Frequently Asked Questions
Use the chapter links on the right to quickly find your topic.
How do I use Miro?
How do I watch videos in feeds?
First you need to add some video feeds or sites Click anywhere on a video thumbnail to download the video. Turn auto-download to New and Miro will automatically download new videos, whenever they are posted on that channel. Click on any video thumbnail (with a play button near it), whenever you'd like to watch the videos.
How do I play videos in fullscreen mode?
There are three ways: once a video is playing, double click the video image; use the menu at the top of your screen to select Playback > Fullscreen; or, when a video is playing, click on the "play fullscreen" button - this is the square surrounded by four arrows, located directly to the right of the normal "play" button.
How do I exit fullscreen mode while a video is playing?
Press the escape key, or repeat one of the fullscreen commands from above.
How do I subscribe to feeds?
Use the Miro Guide (located at the top of the sidebar) to find whatever interests you. You can browse the Guide by category, popularity, High Definition (HD), or by searching for keywords. Click on any green "Add Feed" button in the Guide and it will be added to your list of feed subscriptions in the left-hand sidebar of Miro.
How do I add sites?
Use the Miro Guide (located at the top of the sidebar) to find whatever interests you. Add any site by clicking the green "Add Site" buttons. Sites are simply bookmarked video shows/websites that you can easily access from your sidebar.
How do I remove feeds or sites?
Right-click (Mac users: control-click) on the name of the show in the left-hand sidebar of Miro and select Remove - the show will disappear right away. You may re-add any show again by finding it in the Guide and clicking "Add," nothing special required. To remove multiple shows, hold ctrl (Mac users: apple) and click the channels you want to remove - when you've got them selected, click the delete button that appears in the middle of Miro. We encourage you to browse and subscribe to shows with a sense of curiosity and impunity!
How do I automatically download (auto-download) everything from a feed?
At the top left of Miro, when you're viewing a feed, there is a drop-down selector for auto-download. You can adjust this setting for each feed individually.
How do I know when new videos in a feed are available to download, or have already downloaded and are ready to watch?
Next to each feed's name, two indicators may appear: a blue circle indicates that the channel has published new videos that you haven't seen and a green circle indicates that you have videos in that channel that are downloaded but haven't been watched. When you have new videos downloaded, the green circle next to the feed's name turns into a play button when you hover over it - click it! Miro's default is for videos to remain on your hard drive for 6 days, but you can change that in the Settings panel of Miro (upper-right hand corner of the feed).
How do I share videos or shows that I like with friends?
When a channel is selected, there is a Send to a Friend button to the lower left of the channel title. Pushing this button will open a browser window to the show's Miro Guide sharing page. You will have a bunch of options about sharing the video to your social networks and friends via: email, facebook, del.icio.us, etc.
How do I set preferences to manage the videos I've downloaded?
Miro has a full set of preferences for how many videos you download and how long they remain on your hard drive before expiring. You may access it using the top menu - if you're using Windows, go to Edit -> Preferences; if you're using a Mac, go to Miro -> Preferences.
On these settings menus, users have several options: you may choose to run Miro at startup; you can set how often you check channels for new content; you can set the default folder that Miro downloads to; you can set your upstream limit; you can choose how many videos will be downloaded simultaneously; you can you can specify custom ports for bittorrent; you can choose folders, on your hard drive, to watch for new videos; you can manage how much disk space Miro should leave available, including the default rate by which videos expire; you can choose to auto-resume playback on videos that have been interrupted; and you can also decide if you want to play back videos sequentially or stop after each video.
Feel free to delete any videos you like from within Miro, you can always download the videos again at a later date. The default rate by which videos expire off your hard drive is set to 6 days - you may adjust this however you choose by going to Preferences -> Disk Space. It's a really simple process, just use the drop-down box to select the number of days you wish to keep videos, and set the amount of disk space you wish to remain available, nothing technical required.
How do I import video podcast subscriptions from iTunes into Miro?
You must be subscribed to a video or audio podcast in iTunes, before you can export it to Miro (use the iTunes music store to find free podcasts). Once subscribed, open iTunes, click File -> Export. Choose OPML as the format and then save the file. Open Miro and click Channels > Import Channels (OPML). All of your iTunes podcast subscriptions will be imported to the Miro sidebar.
