As broadband works its way across the US and the rest of the world, uses for the technology have grown as well. With the popularity of podcasts, it only stands to reason that IP based television shows would grow at the same time. But until set-top boxes gain the ability to play web distributed content such as IP-TV based shows, content will stand to be much less mainstream.
That is where Democracy comes it. It is an open source IP-TV aggregator that uses RSS feeds to find and download video content. Just add a video feeds RSS URL to Democracy and it will download new shows as they are released. And, once the content is downloaded, Democracy Player will make it easy to view the show on the computer.
Democracy is available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux. Some platforms differ in the video formats they support. The Mac version uses the OS’s built-in QuickTime implementation so it will play any video format that QuickTime supports. On the Windows side, Democracy uses an embedded version of VLC. This means it also supports all of the popular video formats.
In order to make video feeds more readily available, Democracy incorporates it own Channel Guide. It’s essentially a content guide providing feed information for regularly published programs. The Channel Guide makes it easy to subscribe to shows that are more mainstream. And if your favorite show isn’t listed in the guide, just add the RSS feed URL to Democracy and you will be able to download that as well.
Democracy player is similar to the vidcast support Apple has built into the current version of iTunes. But Democracy includes many more features aimed at downloading and viewing content. And while watching videos in iTunes can be arduous at times, Democracy makes videos very easy to play. Democracy also makes it easy to view the video at full screen making it ideal for IP-TV viewing on the computer, or on a TV screen if the computer is used as a media center.
One word of caution… Democracy is still in beta. It can be a little unstable at times. I have been using the software for the last 6 months and have been relieved to see that the latest betas have done wonders for its stability. Despite this fact, I highly recommend taking the time to download this media aggregator. Democracy free, and it provides easy access to hours of fresh new content each week.
Also, if you are a fan of old school TechTV style content, be sure to checkout DL.tv. They are adding new tech programs all the time!