Take a look in the Miro

Democracy Player upgrades early to Miro, but it's still beta. Check out what's new and what's left to fix.

The revamp of Democracy Player is here, newly rechristened Miro, now at version 0.9.8.1 and available for Mac, Windows, and several flavors of Linux. If you're expecting massive changes from the 0.9.6 version, you're going to be a bit disappointed unless new logos designed by the same guy who did the Firefox logo raise your heart rate.

Nevertheless, and despite continuing minor problems, Miro appears to be a great integrator of all things watchable. The new player includes keyboard shortcuts, a context menu for when the app has been minimized to the tray, a menu item for reporting bugs, and Veoh.com as a search engine.

Channel expansion remains Miro's strong suit, so the more channels there are, the more variety the end viewer has. You can now download video from YouTube.com which, when combined with the built-in torrenting function, seems to position Miro very strongly as a video content delivery system.

The biggest problem continues to be intermittent stability, and on the Miro site it's not hard to find complaints from users of all platforms. It crashed for us on Windows XP and Vista platforms several times and in several ways, only two of which we were able to replicate.

However, the anecdotal accolades far outweigh the criticisms. If those darned stability issues get ironed out, it'll be hard to imagine a life with broadband but without Miro.

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