My first Time — Impressions using Joost

unexpected wind hose on Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 1998Carlos from Flash Enabled kindly offered an invitation to joost. Since I was looking for a way to watch the AC2007 matches online with a fairly slow connection (512 kB/s) — hence looking for quality video caching — I gave it a try (I haven’t afforded a digital tv card, yet). Discovering a broadcast for those races was disappointed. Instead I was solaced with “X Force – Episode 5: The Science of Sailing“, a report on 1998th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (630 nm).

During the 50 min episode I noted down features and conspicuities to give everyone who couldn’t be bothered to invest 25,3 MB of disc space.

  • Very little configuration opportunities via GUI (see right). And even that little bitjoost advanced settings — not advanced at all is accessed not quite intuitively (full screen mode only -> “My joost” -> Widget Menu -> Advanced Settings).
  • Commercial integration works quite well — in technical termes that is, since it’s pretty annoying! With conventional television one gets kind of alerted. On joost the clip comes right in the middle of a sentence, totally unexpected. That’s the price for free availability. At least it can be muted during ad playback.
  • I also noticed with ads they seam to stick with playback percentage or absolute position of the program because when rewinding they occur at exactly the same video content. So if you’re interested in the content, i.e. want to listen over to a sentence to understand what’s been said: No chance! I couldn’t figure out, though, if they are “compiled” into the video itself
  • Crashes happened only once right after the second start of joost. During playtime everything worked smoothly (a couple exceptions due to heavy processor load I assume). Not bad for a 0.10 version number.
  • Caching works with slow connection, i.e. videos are saved locally so smooth playback is guaranteed even after program restart.
  • Commercial breaks occurred 3 times during the 50 min playback. Between breaks it felt as 10 min, though. The first one was after probably 30-35 min.
  • Also every now and then there is a small (about 2 by 4 cm on a 17″ screen) picture ad in the bottom right corner.
  • Video quality in this example episode was fairly good as you can see in the screen shot.
  • Peculiar are the similarities in directory content between joost and songbird. The later beeing based on the mozilla project (notably xulrunner) and vlc code.

Joost directory structureSongbird directory structure

Since I have some spare invitations you may write me via the form to ask for one. But I cannot promise to come back to you as quickly as Carlos managed (Thanks for that, Carlos!) even though I’ll do my best.

For background on joost, eg. that it’s in part a foster child of Skype inventer Janus Friis, let me point you to wikipedia for starters. Or you might suck in another first timer from Joe.

Sidenote: Skype has been sold to ebay in Sept. 2005 for US$2.6 Billion plus additional stock options. Why?

And speeking of commercials if you love irony than watch this:

2 Comments

  1. sysblogd said,

    Saturday, 7th Jul 2007 at 17:51

    Thx for your comment and especially for the details on joost’s stability, the their content and adverts! As I said: The ads are the price for free shipment and usage. Actually it was funny to get German ads while watching an English programm 🙂

    Cheers,
    sysblogd.

  2. cpinho said,

    Wednesday, 4th Jul 2007 at 13:01

    Hi m8,

    Tnx for your feedback regarding Joost. I think that you have pointed pretty well the features of Joost. However let me mentioned just a few things, regarding the available programs, ads, and brandwith. As you know, Joost is on BETA, all the programs are copyright, and someone is paying them in orther to be available on Joost, moreover i think is fair enough to have small ads appearing on bottom right side of the screen, either get interrupted for some minutes to see who is sponsoreing that program. I tell you this, cause in Portugal, each time TV channel breaks the program to place ads, usualy they take around 15 up to 20 min.
    the other thing about the available channels, they (Joost) are updating with new channels, so i think that in few months the channels offer will be greater than now.
    About the brandwith, just to have an idea how smoothly it is, i’ve installed the Joost on 4 pc’s at home. I have a connection of 10 MBit, and two of the four pc’s are making downloads from the net 24 hrs a day, and i got no crash. Overall i beilive Joost is quite well, even still on BETA.

    Brgds,
    Carlos


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