Tag Archives | Joost

Joost Starts to Fade Away

JoostJoost was supposed to be a major part of the future of TV. Instead, the streaming video service went from hot startup to a candidate for “Whatever Happen To?” lists surprisingly quickly. On Tuesday, news broke that it’s refocusing on providing white-label video services, losing its CEO, and laying off much of its staff.

What happened? A whole bunch of things. Over at GigaOM, Om Malik has a good analysis of why Joost will be remembered mostly for having failed to live up to expectations. (The first one that came to my mind–it’s on Om’s list–is summed up in the word Hulu. In many ways, that site turned out to be pretty much what Joost was supposed to be but never quite became.)

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PS3 Gets a Joost Player, With Crippled Content Of Course

joostlogoI’m getting used to the idea that when an online video portal creates a TV-optimized viewing experience, it won’t let people watch any of the content they actually care about.

Such is the case with Joost’s new video player, designed with the Playstation 3’s Web browser in mind. While it’s good for watching music videos and promotional television clips, Destructoid says Viacom, Warner Bros. and CBS content isn’t available (so, no Ren & Stimpy). CBS imposes similar limitations on YouTube XL, a viewer optimized for television.

The optimized Joost viewer, accessible through labs.joost.com/tv, arranges navigation in a manner similar to YouTube XL. It even turns the PS3 controller into a remote by mapping useful functions to the buttons. Destructoid tried it out and said the video quality looks “just below standard definition” on a 720p monitor. Too bad there’s no television to watch.

Like Hulu, it’s been possible to access Joost through the PS3’s browser since October, when the console updated to include Flash 9. Still, there’s no easy way to go full screen. You can zoom in the browser to fit the video frame, but that compromises video quality. And of course, mapping playback to the PS3 controller is out of the question.

Joost’s full content library, I assume, is still available through the PS3 in non-optimized form, making it just a little more inconvenient to watch. If anyone’s got a PS3 and wants to give the old way a try, I’d be interested to hear the results. But I can’t be responsible for any effects Ren & Stimpy might have on your sanity.

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Joost to Go Website-only on Friday

After debuting to a great deal of fanfare in 2006, it looks as if Joost will finally be giving up on P2P as a means of delivery for its content. In a message to users of its software application, the company said videos after Friday would only be viewable through the website.

The writing may have been on the wall then: Joost launched its web-based platform in October to generally positive reviews. Last month, it debuted an iPhone application, which appears still to be unaffected by the company’s decision.

Joost’s software application was an attempt at keeping bandwidth costs low by distributing some of the streaming to the P2P network. However, it must at this point just be an unnecessary extra expense to develop, and streaming videos using Flash (like everybody else) is obviously more economical.

With Joost pulling out of P2P, analysts like Forrester’s James McQuivey are saying the use of P2P for legal means is now a thing of the past:

Peer-to-peer “as a platform for legal consumer video is dead. The majority of what people watch on the PC is streamed. More than half the country is on broadband and compression is very effective now.”

Seems so far from the talk in the middle of this decade where many legitimate companies were looking to use P2P as a legal way to transfer content. Now, all but a few are out of business or have significantly altered their business models.

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Joost for iPhone: Good, As Far as It Goes

joostlogoJoost, the pioneering video site from the folks behind Skype and Kazaa, is available in a new, smaller form tonight: on the iPhone. In some ways it’s quite impressive–it faithfully brings the Joost look, feel, functionality, and content into an app that feels at home on the iPhone. What you think of it will likely boil down mostly to how you feel about the programming that Joost has to offer.

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