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Miro

CNET Editors' review

Providing one-stop shopping for all your video and audio management desires, open-source and cross-platform Miro deserves much of the praise that's been heaped upon it. The latest major point to version 4 introduces strong support for importing iTunes libraries and Android device syncing, in effect attempting to become iTunes for Android. Somewhat remarkably, it does a good job at this challenging task.

The concept behind Miro is brilliant, yet simple: create a jukebox video and audio player that can subscribe to and download podcasts while managing your locally saved media. On the face of it, this might sound like iTunes, but the sharing component is an essential aspect of the program. The new version now heavily resembles iTunes, with a left nav area for navigating between your audio, video, and connected devices, the Amazon MP3 store and Appstore for Android, and Google's Android Market. New to version 4 is a right nav area that links to recently watched videos, recently played songs, and recent downloads, while the center of the program is where your media discovery and playback happen. Playback controls are on the bottom.

The new Android syncing worked smoothly and ought to feel comfortable to anybody familiar with iTunes syncing--although, notably, it came without the iTunes headaches. Importing more than 10,000 tracks went quickly because Miro recognizes iTunes and Windows Media Player media libraries that are already on your computer.

Main interface of Miro 4

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Miro's other features include support for downloading torrents and viewing their content in the same app; folder watching; resumable playback; channel surfing, which organizes video feeds by topic; robust video conversion, sharing, and hosting; and assistance in creating and distributing videos. While version 3 introduced extensive subtitle support, better metadata management, and a higher maximum volume, the new version 4 focuses on more substantial gains. In addition to syncing movies and music with your Android phones and tablets, Miro now lets you stream your files and share them with other computers running Miro on the same Wi-Fi network. Basically, you can use it to manage media libraries on more than one computer.

Also new is the ability to browse both Amazon.com's Appstore for Android and Google's homegrown Android Market. Click the link in the left nav for either and you'll be able to access full marketplace features from within Miro. The same goes for the Amazon MP3 store. Miro 4 does not yet support Wi-Fi syncing for Android devices, although that feature is expected sooner rather than later.

Be warned that Miro's installation process not only opts you in to installing the Bing toolbar, using the Bing search engine, and setting Bing as your home page, but if you uncheck all three, Miro asks you if you're sure you want to harm its revenue stream. That's fairly aggressive for an open-source program, although this is unfortunately not new to Miro. It's not likely to change anytime soon, either.

Miro has long since passed its unstable early days, and the Android support is clearly geared toward building a user base beyond the niche of open-source fans. It's a solid tool, as long as you can get past that noxious installation.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 173

  • 3.0 stars

    "Great potential; bugs to work out"

    December 7, 2012  |   By ln899

    Version: Miro 5.0.4

    Pros

    Well-designed, feature-rich, does pretty much everything I want. I find the user experience is superior to iTunes for my video collection, except . . .

    Cons

    It's a bit buggy. Activity in their forum is exceedingly sparse (the developers do no seem to participate or answer questions). There does not appear to be a vibrant user community or following, which makes me worry about committing to the program. I've got two help tickets going, one over a month old with no response, one a week old with no response. If they don't have the personnel to respond, they should say so.

    Summary

    Given the inactive user forum, and the lack of response to help requests, I'm worried about the future of this potentially very fine program.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Incredible Non-Profit Software (they actually care)"

    November 5, 2012  |   By KomputerProdigy

    Version: Miro 5.0.4

    Pros

    Unlike most paid-products, who just try to get you to buy or upgrade to their paid version, Miro is seriously just trying to help the world become more connected. You know this because they their second product (recently launched) is a universal 'wiki' style subtitle application, bringing educational videos to the entire world! ~ http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/

    Outside of them just being good people, their product is great. I have had 1 small issue, I emailed them. Got a real 'non-automatic' response and it was quickly fixed. I highly recommend this product to anyone who wants to feel comfortable using a quality product such as Miro.

    Cons

    They don't have the marketing cost of a larger product in their field. This just means a smaller reach and user base. But it also means more individualize attention for the Miro users, something I find great!

    Summary

    I work for a tech company in the valley. Most of my employees use Miro and are very happy with it. We share videos back and forth on a daily basis (when we are not working of course :) ha anyways, download Miro and enjoy. Feel free to write me @ Komputerprodigy at valleytech dot com

    Best a luck to ya!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Worth having on your computer-"

    May 31, 2012  |   By andreaborman

    Version: Miro 5.0

    Pros

    Miro is an open source all in one media player. It plays any video file or audio file and it can download videos from the web. Miro works the same way as real player but it is better than real player in that you don't get the bloatware and unwanted adverts you get in Real player.Also Miro is quite fast and very stable and has never crashed on me.I used to use Real player which worked but I did not like it. But now I use Miro instead. Miro is very light and ideal for netbooks and it downloads videos a lot quicker than Real Player ever did. Miro also has a built in web browser based on Firefox to browse video sites and download videos. But unlike Real player it does not take over your web browser and is not intrusive like real player is.One of the few media players that can download and play videos.

