Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for March, 2010

Miro 3.0!! Faster, louder, smoother, subtitles!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Miro 3.0 Released

Big news today! We are releasing Miro 3.0, a major new version that is faster and has a whole bunch of new features and polish.

Download Miro 3.0

Aaannnndddddd… we’re also announcing a totally new application called Miro Video Converter! Read my post announcing Miro Video Converter for all the details.

Here’s a quick list of the biggest things that are new in Miro 3:

  • Subtitles!
    If subtitles are embedded or in the same folder as your video, they will be available automatically in a new drop-down menu. Or pick any subtitle file.
  • Faster Faster Faster!
    Miro is faster and snappier in all sorts of ways from downloading torrents to deleting lots of files. For example, launching Miro is over 150% faster! Downloading torrents is faster!
  • Louder Louder Louder!
    The maximum volume for videos is now at least twice as high. Really nice for laptops.
  • Edit file info
    Easily change the title, description, and category of a file.
  • Play Externally
    We’ve added an option to play all files externally and a right-click menu for single items.

For more details of what’s new, see the Miro 3.0 Release Notes.

Also, Will has created a new Miro User Guide that explains all of Miro’s features.

I’m very excited about this new version of Miro, I think it really takes the application to a new level of smoothness and polish. I’m very proud of how well our small team has been able to keep improving and refining Miro.

Very special thanks to the folks that donated on Kickstarter to support the development of the subtitle feature!

Announcing the Miro Video Converter!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Today we are launching the new Miro Video Converter, which I think is, by far, the easiest way to convert almost any video to MP4, Theora or for a specific device like an Android phone, iPhone, iPod, or PSP.

The goal of Miro Video Converter is to give people an easy, fast, and intuitive way to convert videos. Most video converters out there have dozens of baffling settings about how to encode the video. Miro Video Converter is all about trying to do less- it has virtually no features. Just pick your file and choose what format or device you want to convert it to. It works.

For fans of open-source freedom, the application is especially important because it’s the only simple desktop application we know of that encodes the latest, high quality Ogg Theora videos.

And here’s a closer look at our beautiful Miro Video Converter logo, by our designer Morgan Knutson. As you can see, he did a great job building on the style of the Miro logo that Jon Hicks made with us a few years ago.

A few more notes for geeks:

a. Miro Video Converter (MVC) is based on FFMPEG, a very powerful video engine. You can read more about our conversion settings here. These are a work in progress.

b. For Theora conversion, MVC uses ffmpeg2theora, which has the latest and greatest theora encoding, with excellent quality.

c. The source-code is licensed under the GPL and can be found here. It was coded in partnership with 8 Planes, an outstanding team of coders.

Launching: Video on Wikipedia – Fighting back for open codecs!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

let's get video on wikipedia

Today we’re launching a project with the Open Video Alliance to promote video in Wikipedia articles. It’s called:

Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia!

This is a concept that I had thinking about and trying to nudge towards reality for a long time; I’m thrilled that we’re finally there. There’s a bunch of interesting aspects, but perhaps the heart of it is a chance to bring open video to mainstream users and strike a blow for freedom.

Wikipedia is the most popular site in the world that posts video exclusively in open formats (specifically, theora). The steadfast commitment that the Wikimedia Foundation has to open information, tools, and formats, is amazing. They truly put their values first.

By encouraging more people to post videos in Wikipedia articles, we can bring theora video played in html5 to a very large audience. Currently, there are very few wikipedia articles that have videos (here’s one that does: Polar Bear). We hope that this campaign will bring thousands more to the site and show people how great theora can be. HTML 5 video, which plays without Flash, is a wonderful step towards a more open web– but if it depends on proprietary codecs like h.264, we will still be stuck with a gatekeeper for online video.

What else makes this a great campaign?

1. Having a video in a Wikipedia article can bring topics to life in a way that photos and text alone can’t do. It’s an incredibly engaging medium. Think about the difference between reading about a cheetah’s top speed and actually seeing it run.

2. We’ve worked hard with folks at Wikipedia to simplify the process of posting video to Wikipedia and we’ve got it down to 5 pretty simple steps. So now, for the first time in a truly human-usable form, here is: how to post a video to Wikipedia.

3. Shhhhh. If you look around that site, you’ll notice a reference to a new Miro product that is in a usable beta form but not quite ready for a full launch. Look for a launch announcement very soon.

4. If you watch a video on a Wikipedia article but you aren’t on a browser like Firefox or Chrome, it will play in a Java player (it’s pretty awkward) but it will also point you to Firefox, so that you can get a better browser. Another win for openness!

5. We’ve created a nice gallery of videos that are being submitted to Wikipedia in a Wikipedia Miro Community site so you can see what people are posting.

There’s a lot more to come from this campaign, so make sure to follow Open Video Alliance on twitter and become a fan of the project on facebook.

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