Miro for Mac 4.0.2
Miro for Mac Editor's Review
This player is great not only because it can do many things for a free application, but because of the built-in Internet support. Searching for a video on an online service was never so easy.
The RSS support is simply amazing. The application updates itself with all the new items from a subscribed feed. It comes with some predefined subscriptions to del.icio.us, MediaRights, or Telemusicvision, and this list is not a complete one. Alternatively, you can simply add a new subscription to a new feed.
Inside this application, you can use the support for online video services too. You can search for videos in Yahoo! Videos, Google Videos, YouTube and Blogdigger databases.
A nice feature of this program is the possibility to download every video that you would like to watch. The application downloads the videos and you decide if you keep or delete them from the Macintosh HD.
Democracy tries to be a platform, not just a simple application. At least this is what the producers said. They try to build internet TV tools that put people in the control of the media.
Another part of this platform is the 'Channel Guide', which is built within this application. You can get with Channel Guide daily updates of the new channels.
The application has the support for offline content too. You can build a Media Library with your own content within the 'My Collection' area.
You can play your own offline content using the 'Example Playlist' element by dragging-and-dropping an item over it. The application plays that video using a Quick Time module. For example, because I have installed the Flip4Mac plug-in the application started to play one of my videos using that module.
Instead of using 'Example Playlist' you can use the 'classic' way of opening a file, from the menu or by holding down the Command(Apple)+O key sequence. By using this method you can avoid the loading of the plug-ins like Flip4Mac. Using these kind of plug-ins is not the happiest option because you can't play the video in full-screen mode and it is played at its default resolution, while the native support plays the video material depending on Democracy's window size. It also has the support for fullscreen.
The application comes with built in Perian Quick Time plug-in. This means the fact that Democracy has the support for all the formats that are decoded by Perian.
Pluses: It is a powerful video player with great Internet support. It comes with built in Perian plug-in so you have access to all the encodings it supports. You can add audio files within the player's media library but you can't play them with Democracy. An external playing mode is available so usually that file is opened by iTunes or depending on the situation, another audio player.
Drawbacks / flaws: downloading lots of videos may take a lot of your hard drive space. You have to be careful with the amount of downloads, but the good news is the fact that you can delete the files directly from this application, so you won't have to search for them.
In conclusion: Democracy puts a new light upon the Internet videos phenomenon. You don't need your browser in order to use services like YouTube or Yahoo! Videos.
version reviewed: 0.9.11
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