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Music DRM Open Source Software

Major Release of Miro Aims to Compete With iTunes 201

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-enemy-of-drm-is-my-friend dept.
ravrore writes "Miro 4 was released today, a major update to the popular multi-platform FOSS video player. The new version adds music support, local network stream and transfer, music purchasing, and Android syncing. Miro is positioning itself as the open iTunes for Android users. 'We believe the open media world can be just as integrated and usable as the closed, top-down, DRM'ed systems of companies like Apple. And we want to prove it,' says Nicholas Reville, Executive Director of Participatory Culture Foundation, which creates Miro." It looks like the project still has a few rough edges, but is definitely getting there.
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Major Release of Miro Aims to Compete With iTunes

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  • "Open Media" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:14PM (#36231232)

    FOSS-speak: "Open media"

    Translation: We've got public domain crap, idiots talking to their webcams, sucky indie bands who need to practice more and promote less, and that's about it--unless you want to pirate.

    Seriously, the summary is trying to promote this as an iTunes competitor? Really? I hate Apple crap, and even *I* know that iTunes is way better than this.

    Okay, you can all mod me down now for daring to criticize an open-source project. You know you want to.

    • As of now, music on amazon and itunes is DRM free.

      It won't be too hard to top the itunes interface for syncing though..

      • by Dan667 (564390)
        I just started using Miro and love it. Am stuck with a ipod though so I have been saving the files to a folder, deleting my library from itunes, and letting it resync with the files so I can sync the ipod. If Miro starts syncing to the ipod I will drop itunes all together. Also a real bulk export feature that does not require files to be converted is needed for Miro.
      • What about all the music purchased from iTunes in the years and years prior, when it wasn't DRM free? Will Miro play that?

        If people have to leave behind all their m4p and other protected format music (a substantial amount of their collection, for many), they won't switch over.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Use iTunes itself to break that DRM, as Apple have encouraged strongly all along: burn it to audio CD. This has always been possible, ever since DRMed music was available in iTunes. You sacrifice a little if you then re-rip into a lossy format, but it is free. Alternatively you can upgrade your old purchased tracks for 20 cents (or local currency equivalent) to the higher-bitrate, non-DRM versions that are now available in the store.

          • So the proposal is that all these people should spend hours (days? weeks? months?) meticulously burning their purchased music to audio CD, 10-12 at a time, then reimporting them and renaming all the tracks and such?

            The general public's reaction : "F*ck that"

            • by dch24 (904899)
              I'm sure somebody will eventually write a de-DRM tool... someday... [wikipedia.org]
              • I divorced Apple earlier this year. I found "Daniusoft DRM Converter" to strip off all the DRM on my older iTunes downloads. I'm loving my media situation with no iTunes in sight.
                • by dch24 (904899)
                  Wow, the imagery! I like it.

                  Did Apple sue for alimony? ;-) Did they "take their stuff" and storm out? (By that, I mean all the DRMed stuff, but obviously not because you were able to convert it.)
            • by jo_ham (604554)

              Why rename them? iTunes supports CD-text, it's right there in the options. This option was suggested by Apple at the time you bought the music (very strongly suggested on each purchase), and is a free way to do it, if a little time consuming if you have tons of stuff - it is, however, a free and fully supported way to remove DRM from old iTunes tracks. The assertion was that "if there was no way to get out of the DRM trap with old tracks" then "people won't switch". I am simply stating that not only can you

          • I've never understood people who tout lossy recompression as some kind of "feature".

            Why not just *BUY THE BLOODY CD*, rip it yourself and stick the CD on a shelf as an automatic, always available backup of your music? And save all that mucking about with CD-Rs as well.

            And please don't give me that "there's only 1 or 2 good tracks on an album" crap. If that's the case, try listening to some talented musicians who can put together albums that are great from start to finish, rather than plastic manufactured ru

        • by Risen888 (306092)

          What about all the music purchased from iTunes in the years and years prior, when it wasn't DRM free? Will Miro play that?

          If people have to leave behind all their m4p and other protected format music (a substantial amount of their collection, for many), they won't switch over.

          Why should we care about that?

      • by jfengel (409917)

        I'm lukewarm on iTunes for syncing, and it's music store interface is simply abysmal: weirdly modal, brutally slow and unresponsive, seemingly obvious features unimplemented or half-assed. Not at all what I've come to expect from Apple.

        iTunes started somewhere else, but Apple's had a long time to make it less-bad. They've fixed a few really aggravating bugs, but it's still only meh.

