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Miro leaves beta, stability issues behind

Miro 1.0 is unleashed to the world, but most of the important changes came in the final beta versions. Is this attempt to merge desktop video playback with streaming content worth checking out?

The Participatory Culture Foundation's universal video player has finally left the development world with its first non-beta release, Miro 1.0 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are very few changes to distinguish this version from the previous beta versions that have come out in the past two months. Beside the fact that you can now delete a video while it's playing with impunity, all the changes are minor bug fixes to sort out stability concerns and other small tweaks.

The biggest crash issue that was fixed on the Windows version was a bug where video thumbnail regeneration was causing the app to die. Another problem, where the Avast antivirus program was incorrectly flagging the Miro beta as spyware, seems to have been resolved, too.

Poised to become the ultimate desktop video app, Miro handles every major video format we tried, including MPEG, Quicktime, AVI, H.264, Divx, Windows Media, Flash Video, 3GP, and others. It downloads torrents and has a wealth of settings geared for user customization: You can e-mail videos, auto-delete, auto-download, set favorites, organize your video collection, and more. Also, by arranging content feeds into "channels," Miro has shown that there's no need to reinvent television terminology when it's useful.

With most of the stability issues resolved, Miro has jumped from a good idea with unfortunate usage problems to one of the strongest desktop user experiences combining the influx of Web-based video content with an open-source sensibility.

Miro is a repository of free video programming, similar to Joost. It also might tell this fur seal where its bucket lies. Participatory Culture Foundation