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