Wednesday, March 26, 2008

my favorite TV is called miro

in the beginning there was something called "democracy player" - an open-source TV application way back in 2006. i tried it, and it was dogg $#!t slow, klunky and an overall experience of: "this is so useless, compared to my wget scripts, no one is ever going to use this."

fast forward a year later, early 2007, democracy player was renamed to miro -- with all kinds of updated code and what not. but that first experience i have had with the original democracy player was enough for me to skip it and continue using my shady scripts to download all video podcasts i was just getting into. i was behind on piles of new shows that i have never seen before and wanted to watch them all from the beginning.

fast forward another year, early 2008, miro version 1.1 comes out -- i see it all over the blogs, articles on a heap of web sites and a pile of the shows i watch started to put the little miro icon next to the itunes subscribe buttons. what's this? is miro that good to be placed next to the itunes jaggernaut? so i decided to download the latest miro and try it out again.

holy $#!t, everything that was broken on the previous versions has been fixed and it's very zippy. i likey.

miro is so easy to use, that it has become my de facto standard media downloader, podcatcher, podshow aggregator and media player for all of those files downloaded from it. the one feature that totally retired my shell scripts was how torrent files was completely integrated with miro. click on a torrent file from your web browser (or on your local file system) and miro automatically goes into action downloading the file with practically zero user intervention. and the torrent files do not have to be just media files. i have used miro to torrent iso files, zips, distros, you name it -- it'll grab them.

the user interface (which hasn't changed much since the democracy player days) is very intuitive, clean and simple. with the application speed improvements, making it my primary media file and torrent downloader was a no-brainer.

and finally, the best part of miro is the HUGE number of "channels" it knows about to make your online "DVR" completely replace any need for keeping your traditional broadcast television connection. i have been living without cable or satellite television for more than a year and am perfectly fine with all of the online alternatives. there are still a bunch of shows not available for miro to grab - but that's for another article.

miro has replaced the following for me:
  • text file for keeping track what shows i have been watching
  • the giant list of what episode i was on for which shows
  • the script file that automated the shows i was downloading

and miro offered these additional features:
  • keeping track of what i have watched
    • any new episodes available are downloaded automatically
    • any new channels i add to it, knows to start grabbing the files i haven't watched yet (three at a time)
  • keeps track of where i have "left of" since last playing the file -- and automatically plays from that point when going back to that file (most favorite feature)
  • has a nice visual representation of all of the files in the middle of downloading
  • also a nice way to see more details about the media file you are looking at, including a link to the source/web site where the file is from

if you need any ideas on what to get started with, here are a few of my current channel listings:

play with miro, i'm sure you are going to enjoy it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

xbox360 + bluray player = not gonna happen

there is no reason for the xbox 360 to come out with a blu-ray drive. yeah, it came out (later) with an HD-DVD drive add-on, but no one was buying the HD-DVD drive to play movies with it. if you did, then you would have helped to push the numbers of HD-DVD discs selling off the shelves. but since the numbers shows that blu-ray titles are outselling HD-DVD, you didn't. (search for "hd-dvd bluray outselling" in your favorite search engine and then figure out which results you would believe in.)

NO game was ever made to take advantage of the HD-drive. in fact, it's not allowed by microsoft (search for "hd-dvd 360 game"). video game development needs to target the base model that every gamer will have -- a DVD-9 with no harddrive pizza box.

but, if i had to guess when there will be a blu-ray drive xbox system, it'll be at the end of 2009. what makes me say this? currently, microsoft is running on a 4 year life cycle on their xbox line. let's take a look at some past history.

nintendo has about a 5 year period between each console: (wikipedia)

 nes: fall/winter 1990
n64: summer/fall 1996
gc: summer/fall 2001
wii: fall/winter 2006

sony has about a 6 year period between each console: (wikipedia)
 ps1: winter 1994
ps2: spring 2000
ps3: fall 2006

and microsoft has released their xbox like this: (wikipedia)
 xbox: fall/winter 2001
360: fall/winter 2005

so, in the span of one playstation product release, there has been two xbox products. this should piss off a lot of gamers if they finally sit down and do the math for owning 2 xbox consoles for every 1 playstation. but, for some people, the newer the better. right?

and then there's this article:
Unreal Engine 4 to "exclusively target" next-gen consoles

it makes me believe there's a new xbox under development for something like this to be even remotely mentioned about. the sony and nintendo shout outs were just a cover for the "we are working on a new engine for the next xbox" statement. i bet that by the time unreal engine 4 is about to be released, so will the xbox 3/720/me/vista/fill-in-your-flavor-here...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


is it just me, or do others find the wii-remote peripherals getting ridiculous?
there's now a wii-crossbow:

and then i come to find out there's all kinds of goofy wii-remote peripherals in the side wings:

i'm just waiting for the the wii-gun with everything like this machine-gun-with-everything:

*image courtesy of

but, in all fairness, here's something that is actually useful ( i just wish this was available on doom 3):


Monday, March 10, 2008

mac owners are "snobs"?

hello, 2002 called and wants this headline back...

here's the link that are getting mac users in a tizzy:

it's suppose to be all tongue n cheek. but really, when something like this was printed about 6 years ago, there may be some truth about this:

i Penny-Arcade