Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for February, 2009

Having an interesting Miro story?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Attention: Miro Users, social, cultural and political media/RSS/BitTorrent fans, and all the historicists and ethnographers in us — we’re trying to gather stories on how Miro or video RSS feeds have been or are used in different ways, different places, and different communities. It’s a truism that new media technologies, like RSS feeds, have and continue to change the way people communicate, opening up a digital world of infinite possibilities. Since Miro is distributed throughout the world and enables cross-cultural and social communication across any distance, we hope there are many uses of Miro that we don’t know about or simply need to be reminded of. Do you have a story about how Miro or RSS is used to communicate?

The internet itself makes it possible for lovers to communicate before they even know each other. What has Miro or RSS or BitTorrent enabled — does anyone have a feed of their own life that they share with their family 2-3 continents away? Are there cross-cultural exchanges, connected by language, cultural tradition, social habit?

A teacher named Scott is using Miro to help teach special-education and developmentally disabled students because as he says, “The ideal is to have a video/audio jukebox that can display all of the multimedia resources in one place, and in a format that is most likely to keep the students actively engaged.” Scott and others — we have a big educational initiative coming soon and will be posted about here, would love to hear what works best for you and your students.

Here’s an example that is unrelated to Miro directly, but related to the power of RSS — there is a small town in Europe (somewhere!) that has a community internet portal which broadcasts uploaded content as their local public channel. Can anyone tell me where this small town is?

This is our attempt at a distributed history gathering of Miro stories — if you have any information on how Miro is being used out there, please send them to me directly at tyc at pculture dot org or put them here in the comments for everyone to see (better!).

Open Video Conference: June 19th & 20th in New York

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

With great enthusiasm, I announce the upcoming Open Video Conference, slated for June 19th and 20th in New York City. PCF is co-organizing the conference along with the Yale Internet Society Project, Kaltura, iCommons, and the Open Video Alliance.

Open Video Conference
June 19-20, 2009
New York City
40 Washington Square South (NYU Law School)

We’ll have a full website up for the conference soon!

About the Conference

The conference will feature talks from internet luminaries, panels and discussions, screenings of video art, and demonstrations of the newest internet video technology. We expect more than 400 participants.

  • Bring together stakeholders in the online video space (video makers, coders, lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs, etc.) for cross-pollination and development of the Open Video movement.
  • Raise public interest and awareness around the Principles for an Open Video Ecosystem, a community effort to define best practices in online video.
  • Raise the public profile of video creators and artists.
  • Foster a narrative — why do these video artists and creators value openness? How does it affect their work?

Why is Open Video Important?

YouTube and other online video applications are rightly celebrated for empowering end-users; however, online video lacks some of the essential qualities that make text and images on the web such ubiquitous and powerful tools for free speech and technical innovation. Email, blogs, and other staples of the open web rely on ubiquitous and interoperable technologies that have low barriers to entry; they are massively decentralized and resistant to censorship or regulation. Video, meanwhile, relies on centralized distribution and proprietary technologies which can threaten cultural discourse and innovation.

Open Video is the growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and participation in online video. These qualities provide more fertile ground for bottom-up innovation and greater protection for free speech online. Many organizations are already taking steps to change the nature of video on the web: Mozilla is moving to support open video formats in Firefox, the Participatory Culture Foundation promotes open source and standards in video publishing and distribution, and Wikipedia has increased its focus on the open Theora codec.

A very important end note: Open Video is more than just having a functional open source video codec. It’s all the legal and social norms surrounding online video. It’s the ability to attach the license of your choice to videos you publish. It’s about media consolidation, aggregation, and decentralization. It’s about fair use. In short, it’s about a LOT of things, and that’s why this conference is guaranteed to be very stimulating.

Our wonderful team

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Like a bumblebee’s wings, the PCF staff appears far too small to lift a complicated, cross-platform app like Miro off the ground. But like a bumblebee’s heart, our team pumps out mostly love and magic, making anything possible.

You can’t underestimate how much of a difference it makes when people are working on something that they really believe it. Without our mission holding up our organization and bringing together our community, there’s just no way we’d be able to do what we do.

Miro 2.0 is here!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


I am thrilled to announce the release of Miro 2.0! This is a huge update of Miro, the Miro Guide, and the GetMiro website.

Download Miro 2.0 Now

Miro 2 has an all-new interface and lots of new features– but for me it’s less of a collection of new stuff and more of a rethinking of the whole Miro experience. I’m really proud of what we’ve built and I think it will definitely advance our mission to spread open video to more people.

In a nutshell, here’s what’s new:

  • A beautiful, all-new widget based interface (see it in action here)
  • Browse while you watch– pop out any video to an external window (our number one requested feature)
  • Miro is now faster, more responsive, and uses less memory
  • You can add streaming sites like Hulu to your sidebar (note: streaming with Flash only works in Windows and OSX)
  • You can add download sites like Archive.org or legaltorrents.com to your sidebar and download to Miro with a single click
  • Improved playlists
  • New compact, sortable list view
  • Better audio support

…and a few days ago we launched the all-new Miro Guide that looks beautiful and works with Miro 2.0 (for example, the Guide is now starting to list some streaming sites).

Check out the Miro Feature List and detailed release notes for more.

But remember, we are not a company!

Miro is created by a non-profit organization and volunteers around the world. To realize our vision of a more open and democratic internet video world, you need to get involved.

How can you help the most?

  • Tell your friends! Since we can’t afford to buy our way into their hearts, we need you to tell them about Miro, why open media is important, and help them get started.
  • Translate! Only about 40% of Miro users are in English speaking countries. We need your help to translate Miro, our website, and the Miro Guide. Details are on our new Volunteer Page.
  • Test and code! Got chops? Join in.
  • Help new users– you can answer questions and join the community conversation here: Miro discussion forums.

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