Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for April, 2008

Miro is a Webware 100 Winner!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

CNET has announced that Miro is a Webware 100 winner! Thanks to all of you for your votes.

Here’s Miro’s official victory page and the Webware announcement which lists Miro in Editor Rafe Needleman’s personal Top 10.

They write:

Poised to become the ultimate desktop video app, Miro is across between a media player and a Bittorrent client. It handles every major video format including MPEG, QuickTime, AVI, H.264, DivX, Windows Media, Flash Video, 3GP, and others. It downloads torrent files and has a wealth of settings geared for user customization. You can e-mail videos, autodelete, autodownload, set favorites, organize your video collection, and more.

Miro arranges content feeds into “channels,” showing that there’s no need to reinvent television terminology when it’s useful. And unlike other software-based Web video viewers, Miro’s double duty as a Bittorrent client makes it a worthy addition to your desktop.

Tracking Down a Couple Bugs

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

We’ve had a couple odd, but major bugs reported by single people and I want to make sure they are not widespread. Are you experiencing either of the following:

a. You can’t load to getmiro.com in a browser (sounds like a trick question).

b. When you start miro, the Miro Guide never loads, but you can download videos from feeds.

If you do see either of these bugs, please write to jed – at – pculture.org and let us know so we can track them down. As usual, any other bugs should go here Miro bug report. Lots of bugs will be resolved today, in fact, with the release of Miro 1.2.3 in a couple hours.

Got Virgin ISP? Cancel it.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Cory Doctorow (PCF board member) has canceled his internet account with Virgin in response to comments by their CEO that net neutrality is “a load of bollocks” and that they will be slowing down traffic from sources that don’t pay extra. These companies need to hear from the public and this is the language they understand.

Cory writes: “Theoretically, I’m locked into a Virgin plan for another six months, but as far as I’m concerned, they’ve just announced that they’re violating the agreement by announcing that the services I can reach will be systematically slowed down unless they pay Virgin extra. That means that we’re now null and void. I’ll be calling to cancel today. Who’s with me?”

Got Virgin for internet? Cancel it and tell them why.

At our Worcester office, we have a Charter cable internet connection. We’ve been noticing that they appear to be restricting BitTorrent traffic and we’re canceling our service this month. Miro, of course, supports evasionary encryption to get around such blocking, but a technology arms race is no substitute for real public protections.

Cory’s full post.

Update: Folks have been asking what Cory is going to switch to. He tells me:”I’ve got two lines at home, BT and Virgin, so when I manage to kill Virgin, I’ll keep BT for the rest of the year, then have a look around… I’m not fond of BT (they’re participants in Phorm), but I’m locked into them, too.”

At the PCF office, we have both Charter and Verizon. We’ll be using our Verizon account for now, as they seem to be more neutrality positive so far.

The Constantly Increasing Pressure to Host on YouTube

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Video creators often choose to go wherever the largest audience is, and right now a lot of the audience is at YouTube, whose dominance has been steadily growing for a long time.

According to Comscore, YouTube serves a mammoth 34% of all internet videos. 34% may not sound too impressive, until you compare it to their closest competitor, Myspace, who serves a paltry 6% of all internet video. One effect of this massive market share is that hardware manufacturers and 3rd parties are making deals with YouTube, but aren’t interested in supporting other platforms. Another is that viewers go directly to YouTube to conduct searches and watch videos.

This means that independent creators like Glenn Wolsey are forced to move their programs onto YouTube, lest they be left without an audience. Although this post is rather old, it clearly illustrates my point:

Putting it in perspective, if you were to publish a video to the web, would you prefer to upload it to YouTube where you have millions of potential viewers from all over the world, via computers, the Apple TV, the iPod touch, and the iPhone within minutes uploading it, or alternatively, would you prefer to upload it to a smaller video site to retain a somewhat ‘better’ community feeling?

Glenn is just one of so many creators who has been forced to make this difficult decision: retain control over the presentation and format of the video, or reach the largest viewing audience in the world.

I think there’s a growing awareness of what “Open Video” means; however, there are still a lot of folks that assume the internet is universally open, democratic, and completely decentralized. While in many cases the internet is all of these things, with video it’s clearly not the case — the risk of a monopoly is clear and present.

Here at PCF we’re going to be co-organizing a campaign to help frame these important issues and arm people with information and tools to help mitigate the monopolistic effects of YouTube. We’ll be working to spread the meme of truly open and democratic web video, helping everyone to see where we’re at and to push for something much better.

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