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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 9 out of 10]
This is the Pick of the Week for the week of September 4th

Tired of everything on your 232 satellite TV channels? Bored with 400 repeats per day of Law and Order? Then try Democracy, the Internet TV player. Democracy is a bit like an iTunes video podcast player on steroids, but that's really not doing it justice. Democracy is a really nice Mac application for viewing and managing 600+ channels of community-provided internet television. Just like "real" television, you won't find something you like on every channel, and much of what you see may have the feel of the local cable access channel. But there are some gems out there, including many with production values that rival that of traditional television.

To browse 600 channels, Democracy presents a searchable channel guide organized by categories. I found it relatively easy to browse, and the buttons are large and easy to identify. I also liked the active downloads interface, as well as the overall "feel" of the app -- it feels like a Mac app, and I much prefer it to watching video podcasts in iTunes. By default, videos are saved locally for six days, then erased automatically. However, you can click a Save button to retain anything you'd like to permanently keep.

I'm not sure if this is the future of television or not. But as a look at what's possible in a system not controlled by large media companies and expensive access, it's quite interesting. The fact that it's all presented in a nice looking, easy-to-use native Mac application is just icing on the cake.
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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: rossr on Sep 08, '06 03:43:23PM
Psst! Wanna download some cool TV shows? Leverage Democracy's torrent downloading with these RSS feeds:

http://tvrss.net/

Don't tell anyone, though! ;)

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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: billbarstad on Sep 08, '06 06:02:34PM

Well, if you want to use your bandwidth downloading tons of shows you'll most likely never watch, this is nifty. Really, why not just have a website with the descriptions and download links? Or just provide RSS feeds which give descriptions for each feed - like normal news feeds do? No thanks to Democracy player!



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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: rossr on Sep 08, '06 07:31:16PM

Actually, you can subscribe to video RSS feeds and tell Democracy player to not "automatically download" the videos, saving bandwidth and hard drive space. When new videos are available, you can see a description and thumbnail of the video, then decide whether you want to download it or not. For example, I subscribe to the X-Play Daily Video, but if the topic doesn't interest me, I don't bother downloading it.

Democracy is still beta, so maybe some of these features will be turned on by default in future versions.



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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: dan55304 on Sep 10, '06 06:57:20AM

Exactly. If the future of television is so much junk you don't want to watch, then web tv will be the way to go.

Those evil big media companies that provide professional quality programming at no cost...shame on them. Sheesh.



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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: HairyPotter on Sep 08, '06 09:16:15PM

I am not sure, but I think this is the second time this program comes around the web. This time, it's using another name (I can't rename the first one). The idea behind this program is fine, but, it's really a pain (you know where) having to download the entire movies you want to see before you can see a single frame.

Have this guys heard about streaming?

This is exactly why, I dropped the program in my garbage can the first time I tested it, one year ago, or so.



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Tyranny of the Majority
Authored by: chally on Sep 09, '06 08:10:19PM
...a rather unfortunate name...should probably have been named Liberty, or something more like what the folks meant but I'll give it a try anyway....

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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: ubrgeek on Sep 10, '06 04:16:13PM

I don't know. I played with this around 6 months ago. I found two funny cartoon things and other than that it was mostly crap. Nothing really grabbed my attention.



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Democracy - Watch hundreds of free video channels
Authored by: Mike Perry on Sep 10, '06 05:59:07PM
I had to download it again to remember why I tried and rejected it about six months ago.

1. While I consider the iTunes interface a bit clumsy, it least subscribing to videocasts is easy. With Democracy it took me about five minutes to figure that out. That's the #1 task. Why is the interface so Windows-like it its obscurity?

2. One of the preference seems to suggest, rightly or wrongly, that users are being used as bit-torrent like sites with no clear way to turn that off. No thanks.

3. I tried two videocasts from their Channel page and Democracy didn't have the ability to play one of them. Why list channels it can't play?

I appreciate the effort that's going into this. But for now iTunes makes more sense.



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