Miro 4 ReviewThe Participatory Culture Foundation just released the Miro 4, a newer version of their open source media player. The newer model allows the user to sync with the Android OS and support for managing one’s music library. These transitions have allowed Miro to branch out to other areas besides just being a tool for watching Internet video.
Miro was first released back in 2006 under a different name; the Democracy Player. Its creators intended to use the project to maneuver around traditional broadcasting. It ended up being a great tool allowing users to view videos from numerous sources. Though the device has grown in usage and its applications have become more widespread, the core of it still focuses around open technology.
The Newest VersionThe latest version almost seems like an Android version of iTunes; allowing one to manage media and sync the content to your mobile Android device. What’s even more interesting is that it even lets you convert video to the proper resolution and format to watch it on your mobile device. It also lends some support to perusing the Google’s Android Market and Amazon’s Android Appstore from within the application.
Miro lets you look through and select songs from your music library to configure playlists. Perhaps the only downside about using Miro is that it has a really simple user interface. You’re only allowed to sort the music by artist and album; while other music applications let you configure more complex filters. You can’t even have it just show music from a single album, you have to view the entire list and scroll down to the appropriate album.
Besides the primary features that Miro offers, it also has the capability for network sharing. You can enable Miro to act as the media server and allow other computers on your network to download and play music from your library. There’s even talk of an iPad application being designed that will allow one to download to the device via network access; the device hasn’t been released yet though.
Like the other Miro versions, Miro 4.0 is wonderful for anyone that loves video podcasting. The music management applications of it aren’t profound but they’ll due. The user interface is just too simple and if you have a large list of songs then you’ll have a hard time filtering.
Syncing the Miro to your Android device is easy but doubleTwist’s syncing capabilities are definitely better. And while we’re in the area of synchronization, I should mention that Songbird, another open source audio player, just configured an amazing two-way synchronization framework.
The RatingWith powerful competitors all around Miro’s music management system isn’t all that impressive. I could only imagine that those who already use the application for their video watching would appreciate it, as it provides more convenience. Miro may have a better music system in future versions though, and if it wants to stand a chance against the other applications in this market then it has to improve.