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New Open Source Internet TV Software Challenges Joost

The groundbreaking free and open-source internet TV application Miro launched version 1.0 yesterday.

The public release of Miro marks a major milestone for the application which has been growing rapidly during its beta period receiving more than 200,000 downloads per month.

Like Mozilla's Firefox, Miro is built by a non-profit organization, the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF).

Miro has received financial support from many notable individuals and organizations including: Mozilla, Mitch Kapor, Skyline Public Works, Surdna Foundation, Knight Foundation, and hundreds of individual users.

"We're not just trying to make a successful product, we're hoping to push the entire online video industry towards open standards," said Nicholas Reville, Executive Director.

"I love Miro because it just works, no other video on the web is like that," said John Lilly, COO of Mozilla and a PCF board member. "Miro represents a great blend between a web application and a desktop application."

"The future of Internet TV is too important to belong to one company. Internet TV needs to live atop something open and free, the way that the Web lives on top of the open and free Firefox browser. That's why Miro is licensed under the GPL, the gold standard in open/free licensing, meaning that anyone can take Miro and run with it, improve it, sell it, or give it away." said Cory Doctorow of and a PCF Board Member.

Miro includes a built-in guide listing more than 2,700 free channels of online video.

Users can subscribe to any channel with a single click, can rate channels, and get recommendations.

Like podcasting, once a user subscribes, new videos in each channel will be downloaded automatically.

Miro boasts more HD content than any other online video tool.

Miro's launch comes at a crucial time in the fight for open media. Net neutrality, media consolidation, and Digital Rights Management (DRM) are all causing controversy online. Miro comes down firmly on the side of openness.

PCF recently posted a chart comparing its feature set to the for-profit Joost.

"We expect to have more users than Joost by January," said Reville, "Miro has more content, better video quality, and more freedom for users. Miro is simply a better product."

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.