Miro is easy: just pick some channels — video podcast feeds — and Miro will download all the video from your channels. Miro downloads with Bittorrent, meaning that there’s never a problem with popular sites going down because they’re clobbered by too many requests. Miro can play any video, because it incorporates the free/open video player called VLC, which plays practically every video format under the sun. Miro also grabs YouTube videos, and has access to more HD content than any other source online or off.
The future of Internet TV is too important to belong to one company. Internet TV needs to live atop something open and free, the way that the Web lives on top of the open and free Firefox browser. That’s why Miro is licensed under the GPL, the gold standard in open/free licensing, meaning that anyone can take Miro and run with it, improve it, sell it, or give it away.
Miro is created by a charitable foundation called the Participatory Culture Foundation, an organization that also makes complimentary, free packages like Broadcast Machine (for publishing your own video channels) and VideoBomb (like Digg, but for video). The foundation pays programmers to improve the technology, and it’s entirely free to use and improve.
Let me tell you, I downloaded Democracy Player as it was called then before, and I didn’t get it, tossed it out. Sure, it downloaded video, so?? I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is TV 2.0. It plugs into thousands of free video sources called channels and you can define your own (think in terms of “search all video’s tagged with ‘college prank’ on YouTube”) and it will optionally download every new item appearing on that channel. Mine is downloading every new TED talk, a daily yoga lesson, KQED popular science stuff in high definition, NOVA, etcetera and I am having a ball.
Warning: expect wanting to buy a bigger hard disk.