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Joost Beta

Joost Screen

What do you do after you’ve created one of the largest peer to peer (P2P) media sharing networks (Kazaa) and your pockets are bursting at their seams from a $2.6B sale of your telephony application (Skype) to auciton powerhouse eBay? Well, if you’re Dutch entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, you set your eyes on bringing television from the set top to the desktop. Joost (pronounced “juiced”) used the same P2P technology as Skype and works intelligently to distribute and stream media. In essence, you get nearly on demand television which looks great windowed and very acceptable full screen, with little to no load time or delays.

To fully appreciate Joost, you have to understand what it is. It is not YouTube. It is not a collection of user uploaded content. All the content is professionally edited and provided by their partners which include Viacom, Comedy Central, and National Geographic, to name a few. There are quick segments of commercials like you’d expect from watching television. You cannot timeshift (fast forward or rewind), but you can pause. You can also choose which channel you are watching and which show. The Joost application does not give you network statistics so it’s impossible to tell how big the “hive” is. Personally, I’ve never had choppy reception. It’s great being able to watch shows I missed when they originally aired, such as the Green Day documentary “Bullet In A Bible.” With each release, the 150 or so programmers on the Joost team work to extend the usability of the program. They at least doubled their partner channels, and have since added widgets which can do everything from stream news to allow you to chat with fellow watchers. Imagine being able to discuss a show as you watch it. Currently in invitation only beta, Joost represents the first true realization of Internet TV.

You can see my piece at joshspear.com here. It’s basically the same thing.

Thanks to Dan Lin for the invite!

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