    Cons

    None really except there are no visualisations in audo files like in VLC player which would be nice. And you cannot add plug ins to Miro but maybe there is a reason for this. As it is meant to be a lighter player.

    Summary

    Miro will play any video and audio file and will download videos from the web and play them in Miro media player. And I do believe it can convert videos to WMV or other formats but I have not tried this yet.Also Miro works it downloads the whole video and as well as a video downloader it is a good video and audio player. So if you are looking for an alternative to real Player Miro is the one for you. I myself will never go back to Real Player now that I found Miro.So switch to Miro if you have not already done so. Andrea Borman.

    Updated on May 31, 2012

    Miro is a good alternative to Real Player. Miro is fast and more stable. And it works on Windows XP,windows Vista,windows 7 and Windows 8. So it is for all versions of Windows.Very handy to have on your computer. Andrea Borman.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "review of Democracy Player (Miro)"

    May 13, 2012  |   By tammerlane

    Version: Miro 0.9.6

    Pros

    Works ok, if you don't have many files, and you don't work it very hard - crashes frequently.

    Cons

    Uninstall doesn't actually do anything - except delete the entry in add/remove. The program folder and dozens of registry entries remain. You got to reinstall the Operating System to get this POS off your computer.

    Summary

    I consider a program that uninstalls as poorly as this one MALWARE. If the writers can't be bothered to write correct uninstall procedures I have to wonder what safety protocols they ignored.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Nice to have."

    February 1, 2012  |   By Frans M. Hartanto

    Version: Miro 4.0.5

    Pros

    A good product.

    Cons

    Need to make it easier to use.

    Summary

    Making it simple will always make this product become more advantageoous.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "This is a piece of crap!"

    January 26, 2012  |   By JeffreyKarter

    Version: Miro 4.0.5

    Pros

    Pretty icon?

    Cons

    Miro wants to add EVERYTHING on my system to its library. All the little sound files in games, all the cached video, EVERYTHING. The process started when I first opened the program, and the only way I was able to stop it was to shut it down.

    It also doesn't have an option to show where the files are located on my system, so I can't just let it find everything and then trim it down to only the stuff I want it to see.

    Summary

    Too invasive. Wants to do everything, won't take no for an answer.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent, does all I need."

    January 2, 2012  |   By Peterjlay

    Version: Miro 4.0.4

    Pros

    Excellent Product

    Cons

    None that i have found.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "My favorite mediaplayer."

    December 4, 2011  |   By ArkIgnus

    Version: Miro 4.0.3

    Pros

    Very fine media management.
    Monitors any added folders perfectly.
    Adding media sources like Youtube.

    Cons

    Choppy quality at the start of any mp3 player.
    Lack of a forum or community where you can discuss this media player or look for answers when meeting bugs.
    Voume button is annoying.
    No "Stay-on-top" option.
    No extensions. (Planned 3 years ago.)

    Summary

    It's a good media player but as I've also tried this media player on Ubuntu, it worked better there.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "good syncing wor windows"

    September 29, 2011  |   By jczekri

    Version: Miro 4.0.3

    Pros

    good syncing wor windows

    Cons

    could not fins the way of syncing with my android tablet

    Summary

    I downloaded for android so had to uninstall it

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Lot of features"

    August 15, 2011  |   By Marnix36

    Version: Miro 4.0.2

    Pros

    Interface.

    Cons

    Speed, Internet apps

    Summary

    Hello,

    I am using Miro and have some questions about it. I have already checked the website of Miro, tried Google and Wikipedia but could not find an answer.

    - Does Miro supports the same container-, video-, audio-, subtitle-, and playlistformats as VLC Media Player, since Miro is based on VLC?
    - On which version of VLC Media Player is the internal media player of VLC based and are new updates of VLC supported in Miro? And is Miro a good alternative for VLC?
    - Miro supports various internet protocols for video and audio (streaming). Some protocols supports streaming in browser and other protocols also support downloading the stream.

    HTTP: browser support: yes download support: ???
    HTTPS: browser support: ??? download support: ????
    UDP:????
    DAAP: browser support: yes download support: ???
    Podcasts: browser support: yes download support: yes
    Bittorrent: browser support: yes download support: yes
    RSS: browser support: yes download support: yes
    Silverlight: What is the name of the protocol that supports Silverlight streaming? browser support: ??? download support: ??
    YouTube: What is the name of the protocol that supports YouTube streaming? browser support??? download support????

    What are other important protocols and are these supported by Miro and does Miro supports browser support and download support for these protocols? If not, is this on the wishlist/plans?

    - Does Miro supports plugins and/or extensions (based on API's)? If not, is this the plan?

    - What are big modifications/adds for new Miro versions?

    Hope someone can answer my questions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Marnix

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Results 1-10 of 173

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