The waiting’s over! Since we received your application to join the Joost beta test program, we’ve been very busy fine-tuning it for you.So here’s some good news: we’re now ready to expand our beta test program, and we’re delighted to invite you to join us.
I finally got my beta account on Joost and was able to spend some time on it today. I must say that its a pretty sweet experience. The setup was painless and mature enough that anyone could do it in three clicks with no problem. The UI has this very “Web 2.0 Tivo” like experience to it. Of course, there are no edges in any of the windows and its fairly intuitive. The client is optimized for running in full screen mode. For me, this is a bit of a pain. I would prefer all the features even available in the windowed mode. In most cases, I might flip on Joost and watch it as I’m doing something else.
Much of the buzz I heard about Joost was around how similar they made the UI to actually using a TV. They came pretty close. So close, that they even have the fading white dot when you turn it off. The video steaming was smooth. Sometimes it would take a while if you’re moving to a new channel but it still comes up pretty quickly. Turning on and off the service is super responsive. I guess thats the benefits of a P2P client downloading the data in the background. At times, the service got a bit patchy, but I’m assuming that because its only a beta. Sometimes the feeds would drop out and start from the beginning.
One of the cool features is their widget functionality. Just like on a Mac, you can place widgets on the “TV Screen” that do things such as chat, stream RSS feeds, etc. The available widgets are pretty limited but I’m sure this will grow over time. They can really start exploit those “TV-Web-Convergence” features everyone has been talking about for years.
What I didn’t see was the ability for user to upload content. I wonder if they will just relay on agreements with the content owners.