        Still... the fact that it download my podcasts on its own time and syncs the iPod just by plugging it in (deleting old ones,

    • Re:"Open Media" (Score:5, Informative)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:29PM (#36231416)

      No you're fine. Everybody basically acknowledges this, but you're skipping all the good closed media Miro will be selling too: the Miro will let you buy from the Amazon MP3 store, so there will be a good selection of DRM-free music available on the platform, too.

    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      I think you're missing the point here. I don't think the point is really about DRM or openness. I think the major point is Android. I buy my music off of Amazon, but it would be nice to have a way of syncing my device the same way iPhone users do. I know there are a few applications out there to do it, but like you already pointed out, none of them are nearly as polished as iTunes. Anything close and I'll probably give their tool a shot.
    • by ravrore (1769516)
      Miro has Amazon MP3 store built in, so it has the same content access as iTunes and is has things like Android syncing, video conversion, and local network file transferring that iTunes doesn't do.
    • by 605dave (722736)
      How do you know within an day of release that iTunes is way better? Have you tried Miro? Have you been trying the betas? Just curious where your strong opinion comes from.
    • by drb226 (1938360)

      unless you want to pirate

      Miro makes it quite easy to torrent music/vids right into your library...don't underestimate this angle, although it's not exactly the kind of thing Miro is going to go around announcing publicly, for obvious reasons.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Even better is that it will accept rss feeds that contain said torrents. At least it did years ago when I used it.

    • They are talking about the software versus iTunes software. Not the store versus the iTunes store. This was an update to the player. The biggest point is synchronizing. They are saying, listen, we can sync very well without creating an artificial walled garden in the software. AKA - iTunes hates other music players, and is designed to only work with iP(od/hone/ad).

      Of course the store sucks at this point. Google and Amazon, which have the real shots at popular stores, are working from a cloud perspect

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      There's also another name for this sort of thing: Podcast.

      Isn't "podcast management" supposed to be one of those things that Apple products are hyped for?

    • and why the fuck is miro trying to look exactly like itunes?? they won't bring anything new to the table, just try to clone the best thing available right now. imo, vlc has got it right. i don't need all the sucky media library crap, my file manager handles searches very well and vlc supports playlists.

    • by Risen888 (306092)

      FOSS-speak: "Open media"

      Translation: We've got public domain crap, idiots talking to their webcams, sucky indie bands who need to practice more and promote less, and that's about it--unless you want to pirate.

      Shows what you know. Almost without exception, all of the new music that I've really gotten into in the last couple of years has been CC licensed. Hell, Chuck D is putting stuff out under CC these days. I listen to podcasts twenty times more than I listen to the radio. They hooked me with free, they ke

    • by Draek (916851)

      In theory, you'd be right. In theory. You see, in theory the big labels would hire the best bands out there, give them the best resources available so they can do the best work they can, while the indies only have lower prices to compensate for their lack of talent and resources.

      However, what happens in *practice* is that the big labels hire whatever's more marketable (read: a young, attractive singer), then hire an engineer that destroys whatever semblance of music was there by making everything LOUD while

    • I feel sorry for you. Really.

      I think anyone that attacks a piece of software for being open and free would probably cut off his/her nose to spite his face.

      A constructive, intelligent person would go give a piece of free software a try since there is little to lose in doing that - at which point that same constructive, intelligent person would send some feedback to the developers of that software as to why he/she doesn't feel it provides him/her with what's required.

      A troll spews out opinions based on hearsa

  • Content is king and if they ain't got the content, then they are not really going to be able to compete

    I know people seem to like to bash Apple for DRM, but who do you think is pushing for DRM? (Hint: The people that control the content).

    • Re:Content is king.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:31PM (#36231454)

      I know people seem to like to bash Apple for DRM

      And wrongly so since the music bought from iTunes hasn't had DRM in for more than 2 years now.

      • Yet iTunes is still very monolithic in its support for i* devices. This post is not about the store, which I feel I have to keep pointing out. It's about the software. The quote in the summary is very misleading that way. The top down walled garden is the Appleverse, not mp3s. In other words, you don't have to buy into the Apple "experience" to get a good "experience". ;)

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          Sync API is open. Nothing preventing manufacturer of Android device 'foo' from shipping a plugin for iTunes. Talk to them.

