player

Updated Miro (previously Democracy Player) packages in Debian unstable

Miro screenshot

FYI, my new Miro packages (formerly known as Democracy Player) have now reached unstable.

After lots of ugly, ugly trouble with even getting a successful build (boost/python/dbus related, you don't want to know) the packages are back in shape now, with tons of fixed (or no longer reproducible) bugs and lots of upstream impovements and new features.

If you reported a bug against Democracy Player, please try the latest Miro package and check if it still occurs, thanks!

The upgrade should be seamless, your existing config and videos will be migrated from ~/.democracyplayer to ~/.miro automatically upon the first start of Miro.

Some of the new/fixed things in this release include:

  • HTTP proxy support (uses the GNOME proxy settings, use gconf-editor to change them).
  • Flash videos now play fine (non-jerky) and with sound!
  • You can search various video sites (Youtube, Google video, etc.) online, and even save searches as channels.
  • You can export your channel list into an OPML file (and also import OPML files, of course). I've been waiting for this for a very long time (it's a good way to backup your channel list, or move it to another machine)...
  • Lots and lots of bugfixes and small enhancements, as usual.

Download videos from Youtube, Google Video and others using Linux [Update]

Many online video sites such as Youtube, Google Video, Dailymotion, Metacafe, and others only provide limited or inconvenient access to the videos; either they require you to install the proprietary Flash player (and I surely won't do that), and/or you can only view them online (but not download them).

There are some solutions, each with advantages and disadvantages:

  • youtube-dl, a command line script to download Youtube videos.
  • metacafe-dl, same as above but for Metacafe videos.
  • clive, a command line tool (with optional newt UI) for Youtube, Google Video (seems defunct at the moment) and Dailymotion.
  • VideoDownloader, a Firefox plugin which is supposed to work with more than 60 video sites (Youtube and Google Video are among them). The only disadvantage compared to the other solutions: you need to start Firefox + X11 (no pure command line usage).
  • UnPlug, a Firefox plugin similar to VideoDownloader, but with the advantage that it doesn't use the VideoDownloader web service (but rather figures out the video URLs itself).
  • Gnash, a free software Flash video player is another option, but AFAICS it's not yet ready for daily usage (but it's getting there).
  • swfdec, another Free Software Flash player, is actually working quite nice with Youtube already.

After the download, you can either view the videos using (e.g.) mplayer, or recode them into a more sane format. For all of the above programs there are Debian packages available, except for VideoDownloader/UnPlug (but you can easily install those from within Firefox).

Update 2007-07-26: Added UnPlug and swfdec (thanks Joe Buck and Josh Triplet for the comments).

Democracy Player 0.9.0 - one step closer to world do... a very cool Internet video/podcast application

Democracy Player 0.9 screenshot

Democracy Player 0.9.0 has been released yesterday, which has been announced in quite a number of places already, e.g. Boing Boing.

It's available for Mac, Windows, and Linux; if you're on Debian unstable the installation is as simple as apt-get install democracyplayer (I uploaded the new packages yesterday, they should have reached all mirrors by now).

If you want to know what this is all about, but you're reluctant to install yet another program, check out this screencast (MOV, 37MB) which shows the basic functionality and user interface and discusses some of the new features... I think you'll like it.

You can use it for all kinds of video blogs and podcasts, it'll download and play almost anything with an RSS feed.

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