Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tivo for the Internet

Miro is an open source (cross platform) media player and downloader. Their slogan is Miro turns your computer into a TV. It's a bit of a stretch, but it does give you the idea. In a lot of ways it turns your computer into a Tivo for the Internet. Now that I live in Vietnam, I'm sorely missing my Tivo, so Miro is help ing with my Tivo withdrawl. One of the best things about Miro is that it allows you to download rather than stream video, including YouTube video. This means that if you're bandwidth challenged (like on a plane or in a third world country) you can still watch videos you've already downloaded. Of course this means you need to have the forethought to download them before you get on the plane or before you head off to bed. Miro helps with this in that you can manage subscriptions that automatically download. The videos are kept for a while and eventually deleted, making room for move videos. This is how it's like a Tivo. Season passes on Tivo work in a similar way.

The major drawback to Miro is the quality of the content. I haven't really found much worth watching. Supposedly it will handle Bit Torrent, which has a better selection of content but it's more difficult to find.

The other problem with Miro is that while it links to a few video sites, it's still missing the best video search engine, Truveo. Given that Truveo has a free open API, that should be easy to fix!