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Apr 23 2007   3:24PM GMT

Democracy Player: An easier way to watch IPTV, video podcasts, .torrents and more

GuyPardon Guy Pardon Profile: GuyPardon

Democracy Player is a free, open source IPTV platform. That may sound a bit vanilla, but Wired Magazine called it “the future of Net video.” Though the vlogosphere may still be in its infancy, the explosion of Internet video over the past two years has made it challenging for even the savviest netizens to keep abreast of new feeds and shows.

Using Democracy, a user can search within YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video and others video aggregators. Democracy also works as a BitTorrent client, so users can search, download and watch torrents from within the same interface. The application plays most video formats, including Quicktime, WMV, MPEG, AVI and XVID.
In fact, the Democracy platform’s engineers state that they have created a new approach to building a cross-platform application using open source technologies like Mozilla, XUL Runner, VLC and Python. The player runs on OS X, Windows XP/2000, Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian platforms.

The code for the Democracy platform is released under the GPL by the Participatory Culture Foundation , a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Using the fluid GUI, you can subscribe to more than 1000 video RSS feeds using a built-in channel guide. Popular vlogs like Rocketboom, Ask a Ninja and Ze Frank sit next to lesser-known vloggers, geeky screencasts, MSM netcasts, independent warvloggers and YouTube auteurs. While both Google Reader and of course iTunes can be configured quite easily to subcribe to video Web feeds, Democracy has a number of alluring features.

For instance, the Democracy player supports full screen playback, including HD support for those lucky enough to have a PC hooked up to a HD screen, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. GetDemocracy.com, where Democracy is available for free download, has been translated into more than 18.

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