Thursday, 16 September 2010

Miro Review - Great Internet HD Video Player

Miro is a free, open-source video player with ports for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, designed especially for watching HD videos. Miro bundles over 6000 Internet TV shows and video podcasts, and allows you to download each of them to your computer, so you can watch them without the need of an Internet connection.

In this review I will talk about the latest version of Miro available to date, 3.0.3, as it comes with the Ubuntu 10.10 Beta repositories.

Among the video formats supported by Miro are AVI, WMV, MOV, Ogg Theora, MKV or MPEG. Miro also includes support for subtitles. But Miro was not created to be the usual movie player, it was created having HD Internet TV in mind.

The first time you fire up Miro, a wizard will appear asking you if you want to enable opening Miro at start-up and if you want to let him scan local folders for video content. Here's how the main window of Miro looks like:

As you can see, it includes a mini web browser which points at, a place from which you can start searching for videos on the web, view lists of HD video shows or watch the most popular ones.

Miro also includes integrated video search, and allows you to download and view the selected videos:

Another feature of Miro is the media library, where you can organize video and audio files and manage your downloads. In addition to these, Miro offers a BitTorrent client with search capabilities and several audio and video feeds, like the default Global Pulse or Wildlife Highlights, which contains awesome wildlife videos in HD format. You can also create playlists of your content in Miro.
Wildlife Highlights

Regarding preferences, Miro allows you to configure thing such:
- system tray integration
- control how feeds are handled
- configure the BitTorrent client
- watch certain directories for changes and show them in the media library

As a final conclusion, Miro is just great firstly because of the awesome HD movie feeds it provides. However, as a movie player it does not offer the more advanced options dedicated movie players provide, like video and audio effects, support for DVDs, etc. But this is not the case, since Miro's goal is not to do these things, but to offer a great way of watching online videos.

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