Miro (Re: New Programs for Hardy?)

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at gmail.com
Sat Feb 9 15:43:30 UTC 2008

Miro is a wonderful idea, and the Miro guide is an excellent web site, but
the program itself is a painfully bloated (and buggy) pig. The word
"refactor" echoes in the back of my mind every time I use it -- which is
very often, because it's still an excellent concept!
Alas, it should definitely not have hit 1.0 until the program stopped
creating duplicate entries for torrent downloads, and allowed for Miro
channels to change their feed URL on the fly. (As it is, since the Google
Tech Talks location changed, the channel is broken for every past

The front end could also use some more imagination. Possibly a bigger
division between front and back ends would do the program well. I, for one,
would love to navigate my Miro library with Elisa, for example, while still
having a daemon (or something!) download my stuff in the background. At the
moment, it is laid out just like an RSS feed reader with pictures, which
defeats the purpose entirely. The only reason I really use Miro over an RSS
reader, is because it integrates with that fancy guide web site. A problem
right now is that opening a channel tends to take a few seconds (even on a
2.2 gHz Intel Core 2 Duo), yet that is the only way at the moment to list
downloaded shows in categories. The interface has me thinking way too much
about RSS feeds, what it should be downloading, wondering where things are
and why one download that I thought I deleted a month ago keeps reappearing.

As for the good part... check out the Google Tech Talks and TED channels.
Googletechtalks is just an RSS feed of YouTube, but it is really nice and
easy to get those through Miro since YouTube conceals their RSS subscribe
buttons so that it takes ages to find them. Thanks to the Miro guide, things
like that are really quickly discoverable, which is one of the things that
makes TV such an intuitive experience; when people flip channels, they may
find interest in shows they had no idea existed! Unfortunately, the guide
still necessitates direct searching, but areas like the Popular Channels
list help greatly.
There is even a Yoga channel, if I remember rightly.

Miro is looking to do for TV what the Internet is doing for text-based and
interactive entertainment: Bringing the work, (and therefore the profits),
closer to the content creators. This means less shady business practises,
fewer businesses who base their entire profit model on luck and / or messing
with their customers (*Cough* Retail), more open content, and - most
importantly - less expensive content. A program like Miro (or really just
the Internet TV idea in general) makes broadcast easier and more accessible
than through a big TV network. This may take a while, as people are still
very much hooked to the big / evil networks like Fox, but there is nothing
to lose - only things to gain from the (potentially) infinitely superior
infrastructure (when Miro loses its bugs). Internet services are the new
medium for broadcast of content, and they have proven their worth in
durability, flexibility and generally low cost. There are already some
Internet radio channels that blast their analog broadcast competition out of
the water, and online news sites are far easier to deal with than newspapers
since they only consume space and time when you tell them to (ie: They have
something interesting). Search engines like Google can integrate beautifully
with all this stuff because every server talks in the same way, no matter
what its owners are broadcasting. Internet TV is going to happen.

...Anyway, Miro is a fantastic program, but not ready for default. Yet. I do
agree, however, that it may be a neat idea in the future :)

--Dylan McCall

PS: In my opinion, naturally.

On Sat, Feb 9, 2008 at 6:45 AM, Vadim Peretokin <vperetokin at gmail.com>

> Miro is a great program, but it was *barely* working on my 1.5Ghz, 512ram
> laptop. Pretty much unusable. So, it wouldn't really fit the min ubuntu
> requirements and make some people unhappy. Not necessary...
> On Feb 9, 2008 10:29 AM, Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at di.unipi.it> wrote:
> > On 09/02/2008 Conrad Knauer wrote:
> > > Apologies; I meant to ask: 'If Miro can't be added to the default
> > > Hardy install (e.g. added to ubuntu-desktop), would it be possible for
> > > Hardy+1?'
> >
> > I personally love miro but can't still recommend it to my friends since
> > it really crashes a lot on ubuntu. Including such an application on the
> > default cd would,in my opinion, be not-so-good publicity for ubuntu.
> >
> > Vincenzo
> >
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