Broadcast Machine

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The Broadcast Machine

Designed to work as the server side of the Democracy TV platform that also included the Democracy Player , a cross-platform desktop media player forked from Mozilla Firefox code, Broadcast Machine was a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation, which still develops the Democracy player software under the name Miro.

"It's a php tool for your website for publishing / posting video 'channels' (rich metadata rss feeds). It's the easiest way to post torrent files and it's also a really good way to make collections of videos from around the web (or to make channels out of stuff that you've posted elsewhere, eg or The goal of the software is to help people make channels of video that will be browsable, downloadable, and watchable in our video player." - BoingBoing

Information about the Broadcast Machine was located at (dead link)

Detailed computer science paper by Broadcast Machine developers Christian Bryan, Greg Opperman, and Drew Wilson.

Interview with creator Holmes Wilson by Steve Garfield at

"In a world where public broadcasters and independent producers can upload their shows to Google Video or distribute them cheaply and easily themselves using open source tools like the Participatory Culture Foundation's Broadcast Machine, is OMN ([Our Media Network]) still necessary? This brief argues that it is. It outlines a strategy for defining a new niche for independent media that lies between commercial mass media and the wild-and-wooly world of the “long tail." - 'Open Media Network: A Strategy for Success in the Long Tail Economy'

Blog and news posts mentioning the Broadcast Machine release

"The Participatory Culture Foundation goes live today with a DTV client for Mac OS X. Paired with the Broadcast Machine, these tools combine the power of low-cost video production and distribution to create space for bottom-up, peer-to-peer internet television." - Kevin Driscoll

  • "User-produced media takes another step forward with the release of Broadcast Machine, an open source application that streams your video as a BitTorrent from your web server. A viewer is also being released. The software is beta and not ready for prime time yet, but it just shows how close we are to bypassing traditional media altogether" - Stephen Downes
  • "Backed by tech veterans Andy Rappaport and Mitch Kapor, the PCF is looking to do for video what podcasting has done for audio. Publishing over the Internet using standard RSS feeds, the aptly named Broadcast Machine software includes a companion DTV viewer that lets users subscribe and manage different broadcasts." - XBiz
  • "As announced on Seth Bindernagel's blog yesterday, the Mozilla Corporation is making a $100,000 grant to the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), the Massachusetts-based nonprofit that developed the Democracy Internet TV platform." - Shirl Kennedy,
  • "a similar project at the Participatory Culture Foundation plans uses a different model called Broadcast Machine/DTV to achieve many of the same effects. Unlike ACTLab TV, Broadcast Machine isn't it's own TV station - it relies on users hosting video on their websites. Those videos are uploaded to a central database where users who download the client - called DTV - can then choose which episodes they want to download. While ACTLab TV is much like a live television broadcast from a central studio, Broadcast Machine is more like a personal digital recorder - which allows people to select "channels" of independent broadcasters uploading from separate Web sites." -
  • "Till now, the only other effective free and open source online video publishing platform available online has been the Broadcast Machine, made by (US-based) Participatory Culture Foundation. Like Engagemedia, PCF are participants in the Transmission network of online social justice video projects." - zoe,