      • by duranaki (776224)
        Yeah.. because no one owns songs they bought more than 2 years ago. They just throw them away and buy new DRM free versions, right? I'd praise Apple for dropping DRM only if they allowed you to un-DRM the old tracks for free (or the price difference). All their old customers are still locked in... even if its only $20 worth of DRM'd music they own, that's still $20 they now have to spend to access content they already paid for on another player.
      • by Microlith (54737)

        There's DRM wrapped around everything else available from the store. Get back to me when that's not the case.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...which would be a lot more meaningful if all Apple sold was music.

        Apple still benefits greatly from DRM and being generally difficult to deal with when it comes to anything that was not purchased from Apple.

        The path of least resistance is clearly marked. At the end of that path is Steve Jobs with a cash register.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        I know people seem to like to bash Apple for DRM

        And wrongly so since the music bought from iTunes hasn't had DRM in for more than 2 years now.

        But on everything else, DRM in spades.

        Apple fans tend to use that as misdirection to hide the fact that DRM is still at the centre of Itunes and iDevices.

      • CDs haven't had DRM for almost 30 years.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I know people seem to like to bash Apple for DRM, but who do you think is pushing for DRM? (Hint: The people that control the content).

      Who do you think is a majority shareholder in Disney, one of the most aggressive parties pushing for more DRM and more lopsided copyright laws.

      Apple are armpit deep in the content industry, they just want you to delude yourself that they are working in your interests instead of theirs.

  • Not going to work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gentlemen_loser (817960) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @03:32PM (#36231472) Homepage
    Any time any company or organization markets itself as "the [insert adjective] [insert proper noun] alternative for the [insert other proper noun]" the group is destined to failure. The issue is, at its heart, where the company is coming from. Rather than trying to invent a great music/video player, they are trying to invent an iTunes (or anything else) clone. Please STOP! Go invent a great, open source, cross platform music player without looking at iTunes and people will come.

    Don't believe me? In the electronic music community, there is a synth called Zebra 2. Its from a company run and developed entirely by one guy who never advertised it. He never pitched it as the "something for the something else alternative." He just made a great fucking synth. After a short amount of time, word got out, all of the music rags covered it, and now it tops all of the "greatest synth" lists.

    You will never get anywhere making a clone. You'll always be a step behind.
    • Example #2: Amarok, the most kick-ass music player there is.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Any time any company or organization markets itself as "the [insert adjective] [insert proper noun] alternative for the [insert other proper noun]" the group is destined to failure

      Absolutely. For instance, a project that billed itself as "the free UNIX alternative for the PC" could never go anywhere.

    • by joh (27088)

      You will never get anywhere making a clone. You'll always be a step behind.

      Yeah, but at least you're behind the leader which is more than where you'd be when you wouldn't try that.

      This isn't new. Linux is a Unix clone, then tried to become a Windows clone until Gnome tried to clone OS X. Miro tried to be something original and nobody cared and now Miro tries to clone iTunes for Android (which tried to clone iOS). So what?

      Coming up with something original *and* being successful with that is really, really ha

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Linux might be a Unix clone, but the kernel never tried to be windows. Gnome and KDE tried that.

        Android did not clone iOS at all. Not anymore than iOS cloned the smartphones that came before it.

    • by Risen888 (306092)

      Rather than trying to invent a great music/video player, they are trying to invent an iTunes (or anything else) clone.

      Have you ever even seen Miro? This is an absurd statement.

    • by Draek (916851)

      Even ignoring "clones" that ultimately surpassed the original such as Unix, Linux, GCC and so, Miro is already a well-established project that's been going on for years (the project formerly known as "DemocracyPlayer" btw) and has got a sizeable userbase on PCs, this new marketing strategy is merely the result of one guy noticing that, if Miro makes for such a neat app on PCs it'd be pretty cool to have it on Android as well, and since it'd work roughly iTunes-ish they could market it as such rather than ex

    • by Myopic (18616)

      iTunes was an alternative to SoundJam, in that it was SoundJam.

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      > You will never get anywhere making a clone.

      There are a few examples of clone software that has done fairly well. Consider DOS, Lotus 1-2-3, Macintosh OS, Windows, Word, Sql Server, MySQL, Excel, OpenOffice, Netscape, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. Many of which were not just de facto clones but explicitly so.

    • Any time any company or organization markets itself as "the [insert adjective] [insert proper noun] alternative for the [insert other proper noun]" the group is destined to failure.

      Sssshhhh! Listen!

      Far across the distant reaches of the Internet, you can hear the distant cackles of laughter of Firefox and Internet Standards developers.