What are the keyboard shortcuts for Miro?
You can find keyboard shortcuts, for all versions of Miro at Keyboard Shorcuts (program your remote control!).
How do I configure a proxy for Miro to work?
Miro is running well but cannot retrieve any channel information, and your Internet connection uses a proxy? Miro doesn't support automatic proxy configuration files (*.pac) so you have to configure your proxy manually (server + port). In windows, go to the configuration panel / Internet properties, Connections tab then Network properties.
How do I back up my Miro database?
If you want to save your database, you can follow the instructions in this post from our blog.
Common Questions and Issues
How do I install Miro?
Follow the installation instructions, below the download link, for your operating system
How do I uninstall Miro?
Windows: Follow the instructions here
Mac:Follow the instructions here
Linux: Use your package manager to remove Miro. To remove the user data (feed subscriptions and your Miro database), rm -r ~/.miro/. Downloaded videos, by default, are stored at: ~/Movies/Miro/.
What's the Difference Between a Site and a Feed?
Miro can track your favorite video websites and RSS feeds (aka podcasts). A feed is a subscription-type service that will download new audio or video files as soon as the creator publishes new material. A website is simply a bookmarked show website, which stays in the Miro sidebar for easy access.
Can I add feeds or sites that aren't listed in the Miro Guide?
Yes! To add a feed, click Channels -> Add Channel, from the menu, paste in the RSS feed URL, and let Miro find the available content. To add a site, click Channels -> Add Site, from the menu, paste in the URL, and Miro adds the site to your sidebar.
Does Miro play Flash video, .flvs, or .swf's?
Miro can play Flash videos (.flv's or .mp4's), but won't play shockwave flash items (.swf's).
Why do all my media files have Miro logos now? I want to use a different program to play these files!
During install, Miro asks how you want to manage particular types of files (file associations). To change the associations, check out these guides: windows, mac.
Can I sync my videos to an iPod or other video device?
Currently, Miro doesn't directly sync with any portable devices. However, we will be working on this in future versions. In the meantime, you may be able to sync the video files themselves with a separate program.
Do you support the Mac remote? Other remotes?
We currently do not support the Mac remote, but plan to do so in the future. As for other options, check out this post on the Miro blog about DIY Media Centers.
I'm trying to download a video, but the video isn't downloading.
First, give Miro some time to make the connection - if after a few minutes the download hasn't started, there are a number of possible causes. Because Miro doesn't host any videos centrally, downloading problems often lie with the video publisher. They may be experiencing server difficulties, or have taken a particular video offline. If you have a channel set to Auto Download and you see the message Pending Download next to each video in the channel, don't worry, videos will download once other videos in the queue have finished downloading (there is a maximum number of downloads at a time, which is adjustable in the Settings dialog).
I downloaded a video, but it won't play.
First, check the file format to make sure it's compatible with Miro - if you're on Windows, that it would play in VLC, and if you're on a Mac, that it would play on QuickTime v. 7. Second, check the file format of what you downloaded to make sure it's a video - the publisher might have put out some audio files (for example, .mp3 files), which of course do not include video. Third, check the size of the file you downloaded to ensure that it's not zero. If none of those work, the publisher is likely experiencing difficulties and may have published an invalid file.
I downloaded a video but it's gone from my collection.
The video most likely expired - Miro has a default setting that videos 6 days old, that have not been specifically "saved," expire in order to preserve disk space on your hard drive. Feel free to adjust your preferences on the Settings section of each feed (look in the upper-right), or globally in the preferences dialog.
I subscribed to a feed but it's empty. The feed does not show any videos available to download.
First, give Miro a moment to find all the available videos. It sometimes takes a minute or so after you first subscribe to a channel for all the images and videos to appear, though usually it happens right away (By the way, this is because there's a myriad of publishing and RSS formatting options.) Second, if the channel still doesn't show any videos, right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) on the channel name in the left-hand sidebar of Miro and select "Update Channel Now." This will refresh the channel and may cause new images or videos to appear. If no videos appear even after refresh, the channel is likely exeperiencing server difficulties.
Also, don't forget that feeds have two sections that collapse and expand: Full Channel and Downloaded - don't forget to check those for videos that might have slipped your vision.
