exceeds 10 minutes, and so on.

Miro acts as a bulwark against this problem — it allows video creators to make a direct a connection to their viewers. In other words, it doesn’t matter if a video is hosted on YouTube, blip, or any other web server connected to the internet; videos are all equally accessible through Miro (or any other application that can process standard video RSS feeds). This is the beauty of an open standard and it’s what makes the internet work so well.

If you’re interested in a more technical explanation of how Miro makes internet video more open, check out this article.

5 Responses to “The Host is the Message”

  1. Mike says:

    I’m currently making an OPML list of cable access TV feeds, and I gotta say, I’m so happy when I find a station using blip.tv, because I can add their feed to the list with one click. OTOH, I still haven’t figured a good or quick way to add video feeds based off YouTube….

  2. Dean Jansen says:


    If you’re looking for a feed that doesn’t include enclosures, YouTube actually makes those for every account (they don’t really advertise the feeds though). Enclosures are the links inside a feed that separate a normal text-only blog from a podcast. We have a simple tool for discovering the feed URL (from a variety of video hosts).

    Either way, the YouTube feeds are almost worthless, since they don’t actually point to the videos themselves (just the YouTube Flash player). It just drives home how much better services like blip.tv are!

  3. [...] via Miro – Internet TV Blog [...]

  4. pappplus says:

    Please release a distro independent package for Linux.

  5. fahrrad says:

    Dies ist ein großer Ort. Ich möchte hier noch einmal.

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