  • While it is Windows only, it is solid, offers Android support and just ... works. If you're Apple, you're gonna be an Fanboi anyway and use iTunes. If you're on Linux, you'll use some crappy software and feel all superior about not buying DRMed Music from Apple (which doesn't even sell DRMed music any longer).

    • by mjwx (966435)

      While it is Windows only, it is solid, offers Android support and just ... works. If you're Apple, you're gonna be an Fanboi anyway and use iTunes. If you're on Linux, you'll use some crappy software.

      If you've got half a brain, you'd just buy a device with MSC support and copy media over to it as it the device was a flash disk. MSC Just Works(TM) with OSX, Linux and Windows without the need for additional software.

      The feeling of superiority comes from buying something that can do 10 times what an Ipod could for half the price... and that feeling is quite justified.

  • Did it change that much?

    Last time I tried Miro it was such a waste of time it didn't survive more than 10 minutes on my harddisk.

  • The Miro folks say that the Windows bug described in the 'rough edges' link above has been fixed and the update will be released today.
  • 1)Works with my current music library. -- So does mplayer.

    2)Converts and syncs to Android -- I don't have an android.

    3)Buy Music and Apps inside Miro -- I like my music and apps free thanks.

    4)Download and play almost any video -- So does mplayer

    5)Convert any video -- Again, mplayer

    6)Share Your Media on your Network -- This is what Samba is for.

    7)Open-source - don't lock yourself in! -- Excellent point, but not superior to what I use now.

    8)Ultra-fast torrent downloading -- Do one thing and do it well. Ca

    • by petsounds (593538)

      3)Buy Music and Apps inside Miro -- I like my music and apps free thanks.

      Eh? I imagine there is some freely-released music out there, but by and large most artists are trying to put food on the table. Or did you mean free-as-in-screw-the-artist?

      As for Miro itself, yeah, no thanks. First, the installer tries to put some Yahoo crapware on your system, which pretty much makes the app untrustworthy as far as I'm concerned. But it also tries to emulate the iTunes UI to a fault, while not really offering anything better in terms of finding/playing/arranging music.

    • by Risen888 (306092)

      I'd like to know if it syncs to normal mp3 players. I really used to like Miro, but the lack of that feature pushed me to Gpodder (which I also like, but lacks some whizbang stuff I had become used to with Miro, like a way better catalog).

  • I have a lot of music, so far the search UI is pretty sluggish (and I've run it on the commaline so I could watch when the indexing was complete). I'm wondering if lucene would be a better choice than sqlite for building the index. Subsonic (yes, it's web based, so for streaming music, not the exact same thing - but about the same amount of data to index) uses lucene and its search functionality is very nice and fast.
  • I Use Miro (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gnaythan1 (214245) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @04:38PM (#36232226)

    I've had it on my computer for a couple years now. It had codecs for a bunch of videos I had on my system from a LONG time ago. I like it. I noticed a new update popped up when I watched a video on it yesterday. I always have a couple redundant systems on my computer so if one of my old files doesn't work I can test it on something else. Miro is as good as anything else for watching movies on, and having options besides the big dominating one is always a good thing.
    .

  • by theurge14 (820596) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @04:50PM (#36232378)

    Apple had the power to leverage (iPod sales, etc) to convince the large record companies to make their music available to purchase through the iTunes store.

    Does an open source venture such as Miro have that sort of power?

    (And do the people at Miro realize that iTunes tracks have been DRM free for over 2 years now?)

  • below is my reply to the "9 Reasons why Miro is better than what you have now" on their website:
    1."Works with your current music library"
    really?? well, my current media player also works with my current music library. how is miro better?

    2."Converts and syncs to Android"
    i just pop out my x10 mini's 16gb microsd card and then its all just drag-n-drop. btw, drag-n-drop is better when you have just 16gb space and your music library is huge.

    3. "Buy Music and Apps inside Miro
    The Amazon MP3 store is built-in to Mi

    • by Myopic (18616)

      Boy, there's a lot of Miro haters on Slashdot today. I used Miro as a television interface a while back, but didn't look at it recently until I saw this story on Slashdot. If Miro will enable my Mac to sync to my Archos tablet, then I'll definitely use it instead of iTunes, which won't do that. I'll be one step closer to shedding Apple, which would be nice. I don't see why everyone is so down on Miro, and I can't figure out when hating on open source became cool at Slashdot. If it does all the things you me

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