I installed Miro, but it's not in my language.
Close Miro, open your System Preferences (in the apple at the top left of the screen), click International (the flag), click Edit List, uncheck any languages other than the one you want, and then restart Miro.
I'm having problems with Miro on Ubuntu Feisty.
Try following the Feisty specific instructions on this page.
I'm getting very few search results for YouTube and other video services.
The results are limited because every time you search, Miro is directly connecting to YouTube.com (or other service) for an RSS feed of results. The hosts limit the length of the RSS results (for a variety of reasons), so it isn't something we have direct control over.
My Bittorrent downloads don't work/go slow.
There are a few things you can do to potentially speed up Bittorrent. The first is to check and see if there are any seeds on the torrent, using the details drop-down for the video (near the top right of the video that is downloading) in Miro. If the word Seeders has a 0 next to it, there is no one there you can download from.
The next step is to make sure you don't have firewall software (info on windows firewall) blocking Miro. The third thing is to enable UPnP on your router (google your router model + upnp).
Who Makes Miro?
The Participatory Culture Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in February 2005. There are ten full-time staff (geographically dispersed), and many volunteers. Our funding currently comes from private philanthropists and non-profit foundations, as well as our users. Our mission is to build software and websites that foster an independent, creative, engaging, and meritocratic internet TV system for millions of people around the world.
What is Miro?
Miro is a free application that turns your computer into an internet TV video player. You can download it here for Windows, Mac, or Linux. This release is still a beta version, which means that there are some bugs, but we're moving quickly to fix them and will be releasing bug fixes on a regular basis.
How Can I Contact the Participatory Culture Foundation?
For technical questions, please check out the rest of this FAQ. If your question isn't answered here, then make sure you try the help pages and post your question to GetSatisfaction (we see everything that gets posted there).
Press, please see our Press Page.
We love hearing general feedback - for example, features that you'd like to see in Miro, or suggestions for the user interface. Write us an e-mail anytime at support[at]getmiro.com.
I'd like to Report a Bug or Problem with Miro.
We're always working to fix bugs in Miro and we're releasing new versions regularly. If you think you've found a bug and want to help make Miro better, please file a ticket.
What are the system requirements to run Miro?
Windows:Windows XP, 128MB of RAM.
Mac:Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and QuickTime version 7 (which you should be able to get through Software Update).
Linux:500Mhz CPU with a good video card, 1GHz without, 128MB RAM.
What video formats can Miro play?
Video playback works differently for each platform:
Windows:The Windows version of Miro embeds VLC to play videos. This will play Windows Media, Quicktime, MPEG 1, 2, 4, H264, AVI, DivX, XviD, Flash, OGM, and lots more. You can see a full chart of what VLC can play right here.
Mac:The Mac version of Miro uses Quicktime 7, which is built into the operating system, to play video. In addition, we use plugins for Quicktime that allow us to play even more video types. The Mac version can play MPEG, MP4, MOV, H264, Flash, Xvid, AVI, OGG, and more. Also, there is a free extension for OS X that will play Windows Media files seamlessly.
Linux:The Linux version of Miro uses GStreamer or Xine to play videos. Xine supports: MPEG 1/2/4, DivX 3/4/5, Windows Media 7/8, QuickTime, Theora, and more. You can see the full list of what Xine can play right here. GStreamer has varying levels of support: Theora and AVI are well-supported; MPEG 1 is supported but has licensing issues; AAC and H.264 are not well-supported. See GStreamer for more information.
We strongly believe that format wars among commercial entities have been a huge stumbling block to advancing internet video. The best way out of the "format wars" is to support as many formats as possible and users shouldn't have to think about formats at all. We will be adding support on a continuing basis for mp4, quicktime, AVI, Flash, and Windows Media.
In terms of open-source, patent-unencumbered codecs like Theora, our goal is to support them as best as possible, and once open-source media players and publishing tools get a bit more solid and commonplace to nudge publishers to use them.
Where can I see the source code for Miro?
Our source code is licensed under the GPL and is available at our development center.
Open standards like RSS and Bittorrent mean that our technology is open for everyone to read and implement and is compatible with other standards based efforts.
Can I put my show/videos in the Miro Content Guide?
Yes, see the publishing section of this site.