In line with our celebration of our new wordpress server, here is the second post for the day. In this post, we discuss a video player I’ve been using for over a year, but seems that not enough people are using it. It’s not just any video player. It’s Miro.
Miro Video Player
I know a lot of people who love watching videos at YouTube. And among them, there are also plenty who like downloading their favorite videos. The problem though is that YouTube doesn’t freely provide this service. Instead they have to rely on Firefox extensions, download websites (which are either full of ads, possibly virus-laden, or just plain dubious), and other such hacks.
That was how I found Miro. I’ve been using Miro for about a year now, and it has improved over the past year in terms of both usability and stability. But Miro is more than just another YouTube downloader. Advertised as an Internet TV player, it does what it says and does it well.
Downloading YouTube Videos
With Miro’s integrated video search feature, you can search videos from YouTube, Daily Motion, Veoh, and other video websites without starting your browser. You then just choose your search results and Miro will start downloading them into your library. I find this feature really nice, especially when downloading a long or large video, when I want to show something to some friends, or when I’m just too busy to watch them immediately. WIth the video in my library, I can load it up anytime at my convenience, whether I’m on the train or relaxing after cooking/eating dinner.
Internet TV with Miro
Viewing The Contents of a Channel
Miro comes with a few default channels and lets you add more channels. There are plenty of channels to choose from the integrated Miro Guide, which offers you some of its recommendations or you can search for a particular interest. Miro uses the open RSS standard for its channels, so it’s compatible with practically all feeds on the internet, including iTunes podcasts.
The beauty of using channels is that you can set it to auto-download New content or All content to download even old videos you haven’t seen yet. For example, I am subscribed to the WebbAlert channel, which offers an almost-daily 5-minute round-up of what’s new on the Internet and computing in general. When I get home and turn on my computer and Miro, it will automatically download new episode(s) if any, for my viewing pleasure, at my own leisure. It’s like turning on your TV to your favorite daily program, only you’re not bound by stiff schedules.
More Cool Features
Miro’s core functionalities are wonderfully complemented by the options that Miro’s intellgent engineers came up with.
Afraid you’ll run out of disk space? That shouldn’t be a problem when using Miro. You can easily set Miro to make sure to leave a gigabyte or two. And if space is a problem, the expire feature comes in very handy. Some people unfamiliar with this concept might be wary at first, but trust me, you’re not going to be watching last week’s podcast episodes anyway. YouTube videos also expire in the default 6 days, but you can choose to keep a video indefinitely by clicking on the “keep” button. Of course, there’s also a “delete” button, in case you downloaded a loser video or this week’s podcast episode just sucks.
Each channel also displays the number of unwatched videos you have, which conveniently turns into a play button when you move your mouse over it, giving you instant access to unwatched content. There’s also a “New” item in the sidebar. Just like the channels, it displays the number of unwatched videos across all your channels and clicking it plays it. By default Miro is set to play all videos consecutively in a section (be it a channel, New, or your library), but if you prefer watching one at a time (like me), you can turn it off in the options.
Miro is available for GNU/Linux, Mac, as well as Windows. Download it now from http://www.getmiro.com
While you’re downloading Miro, click on over here to read more about how Miro does what it does. And if you’re interested in making your own videos or channels for Miro, http://makeinternettv.org is a good resource for information.