Joost ReviewWednesday, January 17, 2007
I’ve had the pleasure of testing out a new product (previously named “The Venice Project”) that will, perhaps, revolutionize the way we experience “television” in the coming years. From the creators of Skype (free online calls) comes Joost (free online TV). Is it awesome? Yes. Is it in a closed beta? Yes. But will I tell you all the neat things about it? Sure I will…
Joost has content for everyone. Luckily I have eclectic tastes and can enjoy nearly everything. This week I’ve passively learned about the hyphy movement, sharks, and urban design. Additionally I’ve watched numerous music videos (and how they were made), extreme sports clips, and a lot of sports car reviews. Fascinating stuff, amazing content, and this is just the beta. I can’t wait until more providers sign on. This is much better than cable television because I can truly pick and choose what I want to watch and when. Definitely the best feature of IPTV.
The commercials are odd. Obviously the project is in beta so there are some issues. Occasionally the commercials will appear and then the video will remain black (even once the clip resumes). They also occur very suddenly and randomly catching me unaware. Somewhat annoying and disruptive but everyone else does it this way. Though, I think ABC’s video player has done the best job of incorporating commercials and they should try to mimic the “appropriate time for a break” model. With that said, free videos for short commercial clips? I have no problem with that.
The menus seem simple enough but are sometimes too simple. I may be ignorant or just a bad interface user but I find it hard to get around with my mouse. With my keyboard it’s more or less simple but sometimes I don’t want to type. I also watch Joost in “windowed mode” (as opposed to full-screen) and thats where there are a few issues. There is no “always on top” (yet), menus will close if you resize the window, etc. Lots of little things that I’m sure will get worked out in future iterations.
I’m on day five at work with Joost. It’s always on in the background and I’ve still got plenty of new, original content to get through. The commercials sometimes startle me and a few bugs are annoying but hey, it’s beta. I definitely see myself using this every day at work (and perhaps at home).